Guest Blog by By Matt Glock, Global VP Sales Engineering and Product Evangelist at Fuze
In the past few months, we have all quickly shifted to a world where work is truly an action and not a place. As working from a virtual office becomes the “new normal,” learning how to best stay engaged, productive, and balanced has become a top priority for business leaders and employees alike.
To do this effectively, it starts with a team-centric culture. The foundation of a great team at any level consists of: connection, which fuels collaboration, consideration, and cooperation.
Here are three approaches to consider for encouraging team collaboration for the distributed workforce:
Technology enables us to connect from across the globe without feeling the burden of distance. From quick, collaborative chat to reliable video conferencing, unified communications solutions have paved the way for a seamless transition to distributed work, supporting global teams of all locations and sizes.
For example, it’s best practice to foster a “video on” culture for distributed meetings. Seeing coworkers, even though they may be miles away, develops strong rapport and shares more about who they are and the environment they work in. Video calls help rethink remote work to create open streams of dialogue for teams.
Encouraging teams to have more open informal check-ins can also help them maintain personal connections. Try setting up informal morning and afternoon video chats where teams can just catch up together. Communication tools shouldn’t be limited to work only. In our new normal, they’ve become an important way to foster connection.
In our current circumstances, it’s clear that the traditional 9-5 work day is no longer practical when your workforce is 100% remote. Flexibility has never been more important; building trust as well as letting go of a mired belief system that equates productivity to sitting at a desk versus delivering results and getting the job done however and whenever it’s feasible is essential.
Be considerate of your employees’ needs by giving them freedom to define their new schedule. Managers and team members should be having conversations about adjusting schedules, if it’s necessary, to account for other family demands and new dynamics, and even the need to spread out working hours to avoid technology overload on home WiFi networks.
Another important consideration is the demands you’re making on your teams’ time. Consider limiting the number of formal meetings where possible and focus on what matters most.
Every person in a meeting needs a chance to share ideas and voice their opinion and expertise, especially when operating among distributed teams. All team members need to be mindful and willing to cooperate to ensure that no one person dominates the conversation.
A good first step towards engaging less vocal team members during meetings is ensuring that a thoughtful agenda is in place. This gives team members time to process and compile thoughtful ideas before a meeting. It’s even helpful to pose a question to each individual, which increases the chance of inviting diverse ideas into the meeting.
Leaning into the right technology fuels productive distributed work and ensures all teams are balanced and successful. Equipping the workforce with what they need to do their best work, how, when, and where they are most effective, results in a happier, more productive organisation. It’s not about enabling employees to work from home; it’s about establishing a supportive organisational culture that empowers employees to work from anywhere, anytime, leading to higher productivity and happier teams.