With the fast evolution of technology, the working environment and working culture change on a daily basis. According to some estimations, within the next decade, freelancers could be the largest group in the workforce globally. This gives the companies a great opportunity to recruit the best talent not only from the resident country, but from all over the world, and thus form remote teams.
This practice is already used by the huge corporation, foremost by those who drive the digital transformation. Not only they hire remote teams, but according to IBM, they find them being 50% more productive. And this is not it. Reportedly, remote teams proved to be more innovative and open-minded, too. Adam Kingl, executive director of learning solutions at London Business School, argue: “virtual meetings prompt participants to assess ideas based on their merit. There is a greater chance for a marketplace of ideas, and there are fewer biases in virtual meetings compared to face-to-face meetings. It’s more about the best idea and the ability to reflect and comment on the idea, rather than the person or personality.”
While these so-called next-gen solutions seem to give the endless opportunity to the corporate world, working with remote teams has its challenges and drawbacks as well.
Here are the three most important advice experts in the field share on how to deal with remote teams, make them more productive and innovative.
1. Use an agile style
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Even though the agile working style was imagined for office teams, today, many companies have proven this working style fits with remote teams too. Briefly, agile working is a way of working in which an organization empowers its people to work where, when and how they choose – with maximum flexibility and minimum constraints – to optimize their performance and deliver the best value.
Respecting the values and lifestyle is an important issue with remote teams. But with the different time zones and cultures between members, it sometimes seems hard to be managed. Still, with investment in the right management systems, especially with the help of software solutions nowadays, any manager can easily follow where the project is at any time of the day. This brings us to the next important rule :
Communication and collaboration are the most important aspects when working with remote teams. Communication with the team members and boosting communication between them is an important aspect of increasing productivity among them. This is why it is very important for the company to precisely define the roles and responsibilities of each member of the team, clearly communicate the vision of the company and the aim of each project.
When it comes to communication between the members, of course, there is nothing better than a meeting with team members face to face. But unfortunately, this cannot be done with remote teams. Luckily, new technologies create many opportunities to tackle this disadvantage among remote teams. Video conferencing and online messaging tools give them an opportunity to communicate with each other and move the project forward.
Reportedly, video conferencing gives another advantage to the company – it is a great way to have remote team members feel like they are as important as the team members that are physically in the office.
3. Know your people and build trust with them
One other important rule is to know the people you are working with regardless of how far they are from the company. When selecting the team members the company should make sure the selected candidates are suited to collaborative work and have personality traits such as flexibility, communication skills, self-reliance and motivation. It is also important to build personal relations with them and among them because that helps build trust and bridge the differences among the people. Appreciations and recognition, positive feedback and creating a way to make them emotionally engaged to the company are also some of the key prerequisites to make the remote members excited and help them boost their productivity.