In 2020, millions of people transitioned to working remotely, dramatically changing the business landscape. Improving remote teamwork has become a main concern as the pandemic rages on and more and more companies are embracing the remote work model as a long-term reality. Though working remotely comes with its own set of challenges and considerations , when you carefully orchestrate your process, your team’s productivity can be the same or higher as it would be in a physical office. To ensure that your remote team is working together effectively, maximizing productivity, and employee well-being, keep reading for VForce’s tips for improving remote teamwork.
The first and arguably most important component of success in the remote environment is effective communication. Effective and open communication within your remote team will also help lay the foundation for a positive company culture and overall work environment.
Since everything you accomplish will come down to communication, start by establishing the tools your team will utilize, including email, chat applications like Slack or Workplace, phone calls, and video conferencing software. Discuss communication strategies and plans regularly with your team to make sure everyone is on the same page and communicating efficiently.
It’s important to take extra care when you’re communicating virtually — especially in an email, since you can’t rely on body language, facial expressions, or tone to ensure your point comes across. Remember that video conferencing takes up valuable time and energy, (Zoom fatigue is real!) and that some conversations are better had over the phone or in an email. Keep in mind that communicating remotely is a dramatic change in pace from face-to-face interactions, and that communications won’t always happen in real-time or during typical business hours. Asynchronous communication occurs when you relay a message to your colleague without expecting an immediate response. In contrast, synchronous communication is when you relay a message and receive a response immediately. All remote teams will utilize a combination of these two kinds of communication, and it is important to keep these concepts in mind when you are communicating with your team.
Timing and scheduling is another critically important factor for remote team communication. If your team works across different time zones, you will need to develop a productive workflow by acknowledging everyone’s availability. Accept that you won’t always be online at the same time for synchronous communication, but dedicate yourself to respond quickly, abide by deadlines, and set up specific times to talk, if possible.
Communication is your main outlet for company culture–encourage genuine personal interactions by setting aside time at the beginning of each meeting to have informal chats with your teammates about things other than work.
Virtual Team Building Activities
Virtual team building activities are a great way to improve teamwork and boost your company culture. There are many ways to conduct virtual team building activities, with a computer and some creativity the possibilities are endless! Try hosting a virtual pizza party or happy hour, or a virtual murder mystery game! Check out more ideas for virtual team building activities for teams of all sizes here.
Employee recognition is another great way to engage your team and encourage team building. You can reward your employees’ hard work with small gifts, like coffee, gift cards, or lunch, and turn these into group activities over Zoom!
Collaboration is how your virtual team works together as one, where culture and communication both come into play. Remote collaboration will take many different forms, ranging from multiple teammates working together on a shared Google Doc to having a brainstorming Zoom call.
A successful remote team balances the workload by both completing tasks individually and collaborating with colleagues when applicable. There are countless useful tools for virtual collaboration, like Google Workspace, Microsoft Teams, virtual whiteboards such as Miro, and others.
Setting specific goals and tracking your team’s projects will be especially important in the virtual landscape, since it’s easy to get lost in your own tasks and let go of the bigger picture. Project management tools like Trello, Asana or Monday allow you to track progress on team projects effectively. Make sure to implement regular check ins to track progress and update team goals.
You’re on your way to managing a successful remote team!
Having a tight knit team that works well together is an indispensable asset to a business. While you may be physically distant from each other, you can still work on becoming closer as a team. With a focus on communication, team building, and collaboration, your remote team is sure to be set up for success. At VForce, we are here to help you every step of the way. Click here to view more of our remote work tips and tricks and here to schedule a free consultation with us.
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