Supervising a remote team can be a daunting task, with differences in management styles, time zones and cultural disparities posing challenges to establish a rapport among supervisors and employees. Apart from delegating tasks, managers must concentrate on formulating effective tactics to encourage fruitful communication and teamwork amongst team members.
While focusing on meeting the target deadlines and customer demands, one may overlook the significance of building a healthy relationship through email or phone communication. Nevertheless, inadequate communication may lead to interruptions and setbacks, adversely affecting the efficiency of the entire team.
It is apparent that distinctive methodologies are vital to efficiently manage diverse sets of teams. Given the intricacy of challenges which managers face while operating remotely, it becomes imperative to identify certain patterns. Thus, this piece of writing emphasizes the significance of cultivating faith amongst remote teams, the key challenges that could arise, and delivers potential solutions to combat these obstacles.
Why is it Crucial to Establish a Bond in a Team Comprising Members Working Remotely from Different Locations?
The subsequent statistics can be cited to emphasise the significance of nurturing a robust bond amidst developers working remotely and other members of the remote team:
- Though most companies prioritize teamwork and coordinated efforts, very few employees demonstrate competent communication skills, as per their performance evaluations.
- According to a survey conducted amongst employees and managers, poor communication and insufficient collaboration have been identified as the principal causes of workplace setbacks, with 86% of participants flagging these factors as the root cause.
- A majority (54%) of workers opined that reasons beyond monetary incentives influenced their decision to continue working with the same team for a prolonged duration.
- Correspondingly, about 27% of employees quit within the first year of joining due to feeling “detached” from their employers and peers.
- Enterprises that maintain sound communication protocols succeed in reducing their employee attrition rates by 45%.
Undoubtedly, employee turnover poses a major challenge to the contemporary virtual workplace. This can be mainly ascribed to the absence of genuine interpersonal bonds at work. In brief, it becomes imperative to undertake measures to foster employee connection, which can contribute towards enhancing job contentment and curbing employee attrition.
It is imperative to expend time and resources in acclimatizing new employees, especially when they have little experience in remote work environments. As a team manager, it is crucial to retain team members and prevent replacements in the course of ongoing projects. To avoid this, it is vital to communicate project deadlines effectively to minimize the necessity of training fresh recruits from scratch.
We shall examine six of the most common concerns faced while managing a dispersed team so that we can devise efficacious remedies.
Six Common Hurdles Faced in Establishing Bonds with Remote Staff
The absence of in-person meetings may be the root cause of potential predicaments in a remote team. There is a likelihood of messages being missed amidst video calls, task assignments, and other communication mediums. In case the inter-team dialogue is erratic, it may result in a sense of time being squandered, rather than work progressing efficiently.
2. Quantifying Work Efficiency
Supervising output while working remotely can prove to be challenging, making it arduous to ascertain whether all members of the team are devoting the necessary time and toil to the project. Lacking a systematic approach to tracking project status, it becomes tough to gauge individual team member’s productivity levels.
3. Work Environment and Ambience
It is crucial to comprehend that anonymity might not be feasible when working remotely. Establishing unambiguous work objectives and a conducive work ethos can aid in engaging the right staff and customers. Remote working presents an additional challenge for managers, as they encounter difficulty in communicating the company’s values and culture to their employees. This, in turn, can lead to feelings of detachment amongst employees, thereby increasing the likelihood of them seeking employment elsewhere.
4. Synching Appointments and Workloads
When dealing with geographically dispersed teams, scheduling mutually suitable meeting times can be an uphill task. Lacking a well-defined approach towards regular team meetings, collaboration could be left stagnant due to missed opportunities for brainstorming and progress updates. This may be due to differences in time zones or sporadic and unpredictable work hours of freelancers.
It is of utmost importance to guarantee streamlined communication and work efficiency tracking in order to ward off any possible challenges. If employees are compelled to work overtime or assigned to projects other than the ones initially agreed upon, this could result in a lack of faith in the remote management and consequently plummeting motivation and productivity.
6. Collaborative Endeavor
In the end, triumph can only be reached via a concerted team effort. Irrespective of whether staff members work together in-person or remotely, their efficiency skyrockets when they share a cordial rapport. Several managers encounter challenges in identifying suitable team-building activities that encourage social interaction or kick-start informal conversations.
Overcoming Hurdles to Build Instant Rapport in a Remote Workplace
To reassert what has been previously mentioned, every team is unique. The most fitting approach to address team-building issues can differ based on individual preferences and cultural nuances.
In order to cultivate a congenial ambiance in a virtual environment, it is crucial to acknowledge and leverage each individual’s distinctive traits and competencies. In such a setting, a leader must exhibit effective collaboration skills and lead by example.
Cultivating a sense of trust between employees and management is of significant importance. To achieve this, the emphasis should be on devising strategies to measure work progress, rather than incessantly scrutinizing the employees’ work activities. Furthermore, distributing responsibilities without discerning workloads or reviewing output may convey the impression that work efficiency is not being gauged.
In view of these challenges, here is a concise strategy for steering remote teams and nurturing relationships using digital channels:
A Brief Handbook for Bonding with Your Distributed Team
1. Give Priority to Internal Communication.
It is crucial for remote team managers to prioritize effective communication, as it plays a pivotal role in unlocking the true potential of remote teams. This point is worth emphasizing as managing remote teams entails its own set of exclusive challenges.
Schedule Consistent Communication Times.The potential loss of impromptu chats in a virtual workplace can be mitigated by establishing regular meetings. Scheduling at least one monthly one-on-one interaction is crucial in retaining a sense of familiarity and routine.
It is essential to keep all team members, regardless of their location or work status, up to date with the latest information. This not only facilitates individual growth but also ensures that no one feels excluded or undervalued. In case of unanticipated conversations, take advantage of the occasion to bring everyone up to speed.
Dedicate Ample Resources for Facilitating Communication.When employees are dispersed over a vast geographical area, it can be challenging for them to feel like they are part of a cohesive unit. Invest in technology solutions that empower your employees to establish specialized channels of communication according to their preferred method.
Tools for Online Video ConferencingFor gaining deeper insights, video conferencing is preferable over phone calls, and Skype is a suitable tool for this purpose. High-performing remote organizations like Buffer rely on Zoom for its hosting and recording features for online meetings.
Techniques for Collaborating with a TeamAn instance of this is Slack, which facilitates grouping of conversations into channels. The addition of external links, emojis, photos, and GIFs adds context and fun. Alternatively, Hipchat is another useful application to consider.
2. Establish and Adhere to Firm Deadlines.
One of the most effective ways of monitoring productivity and progress is to set deadlines for evaluating the quantity and quality of results.
To manage remote teams effectively, two components are necessary:
Be Transparent Regarding Deadlines.The following points should be covered here:
Delivery date, including the specific hours, time zone, and dates.
Distribution plan: How and where the content will be disseminated.
Who needs to be alerted and what is the best way to inform them?
AvailabilityAfter scheduling a meeting, it is essential to inform all participants of the details and grant them access to any pertinent documents. In the context of remote working, a notice on a bulletin board is inadequate. While email is a useful communication tool, messages can be easily overlooked, especially when there is an ongoing conversation about the project.
One of the most feasible solutions is Slack, where time limits can be communicated on a public channel such as #general. Project management software such as Trello or Zenkit can be utilized to assign tasks to team members that come with a deadline. Users can opt to subscribe to task cards as a reminder of impending deadlines.
In case you choose to recruit a remote developer via Works, they will adhere to your company’s established work hours, even if they operate in a different time zone. This helps with staying connected and tracking progress throughout the day.
3. Explore Techniques for Replicating Face-to-Face Chats During Virtual Coffee Breaks.
Maintaining a positive work culture can be difficult while working remotely. Without opportunities to socialize with colleagues over coffee or lunch breaks, it can be challenging to develop the everyday connections that form strong relationships among co-workers. To address this issue, it may be useful to develop innovative strategies to cultivate a sense of unity.
The #strange Slack groupWe could establish a channel where individuals can view entertaining cat videos and choose the best GIFs of the day. Moreover, Snapchat and WhatsApp groups could be employed as more casual alternatives. Additionally, a group could be augmented by initiating a channel where members can converse about their recent meals and suggest nearby dining options.
Group Conversations on FacebookHubstaff recommends setting up a private Facebook group to encourage discourse on pertinent topics, as well as exchanging links to relevant publications. A plain birthday wish would suffice. Appropriately leveraging Facebook’s minor channels among colleagues could aid remote workers in feeling more associated with the team.
4. Keep a Timetable of Frequent, Succinct Team Meetings.
When forming a remote team, setting up a schedule of tasks and meetings requires meticulous deliberation and preparation. Developing trust is crucial for effective collaboration, which can be accomplished through frequent communication. Each meeting must have a clearly defined objective to ensure that every member can participate and feel their viewpoints are respected.
To conduct a successful meeting, it is essential to adhere to the following guidelines:
ConciseAll team members should be limited to a maximum of three minutes of speaking time during the call. Timely arrival of all participants is necessary to prevent disruption to the workflow. It is critical to guarantee that workers remain focused on their primary roles and are not impeded by trivial tasks in their daily routine.
CasualIf all members adhere to the guidelines, humourous quips and personal anecdotes are encouraged.
Avoiding MicromanagementIt is inappropriate to address an individual’s insufficient progress regarding a task during the daily meeting. This topic should be discussed in a separate, private conversation instead.
StandardFostering a consistent daily routine that accommodates everyone in the team is necessary for effective remote work. The flexibility of remote work can lead to distractions and lack of productivity. Setting aside a specific time and location for remote meetings can serve as an excellent motivator, as it instils a sense of accountability. Tips on conducting productive online meetings with your team can be found on our blog.
5. Cultivate a Transparent Approach to Internal Documentation
Establishing a dependable remote team requires a thorough documentation system. By keeping all members informed, team members can stay current with progress, cooperate on resolutions, and allocate tasks based on each person’s abilities and expertise.
Management ToolsUsing websites like Basecamp and Asana is an effective way to guarantee that all team members are informed about project progress. Allocating tasks and scheduling activities using these tools can enhance productivity and ensure that deadlines are met.
TransparencyAll stages of the process must be documented and shared. Keeping these documents stored in a centralised location makes it simpler for everyone to monitor their own progress. Additionally, it provides new team members with a fast and efficient way to integrate into the team. Maintaining records of successful accomplishments and daily progress reports will assist newcomers in comprehending the team’s workflow system.
Promote In-Person Gatherings among Remote Team Members (6th Solution)
Undoubtedly, there are circumstances where being physically present together is beneficial, such as during a brainstorming session or a social event. It is important to disconnect from digital screens and engage with colleagues in a face-to-face setting. Although the expenses involved may be significant, the rewards of improved collaboration are worth the investment.
We suggest bringing in remote employees at least once a month, or for special occasions if there are more than two of them. Inviting remote workers to be present at the outset of a new project could signal mutual support from all stakeholders. If help is needed to integrate remote employees into the office-based team, support may be necessary.
At Works, temporary transfers to a different department or location are known as ‘secondments’. These transfers are conducive to stimulating collaboration and upholding the company’s values. Moreover, they afford employees the opportunity to expand their knowledge and gain exposure to varying cultures. For instance, Zapier organises company retreats every few months where all employees stay together in a spacious vacation rental, such as an Airbnb, HomeAway, or a large mountain cabin.
Incorporating leisure time during team meetings is crucial. Plan for breaks that involve physical activities or games. Furthermore, engaging in social bonding activities after work, even over a simple beverage, can be advantageous, notwithstanding a hectic schedule.
Despite the manifold benefits, managing a remote team imposes a distinct set of challenges. In order to establish an effective team dynamic, devoting time to building strong online relationships is vital. When selecting candidates, compatibility with the existing team should be taken into consideration, not just their qualifications.
If you need further assistance in hiring remote developers, our dedicated recruitment agency can provide support. Making the right hire is the first step in establishing a successful and efficient team that can fulfil your objectives. Ensuring that your team collaborates effectively is your responsibility following the hiring process.