From a Distance: A Guide to a Stronger Remote Team
Nowadays, everyone is talking about “remote work” and how, given its clear advantages, it might be a win-win situation for employers and employees.
Being remote-first will benefit businesses by allowing them to save significant money that would otherwise go toward fixed expenses like office space and employee perks.
Remote employment also allows you to establish teams of exceptional people from around the world rapidly.
Working remotely gives people the freedom and flexibility to “live the dream.” It enables employees to travel and establish a work-life balance according to their desires and needs.
But one thing about remote work that may make business owners think twice is trust, especially when everyone’s working from a distance.
Establishing trust has always been essential to maintaining long-lasting enjoyment in emotionally and professionally healthy relationships.
Yet, it might be challenging to establish trust while you’re far from your teammates or coworkers, as you won’t be able to connect and work together in the same manner.
Can trust be built from afar? Can you strengthen your remote team?
Why is trust important in remote work?
For organizations worldwide, remote and hybrid work has become the new norm.
Nonetheless, there is still a pervasive belief among managers that employees who work remotely are less motivated than those who work in an office.
A crucial concern for the future of work is how businesses can maintain the advantages of hybrid and remote work arrangements while ensuring managers feel supported and teams function efficiently.
The answer comes down to one crucial element—trust.
The distance between managers and employees is frequently caused by a lack of trust, openness, and communication.
Understanding the importance of trust for their performance is crucial for leaders who want to benefit from a hybrid workplace.
Trust promotes organizational change, which influences how employees adjust and can assist employees in getting through the hurdles of teleworking.
Trust can help remote workers feel more confident about their place in a team or organization and make additional modifications easier.
Trust also entails having faith in an employee's ability to make independent decisions that are best for their workflow. Managers would be wise to address the lack of trust and control issues to foster a culture of trust among workers who work from home.
Why should you foster strong relationships with your remote team?
Many of us communicate with our coworkers more frequently than specific friends or family members. Therefore, having good interpersonal ties at work is crucial to enjoying the daily grind, whether at the office or in remote work.
We feel more comfortable speaking up and exchanging thoughts and opinions with the individuals we work with when we get along with them.
We can innovate to advance the company and work together more effectively. As a result, our mood is higher overall, and we frequently are productive.
In the long run, these positive relationships can generate more career opportunities because your coworkers are now your network.
How do you cultivate trust and strong relationships?
Establishing positive working relationships takes some work, mainly when operating remotely.
Respect must be reciprocal; you must respect your coworkers, and they must respect you. Here, honesty and open communication are your best bets for fostering respect.
Similarly to this, trust is essential. You must be trusted by others and must feel comfortable speaking to them. Here, keeping your word and developing stronger relationships might be helpful.
The importance of understanding your coworkers is frequently overlooked.
How well do you know the responsibilities of your coworkers? How well do you comprehend them as individuals?
Think about how you can learn more about them and improve your understanding. Self-awareness is key. We can communicate with others about our routines and methods of operation when we are conscious of them.
Last but not least, inclusion means ensuring that everyone is considered at work. This could entail taking into account accessibility issues and cultural differences at work.
Tips for building a stronger remote team
When everyone is working remotely, there are several things that employees and supervisors may do to support the maintenance of positive connections. They consist of the following:
1. Regularly schedule team video meetings
It’s amazing how quickly you can lose track of everyone else’s work when you don’t occasionally hear phone calls or spend much time speaking with coworkers in the hallways.
This implies that formal communication protocols must be improved when everyone works remotely.
It is essential to schedule regular “whole team” video conferences or group phone calls to ensure everyone is informed about the work of others and the team’s overall direction.
2. Allot time for socializing
Without the chance to chat with coworkers in the break room or at the water cooler, losing contact with them as people is simple.
But, it is almost more crucial to be aware of what is happening in people’s life while they work from home and to offer them a chance to vent.
Include ten or fifteen minutes at the beginning of a planned team meeting to just “walk around the table” and get everyone’s day or week’s update. It’s also a good idea to call coworkers to check in and ensure everything is alright.
3. Check in with your team
Non-work-related conversations frequently take a back seat when you work remotely. Relationships may suffer as a result, and loneliness may even set in.
Strive to incorporate more casual conversations into meetings, possibly by beginning them with a five-minute check-in on everyone’s progress.
You might also designate a specific period for people to congregate and discuss subjects unrelated to work.
All of this aids in getting to know your coworkers and, more significantly, allows you to monitor their mental health.
4. Celebrate achievements
This is a fantastic method to raise spirits and keep in mind the bigger picture of your firm. Get creative with your celebration of accomplishments and milestones.
Maybe you might persuade management to give out modest gestures of appreciation or start their shifts early occasionally.
Remember to recognize personal events like birthdays and professional anniversaries as well. This is another technique to develop company culture and bring people together.
5. Utilize platforms that will streamline your workflow
Remote workers can be efficient, especially if you invest in the right platforms to set up your team for success.
Working remotely need not mean loneliness.
On the contrary, remote employees can still form enduring relationships with each other even if the rest of your team is dispersed across the globe. However, continuous activity must be maintained to sustain and communicate amongst distant teams.
After overcoming the difficulties, you will reap the benefits of managing a unified international team and the satisfaction of having friends, colleagues, and mentors you can rely on worldwide.