As more and more companies begin to expand their remote work policies, why not steal a few things from the best?
Google recently came out with a couple of points on what their operations look like. Here’s what they recommend for managing effective remote teams:
- Make Team Meetings a Priority
While too many meetings can become a bore and have your team feeling like they don’t actually haven’t enough time to get their work done, it’s important to find a balance and maintain team relationships.
As Google says, “Team meetings are often some of the only interactions you’ll have with your team when working apart so schedule them, prioritize them even if there isn’t anything urgent, and be socially present.”
- Show Personal Interest
“Create opportunities to get to know your teammates just like you would if they sat in the next desk over. Start your meetings with an open-ended, personal question. Try “what did you do this weekend?” says google.
They also suggest a good way to maintain strong relationships is to have a virtual breakfast or lunch together.
- Be Present
Google says, “Some engagement signals are lost when working together virtually, particularly when we mute the microphone or focus intently on our laptops.”
Just like in face to face conversations, it’s important to keep common courtesy and show others that you’re listening. Some suggestions include:
- Make sure your camera is always on so others can see you;
- Give both verbal and non-verbal signals, such as a head nod or an “mmhmm;”
- Stay off your phone and maintain eye contact when you can.
- Invite colleagues’ participation.
It can already be challenging for “introverted” colleagues to participate in group meetings. However, it’s even more difficult in a virtual setting. Team leads can help by directly asking individuals for their input.
It’s also good to stay in tune with people’s body language and give them the chance to speak if it seems they’re trying to enter the conversation.
- Use the Right Medium
How do you decide whether it’s best to send a message or jump on a call?
Google put the answer perfectly:
“Video is best for more sensitive or detailed discussions, while a quick message is great for check-ins or clarifying simple matters. Don’t default to a message when a richer format is warranted; don’t force a formal video meeting when an email is enough.”