The customer for whom I’m making this post has a large team of whom a number of people are working from a variety of countries. This is the first time they’ve run a team in this manner in this department. I find that having one or two remote people is extremely common in the laboratory informatics industry, but having large parts of a team working from a variety of places is somewhat less common, though not rare.
In our current effort, we have had a great start at working efficiently and effectively in this remote manner, but want to get more tips on things we could consider changing or adding to what we are already doing.
So, today, I am doing something different — instead of handing out information and ideas, today’s effort is one to share our ideas. Since our team has some things to share that worked for us, and other tips we’ve received, we are willing to share our tips on one condition – that the readers of this blog help us with their own tips for this improvement we want to make. As people share their tips, I will write in with more of ours. That way, we all get some information out of this.
To start this off, I will give my first tip – the team started this effort with an attitude of trust and respect for each other. While this doesn’t seem like a tip, many people have agreed that this is half the battle – to gain trust and respect when you don’t see each other often and when people don’t know each other, well.
Now, it’s your turn to comment with your tips, so to make suggestions to us or otherwise share in this discussion, just make a comment. Comments are not automatically posted (to keep out spammers), but I usually approve them within at least 24 hours, usually even much quicker than that. Also, feel free to ask questions about some of the tips. So, don’t be shy!
3 Thoughts to “Tips and Discussion for Remote Work Teams”
I am currently working on a global implementation with 3 physical sites – 2 in the US and 1 in the UK. I recommend one face-to-face team meeting/workshop if at all possible. Once you meet someone you have a face to attach to the voice. You also have a better sense of ‘reading their expression’ on the phone – as to when they are hesitant about an idea, etc. I also think people are more apt to open up and work through issues together after they have had a chance to meet.
To follow along with what Lynn has said about getting people to open up, I’ve gotten tips from quite a number of groups to make sure that we have social events together, for just that reason. Because when you occasionally meeting on a social basis, it helps create a stronger bond.
It doesn’t have to be formal or expensive, either, maybe something as simple as getting the team to leave your campus to go to lunch outside.
Of course, that’s only possible if you occasionally have people coming to meet face-to-face. But someone had even said that it’s a good idea to make sure you socialize even when you’re distant — maybe just have the occasional non-work-related chat with people.
The chat tool our group uses allows us to see who is “in” and sometimes I will wish people good morning and share a few words with someone when I “see” them come in in the morning.
[…] some past articles on the subject: Courtesy, Trust, Respect – Building it in Office Communicator Tips and Discussion for Remote Work Teams Remote Work: An Update on the People Aspect of it Remote Work: The Technical Aspect Remote Work and […]
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