Sometimes, when you’re working with, or leading remote teams, you can feel like you have lost the collective power of shared physical space of an office. And therefore, how effectively the team communicates. However, in today’s workspace, “the office” is increasingly becoming less defined by a physical location, and more by the collection of tools and processes that make up how we work. Today, not being in the same room is not an excuse for teams to perform poorly. Modern teams should be able to work from anyway; at the office, at home, or on the go..
So it’s essential to create an environment for great teamwork, no matter where in the world they’re working from. As a leader, doing this helps to strengthen the quality of the team’s performance, building morale and crucially, trust and cooperation between individuals. If you’re working in a team with people you know and respect, it can increase your accountability and motivation to do better. It is, therefore, super important to make sure the people in your remote team is communicating and stay together as a team.
This is how you can bring people together when working in remote teams
While team members may not physically be in the office, it’s crucial they get the feeling that they are a valued part of the team. That’s where videoconferencing comes in handy.
One way to strengthen relationships and bring a personal touch to the way you run your business is through seeing each other face-to-face with video. This will also build confidence, an understanding of each other and each person's opinion as well as a sense of a shared mission.
There are many benefits of using videoconferencing, such as increased efficiency and availability. It makes it easier to work from anywhere, any time, and you can connect to any device you’d like. These meetings tend to get straight down to business. And, if conducted rightfully, you may accomplish more in a shorter amount of time.
This of course, reflects back on the host of the meeting. If there’s a proper agenda and clear set expectations for the meeting, things tend to go smoother. Build yourself a reputation of sticking to the agenda, letting everyone in and most importantly, finish on time. This will make your team more motivated for attendance prior to your video meetings.
Big decisions should never be made alone. Make sure you consult with your team before making decisions. This is important for two reasons:
- Getting others opinions will let you consider all the possible pros and cons of the decision. No matter how hard you try, there will be few times where you can think of all possible aspects by yourself.
- Ensures that everybody feels valued, because they are able to contribute and feel like they are included. The feeling of value needs to be present in most humans daily life in order to feel motivated, accomplished and a part of something.
Making decisions together can be done in weekly meetings. Or maybe monthly meetings for the bigger sized decisions.
Face-to-face meetings can create a sense of belonging, but there’s no reason that video meetings can’t give you the same feeling. There are still some tips for making these meetings more effective.
How to do weekly meetings
You have probably discovered that meetings need structure, and that’s even more important when it comes to virtual meetings. To avoid having the participants talking over each other, it would be smart to have everyone set their microphones on mute when not speaking. There’s also a possibility to raise their hand if they want to speak in a videoconference because you’ll actually see their hand.
You need the right environment to avoid distractions for yourself and other participants in a video meeting. A clear background with as little noise as possible is recommended. To keep everyone on the same page, you should also share screens with your team. This will save you time explaining all the details. You can simply just show everyone with your mouse, or click around for everyone to follow if you’d like.
When you only communicate through videoconferencing, the communication with your co-workers tends to be all business. You don’t get the chance to small talk about everyday life in the same way as if you’re all gathered in an office.
It is important to connect with your team outside of meetings. One way of doing this is to add in some extra time to chat before the video conferences begin, just to get to know each other. This will build trust, which is important to boost job satisfaction and encourage openness and communication. Most people will be more likely to participate in discussion and voice their opinion in an environment where they feel safe.
You can even make your employees set up “phone dates/chats” with each other on a regular and repeated basis, just to keep the socializing going. This is a measure to be taken that can help simulate a somewhat normal office environment where you are bound to talk to your colleagues at some point of the day.
If you have to interface with your remote colleagues for work-related projects, it’s easier to approach them if you have developed a personal relationship with them, according to Trello.