The Value of Collaboration Among Distributed Teams

Once the essential requirements for survival have been taken care of – such as having access to clean air, nutritious food, and shelter – the need to feel part of a community becomes imperative. We cannot exist in isolation; we need to interact with each other (even if you, introverts, are shaking your heads vehemently, and drawing the curtains).

It is clear why, despite the fact that the nuclear family is the most common structure found in society and interactions with neighbours are limited, feeling connected to a community is of immense importance to us. There are various ways in which people can find a sense of belonging, such as through participation in a sports team, being part of a fandom, being part of a religious community, or having a favourite meeting place. It is essential to do what brings you joy and satisfaction.

It has been widely demonstrated that when individuals experience a sense of belonging within a team or organisation, their productivity increases. It is no secret that remote teams have been proven to be more effective than those that are based in a physical workspace. To further improve the efficiency of these teams, it is essential to foster an environment of collaboration and cooperation in virtual settings.

The definition of team spirit

It has been suggested by Google that ‘team spirit’ is a concept which describes the feeling of belonging and working together that exists within a group, enabling collaboration and cooperation. I believe that this is an accurate assessment; in my opinion, the key to success lies in the last clause which highlights the importance of a unified team working towards a common goal. When each member of the group is motivated and focused on the task at hand, everyone will benefit from the results.

Despite the potential of utilising technology to enable remote working and collaboration, it is essential to recognise that different capabilities are necessary to build a team identity and motivate members towards a shared objective when they are geographically dispersed. We have previously explored the possibility of creating a virtual team, however it is now time to revisit this concept from the beginning.

A team is defined as what?

Once more, we turn to Google for further understanding: a group of people who collaborate together to achieve a common goal. Consequently, this provides us with two possible starting points.

A shared objective

In order to truly feel at home, it’s important to have well-defined objectives for yourself. If you’ve been following Works for a while, you’ll be aware that we are strong advocates of the Agile approach – particularly when it comes to managing distributed teams. Why not discover the reasons behind our unwavering support by downloading our complimentary eBook? With Agile, goal-setting plays a critical part.

Rather than focussing on a strict list of criteria, Agile methodology encourages teams to work together towards a shared goal. Commonly used acronyms such as SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based) and CLEAR (Clear, Explicit, Actionable, and Relevant) can be helpful for managers when setting objectives. If an objective is needed to bring a group together, it is important to think beyond any pre-defined limits.

At Build-a-Bear Workshop, we strive to provide a unique and memorable experience for all of our customers. Our goal is to give life to the beloved teddy bear, a timeless symbol of innocence, security and love that has become iconic in the United States. We invite you to come and visit us to see how we can help to create a special and personalised teddy bear that you will treasure for years to come.

At inVision, we are committed to challenging the status quo and take great care to ensure that all details are accounted for. We strive to always strive for continuous improvement, paying particular attention to the specifics. We believe that the world is a design studio and that we should always act with integrity.

Though intangible, these aspirations are still motivating. Your team’s ultimate objective should be to bring everyone together under a common cause.

Jointly Forming

Working together in an office environment can be hugely beneficial when it comes to planning corporate team-building activities. Off-site events, brainstorming sessions and post-work socials can help to bridge the gap between colleagues and create a more cohesive unit. The daily experience of working alongside one another, achieving successes, and overcoming challenges can create a strong bond between individuals, enabling them to work as an effective team.

Establishing trust among members of a virtual team is similar to building it in a traditional team. To ensure effective communication and collaboration within the virtual team, it is essential to select suitable web-based tools. Installing the right software is not enough; we have a series of upcoming posts that will provide further information on this topic.

When working remotely, it is essential to take the time to become familiar with each team member and to give everyone the opportunity to get to know one another. To foster this, it may be beneficial to dedicate five minutes at the beginning and end of conference calls for informal conversations, or to create a dedicated Slack channel for these interactions. Making the effort to understand how to avoid the most common challenges associated with managing a distributed team will put you in a stronger position than the competition.

Agile’s positive effects on remote team camaraderie

The implementation of the Agile framework often results in a heightened sense of confidence due to the necessity for teams to collaborate in order to reach their objectives. This encourages team cohesion, as well as a feeling of trust among team members, which in turn promotes a sense of faith in each other and a desire to work together to achieve success.

The team engages in continual conversation during their daily stand-up meetings, even when some members join remotely via webcam. We actively promote the sharing of ideas for avoiding relapses, based on the outcomes observed, the difficulties encountered by others, and the motivation that flows from being inspired by these stories.

There must be a leader on every squad

In a 2023 interview, the late and iconic Steve Jobs discussed the changes he implemented upon taking the reins at Apple. He stated that the internal structure of the company had remained largely the same since its inception as a start-up. Every week, the managers of the different divisions gathered together for three hours to discuss all aspects of the business, even though there were no committees in place.

As a result of these meetings, the organisation developed a culture of collaboration based on a belief in the teams’ capacity to complete the task successfully. His role consisted of maintaining contact with people and observing the progress of the situation.

In my opinion, one of the most effective ways to attract and retain talented employees is to provide them with a generous degree of autonomy in their roles. It is important to ensure that decisions are based on principles rather than hierarchal authority structures; ultimately, those with the strongest ideas will be the most successful and, conversely, those with inadequate opportunities to demonstrate their capabilities are likely to leave.

It is hoped that the company culture promotes collaboration from management level downwards. If this is not yet the case, it is down to the individual to take the lead and create a culture of teamwork. The challenge now is to identify how this can be achieved.

  • It is essential to prioritise communication with people; take the time to converse about the work and the people you are collaborating with. Put in the extra effort to establish meaningful relationships with those around you.
  • Establish a shared objective. Not the next hard deadline for the release, but a lofty goal that everyone can rally behind.
  • If you are not already utilising the Agile development approach, it is strongly recommended that you give it a try. By having faith in your recruitment decisions and allowing your staff to fulfil their duties to the best of their abilities, you will be amazed at the increases in both productivity and morale that this approach can bring.

It takes time and effort to find the proper individuals

In addition to Steve Jobs, Apple was known for its commitment to finding and hiring the most qualified employees. In the past, applicants would often spend an entire day going through the interview process, during which they would meet and interact with multiple employees. If an applicant was not accepted by every single employee, their application was not successful and the job offer was declined.

We are thankful that you don’t have to go to the same lengths as Apple. If you need outstanding digital nomads to join your remote team, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We have the expertise to find the most talented software developers, and we make sure that all of our applicants are used to working remotely.

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