Establishing a remote team is your opportunity to work with the best beyond boundaries, take steps towards the virtual workplace of the future and promote work-life balance and flexibility that takes worker productivity to new heights.
However, remote teams often fail when the proper infrastructure and collaboration solutions aren’t in place. Leading to poor productivity and project management, common pitfalls for remote teams are a lack of:
- Team cohesion. Every team needs a shared mission, a unified team culture and clarity on everyone’s individual goals and roles and how they contribute to the bigger picture. However, when constant contact is lacking, remote teams either lack any reinforcement of these concepts or entirely miss out on that communication.
- Team rapport. Remote workers also often miss out on team building since they can’t physically come together for traditional activities like obstacle courses and scavenger hunts. Without opportunities to bond and build collaboration skills, remote teams lack trust among members, which is crucial to teamwork.
- Employee engagement. Lacking feedback, work relationships, a shared mission and culture, remote workers may feel isolated, weakening their engagement. Poor engagement is a major concern for companies because it means workers are not performing at their full potential and may not be with the company long.
- Accountability. Virtual managers and co-workers may have little to no insight on how a teammate is performing. This undercuts the progress of the entire team and further diminishes the level of trust between members.
Finding the Right Collaboration Solutions
In a 2014 survey by Software Advice, nearly 38 percent of virtual team members agreed communication is the biggest challenge for remote teams (and about 30 percent of CIOs in a Robert Half Technology survey support that view).
Finding the right collaboration solutions for proper communication is even more crucial for your remote team because technology is the only way you connect. When you don’t have enough variety to support different types of communication, you’re managing big projects in long email threads, or scheduling online meetings just takes too long, technology is holding back your team’s productivity.
Your collaboration solutions should give every team member unrestricted access to projects and work information, and you need more than one way to communicate. Email just isn’t enough for effective task management, and phone calls won’t suffice when you’re brainstorming or resolving conflicts.
Remote teams also benefit greatly from collaboration solutions that offer the ability to see and hear members. That face time and audio piece is a necessity for team building, developing trust and holding better meetings, even when you’re countries apart.
Download PGi’s free eBook, Teamwork Makes the Dream Work, now to discover new collaboration solutions to unite and strengthen your remote team.
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