There has been no event in history that has reshaped global working culture more so than the global COVID-19 pandemic.
With traditional office settings abandoned, remote work was quickly embedded into mainstream work culture. According to a study by Growmotely in 2021, 75% of professionals expect remote work to become a standard practice post-pandemic - and only 3% of employees want to return to the office full time.
Further, the Office For National Statistics (ONS) reported that of working adults currently homeworking, 85% wanted to use a "hybrid" approach of both home and office working in future.
This shift doesn't come without its own unique set of challenges - one being how to still work closely with your team when you’re physically apart.
We’ve pulled together some of our top tips for working together when you’re working apart.
Communication is key
This may sound obvious, but communication really is key. Consistent, clear and regular communication through a variety of channels and mediums will set you up for success in the world of remote work.
Our Vyou expert Ola Jarosz explains: “lots of communication happens spontaneously in a traditional office setting but in a remote setting this needs to be engineered. That can take extra time and energy and is generally a skill to develop - so proactive communicators will thrive in this setting, and it's a key skill to look at and develop in ourselves. One great tool to begin with is to schedule regular video meetings with people in your team.”
Choosing the right channel
Whilst there’s some debate over exactly how much of communication is nonverbal (a quick Google will take you down a rabbit hole of articles, research and opinion pieces), it is undeniably a significant player in the way we communicate on a daily basis.
It’s therefore key to choose the right channel for your messages. Ola adds: “A good example here is conflict resolution. The more direct contact we have, the easier it is to communicate and resolve conflicts. With digital communication, we may become less empathetic and more prone to conflicts. So in a conflict situation it’s best not to text, but have a video call - that will naturally boost our empathy and open up the ability to use nonverbal cues.”
A Vyou team favourite is the Loom integration in Slack - an engaging alternative to sending and receiving extra emails, and really effective for short team updates.
Clearly defined goals, that include the entire team, unite any group - but is a very effective tool for remote groups.
Whether these are long-term strategic goals or short-term wins, being united in the same mission and vision, with tangible outcomes, drives focus and energy.
Accountability is a key tool when it comes to successful collaborative remote work. A great tool for building inter-team trust, accountability puts your team in the driving seat when it comes to individual joint successes. Whilst it can seem counterintuitive to some traditional management techniques, empowering team members with accountability can drive motivation, productivity and work energy levels.
A regular team stand up is a great way to encourage accountability - and inclusivity - across your team.
Virtual workplace rituals and norms
This one is all about team bonding. When physically apart, it can be harder to integrate some of the social rituals you might have in a traditional office setting. But developing a few set rituals and norms when working remotely is a great way to stay connected socially.
Ola suggests: “informal virtual meetings for coffee - or even wine after work - can be designed into a workweek and help to form workplace culture outside of work.”
Vyou is a work wellness platform that helps your team measure, track, and improve how they feel at work, no matter where they work from. Vyou brings together the best of AI and human coaching to create personalised work wellness journeys, all in one easy-to-use app.
Intrigued? Find out more, or request a call back from one of the friendly Vyou team members.