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The Pitfalls Of Building Remote Team Culture

The Pitfalls Of Building Remote Team Culture

July 24, 2020

A lot has been said about the need for a strong remote team culture and how you can do it. There has been enough emphasis on the fact that uniform efforts towards building a robust culture is a requisite for you to drive your company towards success. However, it’s not necessarily the simplest thing you will ever do. In fact, considering all the things that can go wrong in a remote team are overwhelming. Here are some of the pitfalls of building a remote team culture that you should expect and accept as a part of the journey toward an awe-inspiring work culture.

Hiring The Wrong People

It will happen. Hopefully, it will not happen too often, but the likelihood of hiring the wrong person is considerably high. We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again. Not everyone is the right fit for a work-from-home job. Some people fit in better in an environment where they get to see other people and experience personal interactions on a daily basis.

Some people need to be present in an office physically to be motivated. Some people just do not have the ability to integrate the idea of remote working into their personalities and some even find it absolutely ludicrous that people can work with all of the potential distractions of a home office. The point is, remote working can seem like an attractive opportunity to many working professionals. A desk job can get rather monotonous and the need for a change could prompt one to apply to a remote position even if they are not suited.

You will inevitably hire employees, who are slow at using digital tools to communicate or do not effectively plan out their activities and tasks.

Here is a list of a few things you can do to avoid going through the hassle of hiring someone who will not be able to fit into a remote position.

  1. Develop tests that help you evaluate job skills and requirements.
  2. Intentionally chart out the skills and personality traits you are looking for.
  3. Set deadlines. The appeal of remote work is flexibility, but too much flexibility can cause procrastination.
  4. Pay your remote employees competitive wages for their location.
  5. Build a team of multiple intelligent, hardworking, and exceptionally talented people with a variety of skills rather than hiring just one ultra-brilliant person.

Project Management

Project management skills are arguably the most important skill required for managers who are engaged in hiring remote teams. Structuring a project from start to finish and having systematic workflows in place is essential, along with delegating tasks to different members of the team.

Some of the most typical pitfalls in project management are:

  • Poorly planned projects
  • Lack of trust and faith in your team members
  • Lack of clarity
  • Huge chunks of tasks, all at once
  • Unrealistic deadlines

You will notice that any or even all of these could occur at some point, and that’s okay.

Team Member Isolation

Despite your best efforts to bring your team together, remote working can and will make certain team members feel isolated. Even though they attend the work meetings and check off all of the project tasks they may not feel that they are being heard or growing within the organization.

The best way to deal with this is to create a very clear path for them. What is expected of them? How will all parties involved know that the individual is pulling their weight and an important part of the team.

Training

It might become difficult to impart the same kind of training to your remote employees that you do to your in-office team. An astonishing amount of information exchange that can be quantified as the gaining of new knowledge, takes place in an office, in passing.

Training your remote workforce might become difficult, even with the help of great tools. A good way to mitigate this risk is to always structure an ongoing series of training sessions so that gradually, you are able to guide your remote workforce in the right direction. Assessing how much they learn could be another challenge if you get bombarded with different stats and figures from different learning management systems that you use. Define key criteria that you believe are paramount to the knowledge you are distributing and use those to evaluate the performance of your training material and of the employees.

Consistency

You may notice a slump in their consistency in terms of efforts or even results of the efforts your remote team members put in. Communicating with them and getting to the root of the problem can be helpful. This where your personal connection and rapport helps. It is important to be able to have an open dialogue in order to understand why there has been a decline or a dip in their productivity. Having open communication is going to help you understand how to solve the problem before your team member feels more isolated and begins to look for other opportunities.

Poor usage of project-management tools could also lead to remote work inconsistency. It is, thus, imperative for you to set an example of using the right tools and using them correctly for the benefit of the company.

About ChatFox

ChatFox is a Slack chatbot that builds remote teams and culture. Remote teams that only engage through projects, tasks, and deadlines do not foster a culture around shared values and goals. Build a strong remote team culture, improve remote team productivity, and eliminate team member isolation. Use ChatFox Icebreakers to build rapport with team members, use ChatFox Coffee Chats to have meaningful conversations with people across your organization, or use ChatFox Shout Outs to recommend a colleague and endorse their skills. Unlike other remote team solutions, ChatFox looks at remote team culture from a strategic perspective and has created engaging chats for your team that provide management with insights into remote team engagement, skills, contributions, and mobility.



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