The Distributed Team
Working in a team isn’t always easy. Oftentimes we may feel that we’re doing more than our fair share and dragging dead weight across the finish line. Such is the fear permeating many a team environment, from grade school on through the world of work. But it doesn’t always have to be that way.
Külli Koort, writing for Fast Company, notes how people tend to work best together on common ground In other words, we work best with like-minded people. However, the overall success of our teams and organizations at large relies largely on our ability to integrate diverse perspectives and skills. Jacquelyn Smith, Deputy Editor for Forbes, suggests that if we don’t share obvious common ground with our teammates, then we must create common ground.
Granted, our modern working world might have rendered the once-common outing for an afterwork outing with coworkers a relic of a bygone age—after all, our remote colleagues can’t tag along with us. Yet there are other ways that we can connect with our distant teams, as depicted in this video by Skillsoft. We can encourage informal one-on-one conversations amongst colleagues, including video chat services to account for visual body language cues.
Connecteam, a remote office communication service, depicts various strategies through which we can engage our teams socially. In short—games! Just because colleagues might not be around us doesn’t mean that we can’t make one another smile or even laugh.
In this episode from TED’s The Way We Work series, Matt Mullenweg, cofounder of WordPress, conveys how to successfully lead a distributed workforce. Mullenweg’s argument in favor of remote work was published three years ago. Yes, that’s right, in 2019—back before the COVID-19 pandemic launched a remote work movement across offices the world over.
At the end of the day, to be successful with our roles in remote or distributed teams, we need to uphold the concepts we would use if we were facing our teams right now. We need to remember that we’re all human—and, as such, we want connection. Meaningful connection. We want to engage our colleagues, we want to feel respected and valued by our leadership, and we all rely on healthy communication serving as the lifeblood of any office.
“There is little success where there is little laughter.”
– Andrew Carnegie
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