How To Optimize Teamwork With People You Will Not See In Your Life

Pablo Baldomá JonesPablo Baldomá Jones

Pablo Baldomá Jones

How To Optimize Teamwork With People You Will Not See In Your Life
It is fundamental to determine effective communication avenues and ensure each team member is aware of them.

You chose to form remote teamwork because you know the benefits: better work-life balance, more job satisfaction, less stress, and more productivity. But not everything is rosy; challenges and conflicts must be resolved. One of the biggest may be optimizing working with people you may never share in real time and space.

How to achieve it? Here are some keys:

1. Develop a strong and clear communication strategy with your Teamwork

The key to strengthening and optimizing teamwork in remote environments lies in communication. If the communication flows and is effective, everyone will know the expectations and the goals to be achieved.

It is fundamental to determine effective communication avenues and ensure each team member is aware of them. Two tools are great allies for remote work teams:

1. Communication and collaboration platforms:

They combine one-on-one or group chats, video calls, and file storage, among other features. There are many on the market; some of the most chosen are:

  • Slack
  • ClickUp
  • Microsoft Teams

To improve remote teamwork, the ideal is to choose one of these platforms and use it transversally. Facilitating courses so that our collaborators know all the functions of these applications and take full advantage of them will help make communication more fluid.

It is also necessary to clarify what type of communication the team prefers for each task. Instant text messages or emails are better for sharing data that requires focused and detailed reading. At the same time, video conferences may be better for discussing ideas, proposing changes, or giving feedback on a project. Video calls open the game to nonverbal communication that adds excellent value. They also allow us to go beyond words and get to know the emotions and attitudes of the team members. When deciding which medium to talk about a topic is important to remember this.

2. Project managers:

Software for administration and organization of tasks, planning, workflows, and deadlines. They are something like the old office corkboards but virtualized, easy to use, intuitive and visual. There is a vast offer; some of the best-known are:

  • Trello
  • pose
  • basecamp

The good thing is that they can all be integrated with the communication and collaboration platforms you choose for your team: Slack, ClickUp, Teams, etc.

This software offers handy tools to organize tasks in the cloud and thus prevent remote work from becoming a chaos of functions. You will find ways to make task lists, set goals and deadlines, record times, share files, collaboratively edit documents, see the progress other team members are driving on a project, determine workflows, and establish priorities.

2. Set clear goals and roles in your teamwork from the start

Communicating the objectives and ensuring that each team member knows them from minute zero is crucial to avoid misunderstandings, discussions, and conflicts that are obstacles in the way of our projects. Goals must be achievable and, ideally, should be agreed upon by team members.

Each person on the teamwork must know their role in the project and what the leaders and other team members expect. This way, each one will be able to fulfill their work more optimally, and frustrations will be avoided along the way.

Keeping track of these goals and the tasks that each one is carrying out in pursuit of fulfilling them is essential, and for that, managers such as Trello, Asana, etc. are key; hence the importance of everyone knowing how to use them properly and being able to make the most of them.

3. Keep your Teamwork Up to Date

Ensuring that all team members are aware of developments that may arise both in shared projects and macro issues of the company is paramount. Depending on the message, the best way to communicate may be an email, a video conference, or an instant chat. That will be decided at the appropriate time. But the essential thing is that everyone knows these developments. This will make everyone feel part of it and strengthen the team culture and sense of belonging beyond the fact that each one works in different countries, cultures, and time zones.

4. Share a Standard Calendar

This does not mean controlling the schedules of remote workers or believing that their productivity is measured in hours of work. That goes against the culture of the home office and asynchronous work.

Knowing how to manage the standard calendar means allowing each member of the teamwork to have flexible hours without affecting productivity. For this, it is essential to evaluate efficiency through accomplished tasks and objectives and let each person choose how to organize their time.

However, everyone must know the deadlines, the critical dates of a project, and the meetings that cannot be postponed and committed to it. Thus, the work will flow better, and meeting the goals will be more accessible and affordable.

5. Encourage the Team to Maintain Certain Daily Work Routines

Working remotely does not mean working haphazardly in a stream of continuous tasks with no beginning or end of the day. Working remotely is not working all day or doing it at any time.

Therefore, without falling into routines that overwhelm and become as obsolete as office work, it is vital to encourage team members to find the work routines that best fit their personal lives.

Deciding on a time to start work, a time to rest, and a time to end the day is key to not breaking your work-life balance and enjoying the benefits of the flexibility of working in the cloud. Having a routine and setting small daily goals improves productivity and prevents procrastination. This may be easy for some people, while it may be more difficult for others. That is why it is suitable for leaders to provide tools and train team members. Sometimes, it may even be a good idea to have some daily team routines such as a review of pending tasks, achievements already accomplished, or what is expected to be accomplished that day. Of course, it all depends on the characteristics of the team and the type of project being developed.

6. Create a Friendly Teamwork Environment

Generating a work environment in which team members and leaders feel comfortable. To achieve this, there must be open channels for informal and non-work talks. Making room for this type of conversation allows you to establish a different kind of bond with the people you work with: a bond that does not have to be one of friendship but one of camaraderie and mutual understanding, even though there may never be a face-to-face meeting.

Working in friendly environments generates more productive teams. For example, a study by the Saïd Business School of the University of Oxford Saïd Business School of the University of Oxford, for instance, concluded that people who are happy in their work environments are always more productive than those who are not.

7. Value Team Members and Build Trust

Valuing team members and letting them know it is as essential as having a clear plan and achievable goals. According to a Tanner Learning Group survey, 79% of people leave their jobs because they don't feel valued. Demonstrating how much you trust each team member and the value their ideas have for developing the projects through daily communication constantly improves the final results.

This point is closely linked to the previous one. In friendly environments, this bond of trust is more accessible to build than in environments where there is only a strict working relationship.

8. Give Regular Feedback

Far from the typical hostile control of unhappy work environments, regular feedback and evaluations are a space for feedback between leaders and remote team members. From there, new and better ways of performing tasks can emerge, and thus joint work is also optimized. In addition, if they are transparent, effective, and concise, these instances reinforce the bond of trust between the leaders and the team and help goals to be better met.