To collaborative team members, completing one another is more important than competing with one another.John C. Maxwell
Working in a remote team is a common practice in some companies and in some areas. Due to the self-quarantine induced by Covid-19 in many countries, millions of workers have been forced to take new habits and work from home, for some in emergency. Therefore many teams went, for a certain time at least, from in-office teams to remote teams. That is where it is interesting to notice that the complex dynamic of the team needs to be adapted to fit this new way of working together.
In this context, and after writing “Staying Healthy during Self-Quarantine” and “5 Tips to Work from Home Efficiently during Self-Quarantine”, we want to close this trilogy of articles by giving you several tips to work efficiently in remote teams during the quarantine and to be more comfortable with it.
Organize virtual meetings, to share on your work but also to take some news from your co-workers
Having regular calls, at least once a week, and if possible several times per week, is a fundamental criteria to make sure that you can update your colleagues and your manager about your work.
This call will be more than a simple call, it will be the moment where you can share but also when you can give some feedbacks to the team and this has an incredible value when you are all working from home, especially when this work from home is imposed.
This call also allow you to get some news from your co-workers, just to know how they are in this difficult moment and to share some emotional support.
In addition of a call, a best practice is actually to have a chatroom as well, for people to share. It can be a WhatsApp group for example or a slack discussion.
Clarify the objectives and adjust the deadlines of your projects
Another key elements to work efficiently in remote team in the context of an imposed lockdown is to make sure that as a team, you have very clear objectives and that your deadlines have been adjusted to the circumstances, at least as much as possible.
One best practice is to share a common list of all your projects and deadlines. Doing so, you can give feedback to the team about how the projects are moving on. If you see that the deadlines are too tight for a reason or another, then it is the moment to share it before to be late. And it is also the opportunity to ask for more support, who knows, maybe someone from the team can help you as well.
Make sure you have the right resources, or ask for it
Actually, when working in a remote team, one thing that is difficult is to be sure that you and your colleagues have the right resources. Therefore it is important to be transparent on the needs that you can have, especially when you have to work remotely in emergency like it is the case for some people after the spread of Covid-19.
In this context, there is nothing wrong in asking for more resources or some tools to work more efficiently. You may need some specific access, some online conferencing tools, you may need to learn new methods to deliver on a project, which it is normal to ask.
Establish some rules to perform when working in remote team
When working remotely, it is fundamental to make sure that, as a team, you all agree on some fundamental principles about how you will work together and how you will deliver results.
To do so, you can create a short manifesto with the rules that you want to implement, such as sharing the request you get from common customers, communicating regularly about your projects status, respecting each other’s communication time during the team calls. These are just examples, but it gives you an idea of why having clear rules to work in remote teams is important and can improve your performance, individually and as a team. The team manager can actually have a great role here to validate these rules and support the team.
Be flexible and develop a sense of ownership in the team
The last point is actually to be more flexible in the expectations that you can have. A remote team needs adjustments to be efficient, especially in the context of the self-quarantine induced by Covid-19. It can take time to organize the team until it gets its full potential and this is perfectly normal, so it is required, both as a manager and as a team member to respect this time. By doing so, you show that you are also open to change and that you will support your co-workers.
What is key in the end is to also create a sense of ownership in the team, which will develop the autonomy of the team members. Being part of a remote team, you need to know on which topics you can take or receive some ownership.
In this article we have seen several best practices to be both comfortable and efficient when working in a remote team. Of course, the context we live in as we write this article is very special and require to keep some flexibility. These best practices can make a positive change in how you work in remote team and feel free to comment below if you have implemented some of them in your team.