8 Tips To Help Your Remote Team Stay Effective

8 Tips To Help Your Remote Team Stay Effective

Recently mastered the home office format, no longer meet with colleagues in line at the cooler and forget each other's names? Or, on the contrary, are you already working with employees from different parts of the world, but have not yet built effective communication? In both cases, it is better not to forget about team building, because even the most cohesive team is difficult to keep in tone without personal communication. Take advantage of life hacks that will help managing remote teams.

Transfer familiar processes to digital

Do you still remember how you used to gather your colleagues in the meeting room, hang a blank sheet on the flipchart and arranged brainstorms? Try not to abandon the usual formats in a remote location. Start by inviting your remote colleagues to a general meeting, open an interactive Miro board or an online document where everyone can leave a comment, and try different types of brainstorming. After 10 minutes it will be clear that the process has begun, new ideas are emerging, and employees are happy to respond to any intellectual activity. This advice from professionals at essaywriter.nyc extends to all the meetings you are used to: status calls on work tasks, rallies to discuss major industry trends, or even lunch with colleagues. A nice bonus: morning planning meetings with a video call at the same time will help to comply with the schedule and maintain the responsibility of employees, because at exactly 10:00 everyone turns on the cameras, which means that before that time you need to have time to make coffee and do all the morning chores.

Call instead of writing long letters

Most likely, when it comes to joint discussion of projects, the idea comes to you to send the list of tasks to the general chat and switch to something more interesting. But there are several facts in favor of calling instead: at a distance, people do not have enough live communication with colleagues, correspondence can take several hours, and it is more difficult to explain the details of the project in writing than to share access to your screen and clearly show that you are mean. Therefore, do not miss the opportunity to personally discuss tasks: this way you can ask something or answer questions of interest, avoid misunderstandings and simply wish each other a good day. Choose the latter between the synchronization in the correspondence and the general video conference.

Control the scale of the disagreement

Resolving conflicts online is more difficult than in person, so it's better not to bring it up to this. As soon as you feel that a harmless correspondence becoming controversial and the chat is filled with sarcastic stickers, remember the structural approach and build arguments without giving in to emotions. Or feel free to offer to call to discuss details. Passive-aggressive correspondence can last for a long time and escalate, while calls are filled with specifics and don't imply unnecessary fantasies about "what that dot at the end of the sentence really means."

Keep each other informed

Offline news spreads around the office quickly enough. With remote interaction, it is more difficult for colleagues to share information and there is a risk that some employees will miss important announcements or not learn about key changes. The good news: there are enough tools in digital to help you stay in the same information field:

  • A dedicated thread in the mail. The responsible person writes in it the status of projects and the main news. You need to send such an email once a day, for example in the morning, when your colleagues are not yet immersed in urgent tasks and only plan their day;
  • Telegram channel. It announces team meetings and duplicates key company news, while project teams and departments talk about achievements;
  • Regular webinars from the employee’s manager. They simultaneously unite and motivate the team, as well as help to see what is happening as transparently as possible and get answers to pressing questions.

Observe digital etiquette

The rules of decency have caught up with us on the Internet. If several people are talking during a video call, you can simultaneously hear a baby crying, a dog barking and the sound of water, but not a specific solution to a work issue. Therefore, it is better to agree in advance with colleagues about simple rules:

  • At a conference, give the floor to one person. If you need to add a speaker or answer a question, click "Raise Your Hand";
  • By default, mute your microphone if you are not planning to speak;
  • Connect a camera: it is much easier to perceive speech with it;
  • Check the quality of the connection in advance: unstable Internet interferes with the discussion;
  • Use headphones to suppress ambient noise. Keep a spare pair nearby just in case;
  • Prepare your computer screen if you intend to display it. Don't be distracted by your colleagues by reading your browser tabs and pop-up messages from your parents;
  • Don't be late for a meeting - that's bad form.

Be honest and talk more

In the office, you may notice that a coworker is sad or angry. But in a remote location it is almost impossible to track it. At the same time the mental health of each employee directly affects the productivity of the team. Successful communication is when no one is shy to speak openly about the difficulties. Let your supervisor know that your workload is too high (just don't exaggerate), and let your colleagues know that you need help with tasks. At the same time, find out how the team is doing and support those who need help.

If you feel that your colleagues are not ready to admit weakness publicly, create an anonymous feedback form so that any member of your team can share their feelings.
Or organize a secret quarantine-buddy - it's like a secret Santa, only instead of gifts, this person will be ready to discuss pressing problems with you.

Joke as if you see colleagues' smiles

Jokes, memes and retelling ridiculous stories among office workers are becoming a daily ritual. Therefore, in self-isolation, continue to share with your colleagues what makes you smile. For example, in a video conference, the team will probably be happy to see your dog. Just do not overuse, otherwise, instead of discussing the project estimate, attention will be focused on the pet.

Another way to have fun with your colleagues is through online stand-ups. The mechanics are simple: you take volunteers, decide the topic together, give time to prepare, and closer to the weekend you meet in a video conference - with Friday mood and applause.

Find and share common interests

You probably don't know that you have at least one yoga instructor, an artist, an aspiring chef, and a few other people willing to share expertise among your employees. It is quite possible that you are a born organizer and will collect even the most inveterate introverts in an online bar. And your colleague is a competent speaker, and he has a desire to moderate the collective conversation about the latest film by Guy Ritchie. Host a team survey, choose the right platform, and schedule online coaching sessions, workshops, and meetings. Many now have more free time, so employees will be happy to explore new areas. The main thing is to bring colleagues together.

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