A remote team involves people working together from different locations around the globe. While there are many benefits to working remotely, the key to success lies in the team's shared values.
In order to be successful, a remote team should foster the following values: communication, ownership, accountability, and empathy.
The most important value for a remote team is communication. Without clear and frequent communication, it will be difficult for the employees to coordinate and work effectively.
All members of the team should be aware of the importance of communication and make an effort to keep lines of communication open. Likewise, remote team managers should consider utilizing the best collaboration tools for remote teams.
This is extremely important as remote team members are typically spread across countries and English isn't the mother tongue for many employees. Effective communication further helps to create social bonds in remote teams, which ultimately results in increased productivity.
In essence, communication can make or break teams!
Some key use cases where communication is important:
- Create clear milestones for the team and for each individual.
- Ask for help when blocked.
- Share healthy feedback loops, both positive and negative.
- Discuss detailed project specs.
- Communicate availability, AFK, vacation, etc.
- Write clearly when asking for input.
Each member of a remote team should feel ownership over their work. This means that they take pride in their work and are willing to go the extra mile to get the job done right. Additionally, team members should feel comfortable taking initiative and working independently.
Remote work puts more focus on the individual employee since it caters less to micromanagement than office work. This empowerment of the individual, demands a higher standard of ownership.
Some use cases where it's important to show Ownership:
- Ask “Why?” One can only own what they understand.
- Take the initiative to solve a task in the way one believes is best.
- Ask for help when blocked. Ownership is also about acknowledging one's limitations.
- Communicate results, either positive or negative.
Accountability is another important value for a remote team. This means that each team member is accountable for their work and takes responsibility for their actions. Additionally, team members should be willing to hold each other accountable in order to maintain a high standard of work.
Accountability is critical in any work environment, but it is especially important in a remote setting. This is because there is often less oversight from managers and colleagues when working remotely.
It's fundamental to take credit for great achievements and lead the learnings for sh*t shows.
Some use cases where it's important to show Accountability:
- Drive initiatives from beginning to end.
- Share progress frequently, either positive or negative.
- Lead postmortems for any owned activity that goes wrong in any way. Learning is fundamental to avoid repeating mistakes in the future.
Another significant value for a remote team is empathy. As part of international remote teams, it's important to remember we’re all still human, even behind a tiny zoom window.
This means that remote team members must be willing to understand and empathize with each other's situation. Additionally, team members should be willing to help each other out, both professionally and personally.
Empathy is required in any work environment, but it is especially important in a remote setting. This is because team members are often not able to see each other in person and may not know what is going on in each other's lives.
Some use cases where empathy is important:
- Check-in with team members often, and see how they're doing.
- Say “good morning”.
- Practice active listening. Most people aren't English natives, and there are microphone issues sometimes.
- Offer help, even if it's not part of your job description.
- Be understanding when things go wrong or someone makes a mistake.
- Celebrate small wins together.
In conclusion, communication, ownership, accountability, and empathy are significant values for a remote team. These values are critical in any work environment, but they are especially important in a remote setting.
This is because remote team members are often not able to see each other in person and may not know what is going on in each other's lives. By communicating frequently, taking ownership of their work, holding each other accountable, and showing empathy, team members can maintain a high standard of work and build strong relationships with each other.
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