Remote working teams face a few challenges. Conveying tone can be a challenge. After all, if you spend all day communicating with people through text alone, it’s easy to miss the nuances behind what they’re saying.
But most instant messaging apps (including our own AnswerConnect.App) allow you to include pictures, emojis, and GIFs in your messages, so there’s less room for misinterpretation - we love an emoji!
The most common issue when everyone works from a respective location, however, is something I call The Workload Iceberg. You know how it goes; a colleague is working on a small part of a project with you. “Heck,” you reason, “they’re only working on a small part. They could probably take on more responsibility.”
But your colleague could also be working on several other time-consuming projects in other areas of the company. You’re only seeing the tip of their workload because you’re not involved in the other projects. To avoid this, we ask everyone to share ‘Updates’ through the internal comms app (mentioned below). Essentially designed to act as a social media feed, status updates enable everyone to share their current workload (and priorities) with everyone in the company.
Besides that, we try to avoid prioritising one time-zone.
With people based across three continents, you have to consider everyone before you start scheduling meetings. I think if one team had to do all the late night or early morning calls each time, they’d have grounds to complain!
Friday newsletters, instant access to HR, & the use of GIFs in comms, Fraser and the AnswerConnect team could write a book on remote work best practices. Check out the process of how they make it all work.
Read full interview from Company Interview with Fraser, Global Head of Marketing at AnswerConnect.
Keeping the team connected and engaged. Remote companies do have to work harder at things like communication and creating interactions between folks on the team. Employees also have to make more of an effort to reach out to their colleagues, which for some folks is harder to do through a screen. It takes a lot of effort from both parties, and it’s not easy (but totally worth it).
Serendipity. In remote work, pretty much all brainstorms are scheduled. But when you’re working at an office, you’re having impromptu conversations at lunch, happy hour, at the “watercooler.” It’s hard to replicate those unplanned interactions at remote companies.
I believe the best remote companies continue to experiment with new ways to connect different parts of the team in different ways.
You can achieve connection, engagement, serendipity, but it requires leaders to think creatively and be willing to experiment.
How do you keep remote teams motivated? Devin, CEO of Animalz, shares her tips for how leaders can avoid demotivation and her hopes for the future of remote work.
Read full interview from Company Interview with Devin, CEO of Animalz.
When we first started, there was no "how-to" book starting and running a fully remote business. I learned by trial and error. This is why, after nearly 20 years of running an all-remote business, I decided to publish Fully Remote, the first how-to book that tells people how to set-up, manage, and lead their own successful all-remote business. This is the book I wish had existed when I first started.
Twenty years ago, Shelly started one of the first all-remote U.S. companies. See how remote work has given Fire Engine RED a competitive advantage & the four most important words in the employee handbook.
Read full interview from Interview with Shelly, CEO of Fire Engine RED & remote work pioneer.
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