Transitioning to Fully Distributed Teams: More than Technology

The COVID-19 pandemic has revolutionised the way we work, and many individuals have had to adjust to remote work arrangements. In this unprecedented time, Gartner has named it the “biggest work-from-home experiment.” To guarantee continued productivity in the remote setting, it is advised that teams utilise Slack and Zoom tools. These tools are invaluable in enabling remote collaboration and maintaining productivity levels.

Telecommuting is not a new concept for engineering companies; it has been a common practice for some time now. However, having access to the requisite resources alone is insufficient to ensure success. Teams must also be equipped with the relevant knowledge and skills to make effective use of these resources. According to Gartner, it is an advantageous time to develop strategies that are capable of meeting the needs of future workplaces and employees.

The Importance of Culture

When transitioning to remote work, teams should establish clear guidelines to enable effective communication and collaboration. According to Christopher Jordan, Head of Engineering at Blackboard, “Companies that hire remote employees do not fail. Instead, it is the culture and leadership of the organisation that fail.” Therefore, developing a culture that values innovation and adapts easily to change is crucial to building a successful remote team.

Guidelines for Collaborative Work

To ensure productive and consistent utilisation of tools such as Slack and video conferencing, it is vital to establish protocols and expectations for their use. The organisation’s Chief Technology Officer advises that all remote workers attend meetings through video as this saves time, eliminating the need to check if everyone has joined or is ready to start. Using video makes it easy to identify the ideal time to commence the meeting.

Continuously Cultivate Your Community and Foster Connections

Creating a positive work environment and strengthening connections among team members are essential for maintaining a cohesive and strong team. This information will be useful if you plan to expand your team by recruiting new engineering personnel. Introducing rituals and procedures can help to streamline the process of integrating fresh employees.

Establishing and sustaining a workplace culture may be more straightforward than anticipated. Virtual routines now enable employees to connect with one another without needing to be in a physical location; this interaction can take place via video conferencing, facilitating a more personalised “face-to-face” style of communication.

Encouraging camaraderie amongst team members can be achieved by incorporating ice-breaker questions into team meetings, according to the Vice President of Talent at Works. These questions enable team members to introduce themselves and share their experiences, creating a sense of humanity and connection that is akin to conversations in the workplace break room. However, in distributed teams, the significance of non-work-related conversations can be easily overlooked, so it is vital to promote their importance.

Understanding the Actual Processes

As your team expands, the procedures, rules, and regulations you set up will become part of their daily routine. When mistakes are made during the initial period, it is essential to take a lighthearted approach. As time goes on, the team will realise the advantages of adhering to these practices regarding accountability and transparency, and will view them as a primary factor in the organisation’s success.

Check out our related article: How to Create a Workplace Culture Employees Will Never Want to Leave

Join the Top 1% of Remote Developers and Designers

Works connects the top 1% of remote developers and designers with the leading brands and startups around the world. We focus on sophisticated, challenging tier-one projects which require highly skilled talent and problem solvers.
seasoned project manager reviewing remote software engineer's progress on software development project, hired from Works blog.join_marketplace.your_wayexperienced remote UI / UX designer working remotely at home while working on UI / UX & product design projects on Works blog.join_marketplace.freelance_jobs