How to Build Strong Relationships with Remote Teams?
How do you maintain an inclusive and positive team culture when you’re not working in the same physical space?
This is a crucial question now more than ever, especially when work environments have fundamentally changed, and most companies have gone 100% remote.
The sudden onset of COVID-19 has compelled most companies to switch to a remote work model and operate virtually. While this has allowed the companies to hire talents from diverse backgrounds and geographic locations, the challenge is to optimize diversity and build a culture of inclusion among all.
So, how do you foster inclusion and promote collaboration to build strong relations within remote teams? Here’s a quick lowdown of the same:
How to Build Strong Relationships within Remote Teams?
|Use Digital Tools
Connect remote teams with a flurry of technologies like Teamwork, ProofHub, Basecamp, Trello, JIRA, Skype, G Suite, etc., that optimize workflows and eliminate inefficiencies.
|Assign Tasks Effectively
Set clear guidelines while assigning tasks, so that remote teams know how to prioritize projects, groom backlogs, and plan upcoming sprints to keep uncertainties at bay.
|Interact in Real-time
Help employees and their managers engage in real-time interactions (ranging from informal check-ins to formal meetings) that spark instantaneous conversations and collaboration.
Integrate transparency into your company values through proactive communication that can break down information silos, build loyalty, and nurture trust.
|Break the Ice
Implement virtual icebreaker activities during kickoff remote meetings to strengthen the bond between remote workers who may otherwise feel isolated.
|Set up Standups
Schedule a daily standup for not more than 15 minutes each day to understand the project’s pulse and help remote teams focus on the tasks at hand in the next 24 hours.
|Dedicate Discussion Channels
Use dedicated channels for teams, sprints, topics, etc., to better manage online communications and avoid information overload for people who don’t need it.
|Track Teams’ Progress
Use the right software and concrete work structures to gain visibility into teams’ progress/updated reports instead of micromanaging every member.
|Switch to Video Calls
Choose video conferences over text-only communications occasionally because they add a whole new element to collaboration, helping people feel more connected.
|Define Problems with Quick Solutions
Deliver quick solutions to problems to clarify project goals and ensure that there are no bottlenecks that may otherwise eat into the project delivery.
|Keep Teams in the Loop
Inform remote teams about various company-wide events, milestones, holidays, and other updates to help every member stay in the know from time to time.
|Use Different Time Zones to Advantage
Collaborate with geographically distributed teams working in different time zones from around the world to deliver 24*7 service and customer support.
The above strategies can help you build more connected remote teams, especially when the pandemic has disrupted the traditional work structure and redefined the next-normal operating model.
The key is to lean into the right technologies to help remote teams adjust to the new realities of work that’s likely to last as highlighted by the following reports:
Remote Work Statistics
- A whopping 98% of people say that they would like to have remote work opportunities for the rest of their careers. (Buffer)
- The amount of people who work remotely at least once per week has increased by 400% since 2010. (GetApp)
- Moreover, a recent report shows that around 70% of workers will operate at least five days remotely in a month by 2025. (Global Workplace Analytics)
These numbers further indicate the need for businesses to keep up with the change by changing their operation.
To Sum Up
If you’ve gone fully remote or are hiring remote teams, keep a note of the above strategies to cultivate a positive remote team culture shaped by trust and inclusivity.
After all, the idea is to allow teams to remain in sync (even when they work outside a single office space) and deliver great results with a virtual-first mindset.