In today’s world we are connected more than we have ever been in the history of mankind and yet the research shows that our generation is the loneliest and most socially isolated compared to the previous generations.
Distributed teams and loneliness
As an increasing amount of organisations start employing remote workers and turn into distributed companies they face yet another problem. While many report increased profits and their employees praise freedom and report a major jump in productivity, not many speak of the “dark side” of working remotely.
One of the most common challenges expressed by remote workers is loneliness. Don’t get us wrong, working from home may be incredibly convenient – you can walk around in your PJs all day long, there is no need to commute or listen to that annoying colleague of yours continuously updating the whole open office on her love life. However, at the same time, not having the face-to-face interaction may turn into an extremely isolating experience, especially for the more extroverted type of employees.
Importance of team communication skills
Another huge challenge when leading a remote team is the need to communicate. A LOT. And then communicate some more. Which, as we all know, without often being able to see the person can lend itself to a whole chain of miscommunication, especially, because common sense is not so common, in particular, when dealing with multi-cultural remote teams.
What is absolutely paramount in having a remote team is taking time and effort to build your team culture to support working across cultures, languages, time zones and locations. Remote workers need to understand each other very well. People actually don’t often invest enough time to learn more about cultural and even personal differences and peculiarities.
If you take any great team (friends, sports teams, communities) you’ll notice that there is one overlapping thread – they all tend to know each other really well. That is - not only are they self-aware but they have also taken time to learn what their teammates are about, especially what they are good at and what their weaknesses are and how they can complement each other in those areas.
We have seen first hand how organising recurring team get-together have benefited remote teams and blown expectations through the roof! This is where you may consider treating your team and investing in a bonding experience. An experience that will create heart-warming memories and togetherness in the “off screen” environment. Your team will be transformed.