How can a group of people who don’t often interact in person work together as a highly effective team?
While numerous businesses have attempted and failed to establish remote teams, some, like Groove, MailerLite, Buffer, and Zapier, have succeeded in fostering a culture of remote work. At Appic Softwares, all of our employees work remotely as well.
Although there are plenty of project management and communication tools, such as Asana and Basecamp, as well as communication tools, such as Slack, Skype, and Google Hangouts, to support remote teams, these aren’t the keys to successful remote working. According to Sean Graber of the Harvard Business Review, relying on tools to make your team successful is like trying to improve a sports team’s performance through the purchase of better gear.
11 Causes of Companies’ Failures with Remote Work and Advice on How to Prevent Them
Three essential elements are necessary for a remote team to succeed, according to the Harvard Business Review: coordination, communication, and culture.
The eleven mistakes that businesses make when leading a remote team are listed below, along with tips on how to avoid them.
Rather than hiring a fantastic remote worker, they hired a great worker
An industrious worker in a traditional office setting is not necessarily a productive remote worker. As per Groove’s Alex Turnbull, certain highly intelligent and industrious people function better in an office setting. Furthermore, 41% of remote workers report struggling to maintain motivation, according to our Remote Project Management Report.
Working remotely requires a certain set of skills. It might take them a little longer to develop that skill because most people haven’t worked on it.
You can determine whether someone will make a good remote worker in two ways:
- They have prior experience working remotely.
- They have managed their own company or undertaking.
If they have prior experience working remotely, they are prepared. If they ran their own company or initiated a project on their own initiative is less clear. This demonstrates their drive and accountability for themselves. They are skilled at choosing the best course of action and managing their time.
A strong work ethic is undoubtedly important, but there are other qualities to consider when hiring someone remotely, such as the capacity for mature decision-making (i.e., putting the needs of the company before oneself), awareness of when to take breaks and refuel, and rest.
The individual they employed is ignorant of remote work
Those who are new to working remotely could have an unrealistic notion of what it entails. With the rise in popularity of remote work, one could mistake it for working from a Thai beach. This is totally doable, but it’s a surefire way to go if they haven’t worked remotely before. Since it’s easier to concentrate and finish work at a home office or a neighborhood cafe, employers ought to encourage their staff to work from there. They might also require assistance in organizing their “core work hours” for their remote workday.
They made no hiring decisions based on culture
Finding candidates with the right team fit is more difficult than finding talent. Culture is about common beliefs and objectives. Building that culture is facilitated by having a central office where team members can readily communicate and exchange ideas, as increased team exposure leads to the development of a more refined and defined camaraderie. It is evident that living far away restricts that exposure.
The Groove team engaged in a team exercise to determine their identity and level of alignment in order to establish a centralized culture.
Their staff members became exhausted
Imagine spending almost no in-person time with your team while working independently from them. It’s possible that you think your efforts aren’t always appreciated. You may work more out of fear that the other members of the team won’t think you’re putting in as much effort because you don’t share an office.
This makes it simple for remote workers to work longer hours than necessary and experience burnout.
The greatest risk for remote workers is not that they won’t put in enough work, but rather that they will burn out.
It is the employer’s duty to consider the health and welfare of their workers and to promote regular breaks. To encourage people to get moving, this could entail establishing a rule requiring everyone to take an hour for lunch, away from their desks, or offering gym membership reimbursements.
They did not prioritize fostering culture.
If you don’t have a culture, it’s hard to hire people based on team fit and culture. With less face time, it’s easy for a remote team to forget about developing a culture. However, maintaining a positive workplace culture is challenging.
This could entail organizing a few annual work retreats (like Buffer) or, in the role of CEO or employer, going on individual meetings with staff members. Facetime with someone in person helps a lot. This helpful Zapier guide on organizing a company retreat can help you if you’re unsure about how to organize one for a remote team.
They had unclear communication procedures.
The largest obstacle to managing remote work, according to 45.8% of remote managers, is a lack of communication, according to Appic Softwares Remote Project Management Report. With little face-to-face time, effective communication becomes even more crucial. Using multiple communication tools, such as chat, email, phone, texting, and video, and knowing when to use each one could be necessary to achieve this.
Use phone calls for messy situations that need discussion, video and screen-sharing to guide each other through a project, chat for spontaneous updates, and so on.
When members of your team are dispersed across multiple time zones, it becomes challenging to facilitate communication and ensure that everyone is online at the same time. You can reduce this by designating a time during which all employees are expected to be online, known as “core work hours.”
There was insufficient communication
It’s crucial to follow a defined communication process and communicate frequently, even when there is a clear process in place. Give excessive communication first priority. Body language and other subtle communication elements are lost because the majority of your correspondence will be via text in emails or chat apps. Even if you believe something to be clear enough, clarify it further. When requesting assistance, be clear about the task you need completed.
Slack comes in handy here because gifs are used a lot. Not only are they entertaining, but when face-to-face communication is lacking, they are a better way to convey emotion and make a point than text.
They lacked unity; they were islands of individuals.
What makes a difference? A cohesive group of individuals that work well together is called a team. Naturally, a remote team feels like different parts of a machine that were disassembled and dispersed around the globe without anyone knowing how they are supposed to work together.
Your team should keep each other informed about the projects they are working on in order to prevent this. This could entail setting up a Slack room where team members can update one another on the day’s tasks or holding a weekly call to ensure everyone is on the same page.
The aims and achievements were not communicated clearly.
Whether it’s a weekly team meeting to talk about the past week and the upcoming week, or a daily report outlining everyone’s accomplishments. In case it isn’t evident enough, communication is crucial when working in a remote setting. Once more.
This keeps everyone in line with business objectives and guarantees that the team operates with purpose and intention.
Agile stand-ups, which are brief morning meetings that help team members report on progress and identify obstacles, are excellent for keeping everyone in sync.
With a remote team, however, the conventional stand-up meeting in the office is not feasible. Use project management software, which will enable your team to more easily report on their progress and the tasks they have completed.
Managers have an easy way to monitor progress with Appic SoftwaresTasks’ Stand-ups feature. Workers can report their day’s work, what they plan to work on next, and any obstacles they encountered. This allows managers to have a bird’s-eye perspective and act swiftly to assist anyone in need.
There was not much unity.
It’s common for coworkers to run into one another in the hallways or when they go out for coffee or lunch. Working remotely makes things more difficult. Encourage staff members to send each other a funny article, inquire about each other’s weekends, and engage in conversation unrelated to work. Maintaining a personal connection will keep workers content and a sense of belonging to the group. You can accomplish this by arranging virtual get-togethers for coffee or lunch.
Slack serves as Groove’s informal water cooler, where employees can discuss anything from workspace to unrelated business matters. Rather than just the developer, support staff member, CEO, marketer, designer, etc., they are aware of each other’s “true” selves.
Employees who work remotely don’t get to socialize much. There may be an unspoken “rule” that dictates everyone must focus even more when working remotely than when they would be in an office. As a result, working will take up more time and socializing and community building will take up less. Workers experience loneliness. Their goal is to become more acquainted on a personal level. During all-hands meetings, set aside some time for small talk and catching up on the weekend.
Micromanagers started to plague them.
Set limits on your level of involvement in the daily projects that your team works on as a manager. You can ask UI designers questions regarding mockups, but you shouldn’t instruct them on design principles.
It all boils down to trust. You won’t need to micromanage if you have faith in your staff. You’re hiring the wrong people if you don’t trust your staff.
The key to successful remote work is strategic use of technology, trust, and efficient communication. Proactive measures and a dedication to cultivating a positive remote work culture are necessary to overcome obstacles like isolation, security concerns, and resistance to change. Companies can build a flexible and resilient remote work environment that increases output and employee satisfaction by tackling these problems head-on.
Moreover, if you are looking for a company through which you can hire dedicated DevOps developers, then you should check out Appic Softwares. We have pre-vetted developers that can help you gain the most out of your software. So, what are you waiting for?