Remote working has become quite common in our current working culture and it is not unusual for whole teams to work remotely. However, if you manage a remote team or are part of one you may wonder how can a positive work culture thrive?
Effective communication channels
We all know that communication is key to success but when working remotely it becomes even more important for obvious reasons. So when starting a remote team it is essential to use software that can enable good communication, there is nothing more frustrating when trying to have a conversation when the line keeps cutting out or the video freezes. Be sure to invest in a good quality software and also look at ways that the team can communicate quickly when required, online chat platforms such as Slack enable this.
Once you have a good system try to schedule regular team video meetings, often face to face meetings are more effective than just dialling in and reminds everyone that they have a team. Be careful not to schedule meetings for the sake of them when there isn’t anything to discuss otherwise it will lower their value.
Recognise excellent work
Remote working can sometimes stifle positive recognition as achievements can happen without anyone else knowing about them and good work can sneak under the radar. As a manager or team player make it a point to look for and recognise good work, it is also great to share this with the whole team and the rest of the company.
Provide help for time management
Although many remote workers manage their time very effectively it can be a challenge. It is a good idea to offer tools, training and tips on how to manage time well. This means that the company is getting the most from their team and the individuals feel supported at home.
Build team time
In an office working environment there are lots of opportunities to have a conversation with colleagues and get to know them, when working remotely it is very hard to gain that same rapport. As such it is important to be willing to encourage casual conversation between the team. Be willing to allow your team to engage a little bit in chit chat, they might like to chat about the weekend or catching up on recent events. In an office setting this might be discouraged however when working at home this can help build the team rapport and create unity.
Keep people engaged by being creative
Think of creative ideas where the team can get together to do short team building activities. You could host a virtual happy hour or Friday breakfast session. Some companies do monthly remote games sessions or assign each team member to come up with a new idea when it’s their turn.
Certain members of the team might have specialist knowledge in some areas, in an office, it would be easy to share this information but when working from home it is harder. Can you encourage them to organise a webinar or a hangout to share the information with others? This builds appreciation for colleagues and helps everyone learn a little bit more.
Clarify team and individual goals
Everyone needs clear goals and to know what expectations are no matter where they work. If everyone knows what is expected of them it will bring their work into a clearer focus. Setting goals and highlighting what your expectations are will motivate each worker individually.
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