5 Ways to Create a Strong Remote Team

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There’s no doubt that it can be incredibly challenging when creating a remote team for your company. While there are plenty of benefits for remote workers and they can still be incredibly productive, it can definitely be an issue to make them feel connected to in office workers and even to other remote workers. By ignoring cultivating strength in your remote team, you risk losing these employees or having them not be as productive and collaborative as they could be. Here are some concrete ways you can create a strong remote team for your business.

Foster communication

The best way to create a strong remote team is to give your remote workers the tools they need to communicate with each other and with your in-office workers. Creating an easy channel for communication makes connecting as a team much simpler. Let them know that you expect them to communicate with one another and collaborate on projects. Using apps and other features online to make chatting, video calling, and screen sharing as easy as possible, and encouraging this behavior, helps you strengthen your remote team.

Share responsibilities

You need to show all of your employees that they’re on an equal playing field and whether or not they’re in the office doesn’t affect how much they’re responsible for. If you foster communication successfully, it’ll be easy to assign a project to your remote team and let one of them take the lead on it. Make sure the team shares responsibility so no one is slacking off or being left out.

Schedule check-ins

When you have remote workers, it’s important that you regularly check-in with them. You might already have weekly check-ins, but it’s also a good idea to schedule extra time with them. Anyone who works in the office can simply grab you when they have a question, but those working remotely may find it harder to connect and ask a question for a quick answer. Let them know the best way to reach you throughout the day and even share your calendar with them so they know whether or not you’re in a meeting.

Utilize team building

Try to incorporate team building activities into your team. Do online activities, videochat in remote workers when something’s happening in the office, and find times you can all meet face-to-face. Even if you have remote workers in another state or country, consider finding at least one time throughout the year that all employees can have travel expenses covered so they can converge in one location. Even simply meeting your remote team in person can help strengthen them.

Give them trust

While it can understandably be difficult to trust workers you cannot monitor throughout the day, you need to give your remote team your trust. Avoid checking in on them constantly or micromanaging them; if it isn’t something you’d do to someone working in the office, do not do it to your remote team. Give them ample opportunities to provide feedback and trust that they’ll get their work done, until they give you a reason to not trust them.

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3 Ways to Get Your Team to Work Together

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Teamwork is a skill that is sadly neither taught nor practiced well enough in the modern workplace. Some might argue it isn’t taught well enough to children in school either, which leads to issues in the workplace. This is an odd state of affairs given the obvious and proven benefits of good teamwork and the well understood principles of teaching and practicing it in all areas of life.

Unless you’re dealing with a group of wildly dysfunctional people, it is not difficult to get a group to work together, especially professionals who are being paid to do a job. Teaching teamwork is a combination of knowledge, leadership, basic psychology and will. Once you instill these ideals in your team, you’ll see a drastic improvement.

Camaraderie

Anyone who has watched an inspirational film or read a story about one or more characters facing difficult circumstances has likely experienced camaraderie. Those who have participated in any kind of ensemble activity like a team competition has as well. The battle cry of “we’re all in this together” is designed to inspire people to realize they won’t make much progress alone.

Instilling this sensibility in a group of people is the first step towards building a team.

Leadership

Selfish instincts must be replaced with regard for the people around the individual. The fastest way to make this happen is to identify strengths in each individual and require every person to teach their strengths to the others. This egalitarian approach to leadership forces team members to rely on each other instead of wandering off to look for a solution on their own. Teaching also encourages the natural leaders to step forward.

Rebuilding

One needs to only look at the armed forces to see this dynamic in action. A new platoon of recruits is broken down by the drill sergeant and then built back up. The key to the process is the fact they are all experiencing these dynamics together. They get stronger and more capable together. They earn the opportunity to take charge of the barracks, the gear, the weapons and the uniforms. Each recruit gets a chance to lead. This brings camaraderie and leadership together into a powerful mixture.

The measurable result of great teamwork is indisputable. There are decades of stories in team sports, military victories, and even academic settings that prove there are few things more effective in any environment where goals are set and achieved. Teaching teamwork is therefore one of the most generous and powerful things anyone can do.