- February 14, 2020
- in Digital Transformation
- by Lisa Hurd Walker
Spreading the Love to Your Distributed Teams
While candy hearts and chocolate start to appear in the office kitchen, they don’t change the pace for the modern workforce. Digital workforce transformation has created a landscape of lightning-speed, always-on communication between workers. This connection creates an powerful opportunity for businesses to organize teams that span from various U.S. cities to several continents. Because of this, leaning into the right technology fuels productive distributed work and ensures all teams are balanced and successful.
Across the globe, people may be celebrating the season of love in different time zones, but spreading positivity to your teams — especially when you’re not in the same workspace — should always be a priority. Here are 3 easy ways to encourage a positive work culture for distributed teams.
1. Team meeting? Video on.
It is best practice to foster a “video on” culture for distributed meetings. Seeing coworkers, even though they may be miles away, develops strong rapport and shares more about who they are and the environment they work in. Whether it’s a home office, corporate site, or a favorite coffee shop, video calls help rethink remote work to create open streams of dialogue for teams.
Fuze research finds that the impact of video use affects meeting length, particularly if video is used at any point during a meeting, the length of the meeting increases on average by seven minutes or by 14 percent. Thus, a longer video meeting increases team face time, enabling more opportunities to bond with distributed coworkers and develop relationships critical to bottom-line success.
2. Let your — and your coworkers — voices be heard.
Often, the most extroverted team members in a video meeting might have the confidence to provide speedy input, but it's critical to allow every person in the meeting a chance to share voice their opinion and expertise, especially when operating among distributed teams. Although this should be a priority for team leaders and managers, all team members need to be mindful and willing to cooperate to ensure that no one person dominates the conversation.
A good first step toward engaging less vocal team members during meetings is ensuring that a thoughtful agenda is in place when the meeting is scheduled and each member of the team is given the opportunity to review it well ahead of time. This gives team members time to process and compile thoughtful ideas before a meeting instead of having to brainstorm on the spot. It’s even helpful to pose a question to each individual, which not only allows for all voices to be heard, but also increases the chance of inviting diverse ideas into the meeting.
3. Be mindful of the learning curve.
With new technology comes new skills. Building confidence in the communications and collaboration tools used by distributed teams is critical to using this technology to its full potential. Because of this, establishing an inclusive culture from the outset is a top priority. While this may take some time, team members spanning across multiple generations should keep in mind that not all employees adopt new skills at the same pace.
New technology should be viewed as an opportunity to create better, more streamlined business processes. Ensuring all employees — no matter their age, location or device preference — are able to confidently participate in meetings increases the efficacy of meetings and maximizes productivity.
This week, spend an extra moment thinking about how you can influence a more positive, open and caring culture at work, no matter the structure of your teams. You can learn more about distributed work on our website.