How to Prevent Conflicts That Arise While Working with Remote Teams
Nowadays, most companies prefer to work remotely. In fact, it has now become a standard business practice for them. By choosing remote working options, the employers can make the most talented team in their business. But only a team leader knows that conflict is inevitable. Conflict can be of two types – direct conflict and passive conflict. Whatever the conflict is, the workflow of your business will be disrupted and will affect your bottom line. The problems or conflicts can get multiplied during the managing of remote teams since no physical interaction is involved there. Not only that, while working remotely, not everyone is more productive. It has also been seen that some team members take advantage of remote working and goof off while they are supposed to be working. It is also difficult to contact staff who work from a distance at the time of an emergency.
In other words, it can be said that there are certain difficulties in the logistics, but it is not that difficult to a handle a remotely distributed team efficiently. In order to prevent conflicts that arise while working with remote teams, and manage the team effectively, you can follow these effective practices discussed below.
- Have an official communication system:
To ensure team cohesiveness, you can fix meetings daily or sometimes multiple times in a day, depending on the type of business or work you do. It is true that there are chances for misunderstanding between remote teammates who are scattered across the world. So for a more effective way of communication, the meetings can be recorded, so that if anyone is confused about any topic, s/he can check back to the recorded history. Effective communication systems can be the key to lead a remote team successfully. Set up a system for official communication and make sure that employees comply.
- Find out the suitable tools for communication:
According to the productivity professionals, a meeting via video conference is the most effective way to engage remote participants. Otherwise, on a conference call, employees can be engaged in multiple tasks, or they can be out of their working zone.
There are a number of tools available for communications including social networks, digital whiteboards, chat rooms and many others. Though email is the most widely used among others, it is often not that efficient. For better communication, you can train your employees to use other communication tools, but video conferencing is a must-have tool while working with your remote team.
- Closely monitor your team to observe the dynamics:
It is a good idea to break your work up into teams to get more productive work. In order to do so, you have to make sure that your team members are well trained to use the tools for effective intra-team communication. If cfor instance, the team lead cannot control a certain team too well, other team members will do work that makes no sense and is not pertinent to the larger plan. Therefore, every manager of your remotely located teams has to have great communication skills and maintain accountability to you and the other executives. They should also have a good grasp of all the activities of their team, and be quick to understand what is going on.
- Set some goals and make your people responsible:
Remote workers are most susceptible to the temptation to slack off. That is why it is highly important to lay down some rules and responsibilities for every remote employee and make sure that these are stringently adhered to.
- Choose your remote partner wisely:
You should pick people who have sound character and who can take initiative. It is strongly recommended that you take an insightful and thorough interview before hiring them, and verify all the references. If you sense a bad attitude in them or you feel something is not right, then you should not ignore your gut feeling.
Working with remote teams implies adopting alternative strategies. In order to prevent conflict and get more effective remote teams, you might have to exert yourself more in every aspect of your work life.
However, the upside of working with remote teams is huge. This is the reason that nowadays, most offices prefer to work with remote or distributed teams. If the teams are managed properly, they can be proved to be highly effective for your business.