8 Ways to Keep Your Team in Sync While Working Remotely
Managing a team that works completely remotely can be challenging. Many teams have had to adjust to the new status quo of working from home, along with all the other world changes we have experienced in the past year and a half. Yeah, we all know it’s been a challenging time… and on top of that, you miss being IRL with your team!
It’s totally normal for teams to feel that lack of togetherness they once had. Working remotely just isn’t the same. Here are ways to keep your team in sync and working as a team, from all over the world:
- Streamline communication. You get a message and hear a buzz, ring, and a ding all at the same time. One message goes to three different devices. This means three different notifications. Now multiply that by all the different platforms you and your team communicate on and… that’s a lot of background noise! Why do you think Steve Jobs wore the same outfit every day? Streamlining. There are so many more important things you can use your valuable brain space for than sifting through all the different platforms you use to find one message. Limiting the platforms your team communicates on streamlines your success. If your workflow does rely on communication through a few different platforms, set guidelines for what kinds of communication should be used for each platform (ex. finished proposals sent through email, proposal updates sent through Slack).
- Have weekly meetings that you and your team can count on. Setting time aside for a weekly team meeting is crucial to your team’s success. Having a scheduled time on the calendar helps your team to set deadlines, keep up to date on expectations, and stay in sync on projects. Plus, it’s just fun to see everyone’s beautiful, smiling faces each week!
- Schedule time for coffee and a chat. Miss those walks to get coffee with your coworkers? Scheduling a Zoom coffee one on one or as a team can be a fun way to catch up on everyone’s worlds that exist OOO. Even 15 minutes at the start of a meeting to catch up is a fun way for your team to share those exciting life moments with each other and experience that warm, fuzzy feeling of togetherness.
- Goal-set with your team. Does your team know the goal for this week? This quarter? This year? Goal setting is important, for big teams and for small. Weekly goal check-ins are a helpful way to keep everyone on the same page. Putting goals on the calendar and also having a system where your team can see them listed all on one page can be helpful to remind your team of what they’ve accomplished… and the big picture of what they’re working towards.
- Educate your team on the company goals. Again with the goals. Yes, goal setting is important! Goals are your team’s north star, their guiding light to success. Not only should the team know their individual and team goals, they should also understand the goals of the company. Keeping your team in the know about what the company is working towards helps your team to understand where they fit. It also gives team goals context, which is an important tool to experience maximum success.
- Know each others’ strengths and weaknesses. Being a part of a team means knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Just like the point guard knows who to throw the ball to when there’s three seconds left on the shot clock, you should know who to turn to for expert advice on your presentation. Knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses will help your team experience greater success. Score!
- Be aware of time zones. If your team members are working all over the country, or even the world, being aware of each person’s time zone is important. Not only does it obviously make a difference for scheduling (hint: no 9 AM EST meetings when half of your team lives on the West Coast), it’s also important when setting deadlines and choosing when to communicate. It’s important to respect your team’s work hours and only communicate during their office hours, if you can.
- Use Surprise for Teams. Shameless plug here. Surprise for teams is a fun way to create team unity with impact. Not only is Surprise designed to drive your team’s everyday performance with daily Missions™ created just for them, but it’s also social! Your team can view the Missions™ each team member is working on and help support each other along the way!
You manage an awesome team. Working remotely isn’t always easy, but your team is doing an incredible job! Implementing these tips will help take your team’s success to the next level and bring back that feeling of team unity.
Allie Demopoulos is a Content Copywriter at Surprise.com. A writer and producer, she believes that humor is the greatest tool and that the best of anything–comedy, music, stories–are experienced in basements. When she’s not creating, you can find her in the electric streets of Manhattan, a place she feels lucky to call home.