If you implement and embrace asynchronous communication, set your communication guidelines and have a great system to track and manage projects plus you use the right tools to communicate, you still need an extra effort to make sure, and everyone’s happy on your team. This extra effort can be the spice that feels everyone connected, no matter where they are.
Happiness can be defined in more ways that I can imagine, but I am sure, respecting and connecting with others are in the mix. As the manager of your partners, you should implement processes that enhance interconnectivity across team members and respect others personal lifestyle.
One way to boost interconnectivity is to have scheduled 1-on-1 calls with your team members and randomly pair them up with each other. These meetings have no purpose apart from getting to know each other. You can also create separate chat channels for unrelated communication, so-called ‘watercooler’ rooms. In these rooms, there are no rules. Usually, these rooms are filled with animated GIFs. You can also recognize each team members personal hobby or pursued happiness-source and make it public or shared across the team. Who knows, it might turn out that if someone is into traveling, others might want to talk about travel experiences. The more non-work related communication have with your team, the happier they are.
Respecting others’ lifestyle and decisions is a big thing which you can’t just get granted but actively promote it as a practice. A way to embrace this is by transparent voting. If there is a decision, don’t just decide on it on the go but have a quick vote. You can use tools like Loomio to gather votes for choices, publicly or anonymously. If your team members can express their needs directly, they feel they are valued.