Working together in a remote team can be quite challenging because distance has a huge impact on communication and collaboration between the members of virtual project teams. For example, if the remote team includes people from different time zones and you want to have conference calls to discuss something, the ‘window’ when every member is available is quite short.
A team shares a common mission, therefore, the remote project manager should emphasize on creating an environment that facilitates working together so that the whole team can succeed.
If you are a member of a remote team, the following tips will definitely help you learn how to work together as a team.
1. Decide How the Remote Team Will Operate
If you as a team want to be more productive and successful it is quite important that all the team members agree on ways of working. This will also result in fewer mistakes and conflicts.
This can be done by learning from people’s experiences. If any of the team members have worked in a virtual team before, try to learn what worked for them and avoid what did not. The team must also decide together some rules and regulations for the team.
2. Communication between Team Members is the Key to Success
Many remote teams fail to succeed because of the lack of communication among the members. When there are people in a remote team from different time zones regular communication can be difficult which is why the team must decide beforehand how they will communicate as a team. It should be the team norm to respond to phone calls, messages, and emails, etc.
3. Responsibilities Should Be Clear
If a remote team wants to be productive, each team member should clearly know their responsibilities. They must also set priorities and deadlines as a team.
4. Share Information
Research shows that the members of virtual teams who perform well are those whose exchange and share information with their fellow team members. Since a remote team consists of people with different expertise, there is a pool of knowledge available in a team.
You as a team must have agreed-upon ways of sharing information with each other and must be willing to create a knowledge bank for the team.
5. Discuss Cultural Issues
There is a huge possibility that a remote team consists of people from different cultures, which means there can be cultural issues. Cultural differences can lead to great conflicts, which is why it is important for the team to understand and respect each other’s cultures and languages.
6. Use collaboration tools
Use a collaboration tool to manage the workflow of the project. Depending on the complexity of the project you can use Trello, Monday.com or Asana among others but use one.
Differentiate between collaboration tools and communication tools like Slack. The first ones have to be used for managing the activities and the second ones to discuss about specific topics. Always keep the decisions about the project whithin the collaboration tool.
If you as a remote team are facing difficulty in working together, try to work according to these tips and see how you progress.
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