How to Be a Productive & Happy Virtual/Remote Team
One challenge that comes with remote work is being part of a virtual team. We have to work harder to keep up communication, morale, and support. It’s much easier to create bonds between coworkers when you’re together in an office, meet face to face, and can walk up to someone’s desk anytime to ask a question. Not having these options when your whole team works from home can create an interesting environment. Today, I’ll give a few pointers on how to ensure your virtual/remote team is productive and happy. These tips can also apply if you work in an office (so don’t be afraid to keep reading).
When not surrounded by co-workers chatting it up throughout the day, it’s easy to get stuck in your work bubble and shut out the world. Although it’s important at times to eliminate distractions to get some tasks or projects done, most of the time communication should be a priority. FMTC is broken up into various teams that all have specific responsibilities. Each morning, our team meets briefly to discuss what we’re working on, report any issues, and get assistance, if needed. This is extremely helpful since it requires me to organize my thoughts before the meeting, create a plan of action for the day, and have access to help.
We also meet as a company once a week on our Wednesday Huddle to answer a fun question. Although our team is all over the continent, we make an effort to get to know each other better.
The last communication tool we constantly use is Slack. This app brings a whole new level to instant messaging. Not only can you talk one-on-one, but you can also create various channels for different topics, integrate updates, and add reactions to what people say. We kind of go crazy with the reactions, but it makes the conversation fun and is an easy way to let people know that you saw the message or how you feel about it.
Keeping the Glass Half Full
Optimism is definitely contagious, just as pessimism is. If you have people on your team that are always complaining or making negative comments, chances are the whole team is going to be dragged down. On the other hand, if you have multiple people who are constantly being encouraging, enlightening, and supportive, then the whole team will take a nice refreshing sip of a glass half full.
You can contribute to this pleasant atmosphere by choosing to remain positive and encouraging. Do not promote any unnecessary negative comments (said by either you or a teammate). Even just one person can start the ripple effect of optimism within your company.
The last bit of advice is to be supportive and willing to help others. Sometimes you can feel like you’re alone in your efforts and the heavy weight of your responsibilities, which can seem overwhelming at times.
Reach out for support when you need it and bounce ideas off each other when you’ve hit a wall. It’s amazing how much a small idea or project can expand when it’s discussed among 3 or more people, rather than just leaving it up to one person. Don’t be afraid to ask others for their thoughts and don’t hesitate to help others when they need support as well.
To recap, keeping a virtual team happily connected and productive focus on these three things:
With those, you’ll be 3 steps closer to having a prolific, virtual team!