Enjoying a comfortable working environment is key to keep your team happy. If you have a Google-style office atmosphere you can be sure your team will highly enjoy the creative vibe and freedom. Yet, you have your team close and are able to identify moral and progress.
What if parts of your team feel most comfortable to work from home and you would like to give them the freedom to do so? How can you keep them engaged with the rest of the team and how can you make sure processes are still highly efficient? As we all know, getting things done from home ain’t no easy task.
Keep communication running
FIND A WORKING WORKING STRUCTURE
Evidently, key to team efficiency and individual performance is communication. On the other hand, people believe they know how and when they are able to work best themselves. High independence doesn’t go too well with teamwork though. Even if you are in the same time zone you can be sure people have different routines and while your sales force will work efficiently before lunch, your engineers might prefer working late at night. In order to keep communication running you have to setup a certain day structure that allows everyone to be approachable during “ordinary” working hours. Allow everyone to kick-off the day themselves but as soon as the mailbox is checked and urgent emails answered consider to practice a short virtual stand-up where everyone is sharing the day’s personal agenda.
Keep people engaged with each other’s tasks and encourage questions that lead to better understanding and social engagement.
A usual trap however can be to fall into extensive discussions. Make sure that such potential discussion points are noted down and solved separately. To stay in touch during the day watch out for mobile messenger tools of your choice that keep you connected.
FEEDBACK IS KING
ACTIVELY GIVE AND REQUEST IT ANYTIME
You don’t want to create a highly competitive working atmosphere where people are mainly working for themselves. You need to make sure everyone is aligned with the company’s objectives but also with each other’s personal goals. In order to improve processes and learn quickly while some people work on distance it’s crucial to give and receive immediate feedback. When giving feedback on happenings or each other’s behaviors always look for suggestions to improve. Be aware that honesty is one of the most important factors to build trust within the team and thus the foundation of personal and organizational development. As with any personal interaction on distance personal and emotional connections fall short. Motivation and individual satisfaction can feel like a rollercoaster.
The looser the ties within the team the more important it is to recognize each other’s achievements and allow time for celebration.
Hence, you really need to take time and virtually pad on the person’s shoulder acknowledging the great work that’s been done. Immediate and continuous feedback stabilizes the team's turbulences on its way to higher productivity.
GAMES GROW GREAT SPIRIT
GAMIFY YOUR WORK
If there is one thing you have to be very keen with is team engagement and team spirit. We are all used to virtual connections as friends and family might be living at far places. With them however you have established emotional ties over decades. Now how to build up a personal relationship with your team mates? Consider playing a multi-player game.
Don’t think gaming is a waste of time and will lower actual productivity. Research shows that the opposite holds true.
While playing with and against your co-workers you are exercising and energizing your mind. Best is to find a game where you can team up with your colleagues to pursue a world-saving mission that unites you and allows you to form a team next to work that develops a strong drive to overcome obstacles. Imagine you can easily create enthusiasm and optimism on distance with the simple use of multi-player games. This does not only increase productivity and drive but research also shows that people tend to like each other much more after they played a game together.