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Top Five Ways to Build an Effective Remote Working Team


There are multiple benefits to the new trend of remote working. It is more flexible, it saves on expenses, and it opens up your talent pool. One downside, however, is that it makes it somewhat harder to feel a sense of camaraderie when you and the rest of your team are all working from different locations and can’t meet face to face. Failure to communicate properly and work as a team results in substandard performance and a poor work culture. Video conferencing software such as Blue Jeans makes team conferencing for IT departments, and all company departments, easier than ever before, no matter the distance. Here are a few tips to maintain the team spirit when remote working:


1.     Share Files

New technology makes it easy to share files with multiple users, even video and audio files. This is especially important in ensuring that every member of your team has all the resources they need at any given time and that they are constantly updated. The ability to share video files means that if somebody can’t make a team meeting, you can record and save it for them to watch in their own time.


2.     Get to Know Your Software

Remote working can come with growing pains for some people, particularly if they have spent their entire working lives in physical offices and are used to doing things a certain way. Address these problems by demonstrating your collaboration software to anybody who is unfamiliar with it. Thankfully, updates to technology mean it is easy to use for practically anyone. Be open with your colleagues and let them know that they can come to you with any problems. If people are genuinely struggling with remote work then find ways to solve the problem. This way, nobody feels left out and everybody is doing their bit to complete your projects effectively.


3.     Organize Social Time

As important as it is to get along on a professional level, it is also important for colleagues to get to know each other socially. It is harder to socialize remotely but it is possible. With the same technology you use to work on business ventures together you can also organize social gatherings. Work with everybody’s different time zones to schedule some time each week for socializing, without impacting too much on everybody’s work time. Just an hour is enough time. This could be updating each other on projects, sharing fun facts about each other, or catching up on gossip and small talk. It will go a long way to building an efficient team and works much better than tedious team building exercises. 


4.     Respect Privacy

As important as communication is, it is equally important at times to work in peace and quiet with no distractions. Big Think argues that there are times when team collaboration is important and other times when it is more important for people to work individually and leaders should learn when to delegate. Nobody wants to feel as if their boss is constantly breathing down their neck or spying on them. In fact, most people work better if they are given some space as there is much less pressure on them. If you hire trustworthy employees then you don’t need to worry about them slacking off instead of working. Keep the lines of communication open while working so that you can talk and collaborate when you need to, but when your colleagues tell you that they need to work alone then respect their wishes and leave them alone to do their work. You can always catch up with them later or share any problems if they come up.


5.     Update Constantly

If you leave your colleagues to their own devices, you may still worry about them getting all of their work done to the proper standard. Zapier, a company founded on remote working, recommends a weekly update every Friday so that each person can share with the rest of the team how their own work is going. This is a simple and effective way to catch up with colleagues and another way to build professional relationships. Any emergencies or problems can be shared outside of this time, but otherwise you don’t have to feel like you are constantly bothering your employees and getting under their skin.


Working with a remote team can have some difficulties at first, but the resulting benefits are being felt even by the biggest of companies. Be sure to share problems as they occur, ensure that everybody has all the resources they need, and learn when to leave people alone to work. This way, you can build a strong team and a profitable company no matter how far apart your colleagues are.


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