How to Build a Strong Remote Team and Avoid These Major Hiring Complications
The remote team often face challenges non-typical for office work. Here is a guide to removing friction from remote teamwork and ensuring a remote team’s productivity.
Working in a remote team is a blessing for many people. They don’t need to waste hours on the daily commute to and from work; they can combine professional activities with childcare. Some employees who previously had no access to large corporations because of their motor disabilities can now get employed in virtually any company of their liking.
However, remote work organization is not as simple as it seems at first glance. The team’s manager needs to do much work to ensure that all team members trust each other, communicate effectively, and work at their best. If you’re a leader in a team of remote designers or plan to hire one, you’ll find this guide useful for sure. Here we share the secrets to effective remote team organization for productive, hassle-free collaboration.
Make Effective Onboarding
A simple, frictionless entry to the existing team is a guarantee of the employee’s relaxed; productive work in that team afterward. Unlike a physical office where a newbie can simply shop around and chat with different people, a remote team requires careful, well-planned onboarding. Thus, a manager’s role is to onboard the employee effectively; sharing all communication channels, conventions, and standards adopted in their company.
You need to share all the details with the newcomer and explain what tools are used for what tasks. For instance, the team might have daily Zoom meetups at 9 a.m; but the rest of the communication should be done via Slack. The manager may be reachable in Slack within 24 hours; but a quick email to a personal mailbox will result in an answer in 2-3 hours. Every newbie should know these conventions to communicate with the team effectively, solving all current issues in no time.
Offer Multiple Communication Channels
Flexibility is key for productive remote work in every UX design studio, but it works well only if all team members know the system. You need to set multiple channels for all team members so that they can get in touch quickly. However, don’t use too many channels, as this diversity can cause unnecessary redundancy and confusion in the team. It’s better to have three channels at a maximum for synchronous and asynchronous communication arrangements.
Set a Shared Mission and Vision
The team will work much better together, even if they’re set apart physically if they move to a shared goal. Setting and communicating that goal is the task of the team leader. Once the team has a shared mission and understands the project’s goals and values the same way; all team members will move in a single direction, causing no silos or fragmentation in the project performance.
Set a Safe Communicative Space
Everybody needs to feel safe to be productive in the workplace. This rule also applies to the remote workplace, as bullying or harassment can work similarly powerfully at a distance. To avoid conflict, intimidation, discomfort, and degradation of the team’s morale, you must set strict communication rules and standards. The basic principles of communication culture include respect toward each other; polite and inclusive language, and proper turn-taking during online meetings. Depending on your team composition and corporate culture, you can add some extra points to this list.
Design Intentional Interactions Well
The major problem of which all remote workers complain is the abundance of meetings. What can be solved in minutes in a shared office takes hours in remote work. Thus, a manager should help their remote staff organize time for communication as efficiently as possible so that it doesn’t steal the lion’s share of productive working time.
Every team member should share their availability schedule with other staff to ensure that everyone can reserve a spot for discussing current project tasks. Besides, meetings need careful planning, agenda-setting, and punctuality to make everyone content with the outcome.
Hone the Communicative Practices
The biggest rule about remote work is that there are no bulletproof rules working 100% of the time with all teams. Every manager should be flexible in their approach, trying different things to see how it works. All in all, remote collaboration is a process, and your task is to bring it to perfection. But nothing is steady and stable in design work, and things can go wrong at any moment. Thus, you need to be ready to adapt and change the accustomed practices to level things up again.
Prioritize Quality Over Quantity
The rule of thumb is to keep remote teams small whenever possible. This approach makes them more manageable and improves the quality of remote communication manifold. Just fancy how hard it may be to organize a Remote Team of 10+ staff for a daily meetup. Besides, an online meeting with plenty of attending people is always a mess. You can’t figure out who is speaking now and need to wait for ages to have a say in that meeting.
Doing the same with a team of 4-6 persons is much simpler; giving you fewer worries and more productive working time. In addition, you get a much tighter, more personal relationship with all involved remote workers; achieving a greater bond with each of them.
Schedule Informal Communication
Work means much in every company, but it’s not everything people do together. Unlike usual offices where people can chat and exchange jokes in the halls or near a cooler; remote workers need specially designed spaces for informal communication and fun. A skilled manager should organize those spaces naturally, thus helping staff spend time together beyond the regular work routines. Some effective means of doing this include casual chats and online games.
You Can Do It
As a remote team manager or client working with remote staff, you need to monitor the team’s efficiency. Distance and isolation can play a bad joke with people’s productivity; so it’s essential to keep track of the staff morale. Satisfied and socially engaged employees are known to perform much better than detached, demotivated staff on the brink of burnout. So, team building and remote work arrangements are a good investment in the project’s success.