According to a recent poll conducted among more than 500 engineering professionals, the majority of managers rely on project management and collaboration tools when managing remote teams. Although these technologies aid in task tracking, they fail to account for the individuals behind the tasks. Project Aristotle, a research initiative at Google, discovered that team members experienced a heightened sense of psychological safety when they had significant relationships with their co-workers. This research illustrates how fostering connections can enhance employee engagement and boost job satisfaction. Works, a global company that has been forming decentralised teams for over 150 technological firms, has found that employees’ efficiency rises when they have personal engagement with their team members. This level of socialisation generates a feeling of togetherness and mutual responsibility, leading to a more enjoyable work experience for all.
Research carried out by Works has established the critical factors for successful remote teams. It has been found that team cohesion is primarily impacted by interpersonal communication, which can foster productivity and decrease staff turnover. To enhance these connections and ensure the triumph of a remote team, here are four useful actions that can be taken:
Effective communication on a small level can exert a substantial influence.
Establishing channels that allow individuals to share their stories is a crucial and worthwhile endeavour. Devoting the initial few minutes of a virtual discussion to catching up on each other’s personal lives can be advantageous, as it helps to foster meaningful bonds. For instance, some teams at Works have implemented a weekly tradition where they share emojis representing their weekend plans on a Slack channel. According to Works’ Vice President of Technology Products, this practice has resulted in “unearthing one or two interesting facts about someone that [one] was previously unaware of.”
Get together with your loved ones and enjoy some entertainment.
While it is ideal to celebrate together physically, it is currently unfeasible due to the circumstances. Nonetheless, there are other innovative ways to observe the occasion. Why not arrange a virtual gathering for everyone to participate in, to raise a toast to the achievement? Or why not surprise everyone with pizza to commemorate the special event? As a final proposal, why not contemplate a global ugly sweater competition to celebrate the festive season?
We should all strive to be visible during video calls.
It is natural that some remote team members may be hesitant to turn on their camera during a call, perhaps due to feeling self-conscious about their surroundings or the time of day. Nevertheless, we strongly recommend video participation because it can aid in establishing a more personal relationship between colleagues. As an illustration, one participant shared that their guitar was visible in the background while they work from home, which prompted discussions about music and resulted in stronger connections.
Lead by setting a positive example.
To ensure that all team members are treated with equal respect and consideration, regardless of their location, it is vital to maintain a channel of communication. At Works, formal evaluations between partners and developers encompass feedback on human aspects such as whether an employee obstructed the camera during video conversations or if a remote developer had access to all necessary information to complete their assignments. As stated by our leader, “Leadership necessitates discipline, expertise, and compassion.” We must consistently remind each other of the obstacles that come with remote work and strive to transform its perception to optimise the efficacy and efficiency of a dispersed team.
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