Tips to Work Effectively in Remote Teams
Updated: May 18
The appeal of working remotely is obvious, however, there are many challenges that come with this remote approach to working, especially in a team full of remote workers. This article provides some great tips on how you can perform well in a remote team. They are tried-and-tested tips that are practiced by Hetki.ai when we build a tool that helps teams have better online meetings with automatic notes, analytics and transcription.
Timeboxing is one of the simplest time management techniques there is. To practice timeboxing, all you need to do is to allocate a fixed block of time on your calendar for a certain task.
This block of time should be considered similar to a scheduled meeting. Instead of being a meeting with others, this timebox is a meeting you schedule between you and the task needed to be done.
Therefore, similar to how you would behave in a meeting, you should not multitask, allow other things to distract you during this period of time or let it run overtime.
By creating an environment and mentality similar to that of a meeting, you can focus better on the task needed to be done and fight against procrastination when having a fixed start time and deadline that you need to finish by.
2. Automate tasks
In a work from home setting, workers could face new challenges to keep their productivity at a satisfactory level such as digital and environmental distractions or additional tasks unique to working from home.
Besides eliminating digital and environmental distractions with dedicated working space or arrangement with loved ones about no distraction during working hours, you can step up in productivity by automating some of your tasks.
Online meeting is one amongst those tasks that appear in greater numbers when offices move online. While you cannot automate participating in online meetings, you can automate tasks related to online meetings such as taking notes by using online meeting assistant tools such as Hetki.ai. You can pay full attention and contribute more to the conversations taking place during the meeting by delegating note-taking to Hetki.ai. Check out how Hetki.ai helps you have a better online meeting experience with automated notes, meeting analytics and transcriptions at Hetki.ai.
3. Take deliberate recharge
Remote work can be isolating at times. This isolation coupled with work stress can take a toll on remote workers.
Moreover, working from home may blur the line between work and life, which makes it harder for you to break away from the stress of work to spend the much needed personal recharge time.
Each person will find different levels of effectiveness for different methods of recharging, but it is good to keep in mind that recharging activities can take place during work hours, not just after work. The walk to the cafe station in the office or the small talk you have with your coworkers have always been the recharging activities that do not necessarily happen when you feel like you absolutely need a break.
Therefore, when working from home, don't just take a few minutes break away from work only when you feel burned out or tired. Instead, make it a habit to take small breaks, maybe to just simply interact with your family members, housemates or pets.
Moreover, leadership positions in organizations or remote teams can make a strong impact in supporting remote workers with initiatives to have regular mental health check-ins and destigmatize talking about mental health or requesting for mental health support.
In the digital setting, your team is deprived of many physical cues aiding communication such as facial expressions and body language. Therefore, nuances could easily be lost when you communicate with teammates through a video call or messaging platform.
Therefore, to make up for this lack of online communication, you should overcommunicate to make sure you get your message across as intended and get enough visibility.
Overcommunicate here means that when communicating, you also do things that might seem redundant in a non-remote context such as providing a more detailed context to what you mean to say or repeat some information a few times.
In remote settings where digital distractions are redundant and you cannot have a quick chat with your coworkers about a task when you see them in the hallway, having these additional bits of information will help increase visibility of information to ensure that everyone on the team is aware of what is going on.
So bring up that extra piece of context information when talking in the team’s chat. You can also use tools that enable easier information sharing such as Hetki.ai where you can share meeting notes and insights to all of your team members.
5. Build Team Culture
A good team culture is vital to any workplace, whether it is remote or in-office.
Why is it important to build team culture for remote teams?
The culture of your team is how the team members work together to achieve company, team and individuals' goals. In a team with good culture, the members would be empowered to act on the aforementioned points of communicating better and speaking up about the need for mental health support, which will help members become more productive and satisfied with the company.
A good team culture is also a cost-effective way for businesses to keep current employees motivated and inspired as well as attracting new talents.
An important event for teams to pay attention to is when there is a new team member. From before the new member is decided - meaning during the interview phase, team culture fit is an important criteria to consider. During onboarding, the team should also make extra effort to ensure that the new team member feels welcomed and help them integrate with the team. As they are yet to have too many things on their plates, the new member can dive deep into understanding the team culture and acclimate themselves to the team.