Top Ten Things Affecting Your Remote Team Culture In 2020
Every team has an ideology that produces the principles that are the core of the team's culture. Culture is what a team is all about. It brings individuals together to work towards the same goal and has its own principles of work and expectations. If a team doesn't have the rules to follow and expectations to fulfill, it won't be successful. Remote teams need to have a strong culture. Unlike "regular" (office or on-site) teams, remote team workers don't have someone near them that can always remind of their responsibilities and the company's goals. As a result, all the goals, rules, and expectations need to be known beforehand.
Here's an overview of the top ten things that will affect your remote team culture in 2020:
1) The right number and type of remote meetings
If you want to maximize the work you do during meeting time, it is best to have department meetings as well as meetings with every team member individually or in small specialized teams. The catch is not to have too many meetings. Too much meeting time can put additional stress on your team members, which can affect their performance in a bad way. On the other hand, you need to have meetings in order to run your business successfully. That's why top management and team leaders should organize both small team (individual) meetings and so-called "all-hands" meetings when all remote team members are present. These all-hands meetings shouldn't last too long thanks to properly organized and executed individual and small team meetings. The safest bet is to have a big all-hands meeting once a month, and the small department meetings once a week.
2) Creative rewarding and acknowledging system
Team leaders need to acknowledge and reward the good and outstanding work of their remote staff. Speaking highly of someone at the start of the meeting isn't the only way to reward your remote team members. A team can have a virtual board where different members can thank each other for a job well done. You can reward your team members with the paid subscriptions for their favorite apps or tools that don't have to be necessarily associated with their remote working duties. How about a subscription for a popular streaming service your remote team member will be immensely grateful for?
3) Maintaining long-distance relationship rules apply
Like any long-distance relationship, communication is key to success. Everyone should feel free to bring up any dilemma they have during the meetings. Not to mention five minutes of small talk before or after these meetings that can be priceless for your remote team culture. Also, you have to remember that video conferences aren't the only way of communication with your remote team members. You are also free to organize one-on-one calls with your remote team members, including instant messages or emails, when required. So, communicate and communicate to affect your remote team culture in a good way. Plain and simple, strengthening the bonds between your remote team members is surprisingly similar to maintaining a long-distance relationship.
4) The right tools for the right remote team people
Without technology, remote teams wouldn't be able to do their jobs. Thankfully, there are a ton of apps and software to help them. For instance, the Trello app keeps you organized with your work projects, tasks, and deadlines. A very popular option for remote teams is to use Slack as a virtual office. Having a virtual office means people will be able to get immediate feedback about their work. As well as connect with their coworkers.
5) Dealing with different time zone problems
The biggest challenge in managing a remote team is that you have to deal with different time zones. Luckily for remote workers, technology makes it easier to overcome this obstacle. For example, you can use Time Zone Buddy, an app that keeps track of all time zones, to schedule the most convenient meeting time for your remote team members. Sometimes, even with this app, it is nearly impossible to have the perfect time for a meeting that will suit all of your team members. There is always going to be somebody who will have to go to bed late or wake up early, so you should do your best to find the time that will be acceptable for the majority of your remote team members.
6) Voluntary remote corporate design and brand placement
Here's a simple idea of how you can strengthen and promote both your brand and remote culture. Your remote team members can wear t-shirts with your company's logo during your meetings. Furthermore, they can decorate the walls behind their workspace with the company posters. Yes, we're talking about one kind of "product placement" that can be very beneficial for your remote team culture. How about having a coffee mug with your company's logo in front of the camera at the meetings?
7) Remote corporate retreats and team-building
Unlike regular workplaces, remote team members don't have the chance to bond with their coworkers over mealtime. Lack of face-to-face contact makes corporate retreats even more important for remote teams. Usually, corporate retreats are once-a-year events. This is an opportunity for the remote team members to meet their employer and coworkers in person, as well as do some work and go through team building. Needless to say, nothing bonds people more than hiking, sports, or karaoke. Even though someone won't be able to make it, you should try and gather as many remote team members as possible.
8) The first among equals management principle
A great team leader delegates the workload according to the capabilities of his or her teammates. While they report to the team leader, team members have a certain amount of freedom to complete their jobs, and more freedom equals more creativity. With better work conditions and appreciation, team members have more respect for the team leader's authority. Remote team members need to be comfortable with their team leader in order to discuss any problems they may face. That's why the first among equals management principle is the best approach for the productive and transparent remote team culture.
9) It's not cheap to travel around the world, but it's priceless to pay occasional personal visits
Traveling around the world isn't the cheapest option. However, it is necessary at some point. Especially if you manage a remote team. Visiting your team member's city and meeting face-to-face with them makes them feel appreciated. You will be able to meet their family as well as see what drives them as individuals. Personal visits are proved to be a sure way to boost the morale and confidence of your remote team members, which will improve their work performance in return. So as a remote team leader, it would help if you can clear enough time in your schedule to pay at least one visit to your teammates in a couple of months or years.
10) Write your own book of remote team culture rules
To put it simply, every remote team culture needs its own rules, because every team is different. What works for one remote team doesn't have to work for another remote team. Mainly because every remote team has different business plans, and the same rules don't always apply. Without proper team culture rules, the remote team won't be able to do its job efficiently. For the remote team to work effortlessly, the team leader needs to write their own team culture rules that all remote team workers will abide by. So, stop reading and following other remote team's book of rules, and start writing your own for a change that will give results you're hoping to achieve.