According to employers, the main disadvantage of remote working teams, compared to the traditional way of doing business is the inability to communicate synchronously. While most nomads would highly disagree with this statement, we have to remain as neutral as possible. With that in mind, we have to admit that different time zones can bring a lot of issues, but it’s nothing that can’t be solved.
A good plan of action and a decent management system can cut down these problems before they even begin to surface. Achieving good communication is of utmost importance to both sides, and with just a bit of effort, and the right tools, everything is possible. Here is what you should focus on in case you’re experiencing similar problems.
Do not forget to plan everything ahead of time
We are well aware that it is practically impossible to plan every single detail of a huge project in advance. Whether we’d like to admit it or not, there’s always gonna be small issues which come across along the way and require immediate solving. However, if a good plan is set in place, you should always have at least some leeway time to deal with the current issues, while still looking at the bigger picture.
In that sense, a few hours of delay won’t matter as much. When there is no friction and no unrealistic expectations, the entire communication runs much smoother. All members of the team need to clearly state their calendar of availability, so that managers know what they’re working with ahead of time. When all the cards are out on the table, it becomes much easier to avoid unrealistic expectations.
Open up a few channels strictly intended for banter
The worst part of working in remote teams? Why of course, it is the absence of the good old water cooler talks. These chats usually last no longer than five minutes, but they are a perfect opportunity for employees to connect with each other through humor.
Most bosses are pretty allergic to memes and procrastination, but at least some sort of release valve is necessary to avoid your workers busting at all seems from pressure. Ultimately, if this doesn’t work, video chats and brief exchanges of synchronous communication is necessary from time to time to keep the morale at high levels. Even if that includes a sleepless night or two, you have to make some sacrifices to keep the productivity at great levels.
Avoid private messages when you can
In time, you will become a lot friendlier with some members of your team, while you’ll maintain strictly professional communication with others. That is the basic human nature, and it’s very hard to avoid it. Don’t get us wrong, you don’t have to police yourself too much, but if you keep the bulk of the communication on public treads, you won’t alienate any members of your team.
Keeping a cohesive unit, that moves as one is the most important secret of productivity. This is why many businesses struggle when the time comes to evolve from just a small family company to a bigger market. Asynchronous communication is especially tricky when it comes to maintaining these family-like relations, but getaway trips and meetings can significantly improve the team morale, so most businesses organize at least a few of these trips a year.
Pay attention to each and every member of the team
Just because some employees are working harder than others, or perform a more important line of work for the company, it’s important to know that every one of them presents a piece of the puzzle. If you make a mistake and make that clear to everyone by prioritizing their time, over the schedule of others, know that the negative energy will spread in the background like wildfire.
Additionally, some members of the team might be a bit more demanding in one area, but they can pay back your good will in other ways. At the end of the day, it is vital to keep everyone as happy as possible, and it doesn’t matter if it takes a bit of weird tactics in order to get there.