By Sheila Roberts

This is the third blog in our series on effective remote team working. When co-location of teams is not possible, to improve collaboration and reduce misunderstanding of communications, so need to think through how to manage our teams to be effective.

Our first blogs focussed on over communication and availability. Now we are looking at helping to manage the stress which comes with virtual working.

4. Use face-to-face conversations where possible

Even though you can’t see your team in person, video conversations are a major asset in your toolkit. Video provides valuable context, and makes the remote work experience feel more human than a phone call or email. While not every meeting needs to be a video call, create a policy for when video is expected or needed.

When managing remotely, some strategies will help you empower your team and make them feel more connected to each other and their work.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

 

  • Create channels where your team can connect. It is likely that you will have messaging channels dedicated to teams and projects but now is a great time to create channels where members of your team can chat about something other than work. We have seen things like sending in photos of baking (a twist on the office cake events).
  • Encourage your team to use “away” and “Do Not Disturb” features. To help your team create space between “home” and “work from home,” encourage them to unplug and fight the “always on” feeling. Turning off notifications and letting ohters in the team know they’re offline are a great way to encourage this, particularly if there are members from different time zones.
  • Remind your team that they’re still able to use their vacation days. If individuals had to cancel any holiday time during the change to remote work, they may have also cancelled the request they submitted. Encourage everyone to still take time off, even if it’s just to have a “staycation.”
  • Allow flexible schedules if you can. Some members of your team may find working from home more difficult than others. Parents, in particular, may be managing their own work and their children’s schooling. Every team’s situation is different, but if you’re able, encourage flexible schedules and breaks to help your team members cope with their personal responsibilities.

Look out for the last article in our blog series on remote team management tips. We are all looking to create a better working world.