7 Ingredients for Teams that Enable Exceptional Remote Work (Part 2)

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female employee engaged in webcam conversation with coworkers

In part 1 of this article, I wrote about how communication and connection contribute to enhanced skills necessary for remote work. Here in part 2, I share five additional ingredients for teams, as shared by Jennifer Britton of Remote Pathways in her  Remote Working Whitepaper (pdf)

Clarity  is one of the most important enablers of exceptional remote work. This involves clarity of focus, clarity of priorities, clarity of expectations, clarity of roles and responsibilities. In the remote space, we need to make things EXPLICIT, and be regularly exploring our ASSUMPTIONS. 

What clarity is needed for team members to do their best work? 

Culture encompasses both visible (behaviors, language, artefact) and invisible manifestations (norms, values, basic assumptions or beliefs).” – Rosinski, 2003, p 20. 

In shaping a culture there are the things we can see and help to define us (our taglines or the way we start meetings) and there are things that we don’t see. Team culture can remain very diffuse and not clear in the remote space. Taking efforts to clarify and intentionally shaping what team culture is, and how we do things, becomes paramount for remote team performance. 

Team culture becomes even more pronounced or diluted in the remote space, so a focus on this can be really important, especially when people are part of multiple teams. 

Consistency is also key when we are dispersed or operating in different locations. It’s consistency of messaging, practices, and the way we do things. For example, every Monday we meet at 7:30 am, regardless of how many people can attend live. 

Community: Remote Workers are hungry for connection and community. What are you doing to build a sense of connection and identity across your team or organization? Community can range from boosting communication across internal social platforms to interactive virtual lunch and learns. 

Collaboration is an essential skill set when we work remote. We still need to place an emphasis on relationships. Who do you need to collaborate with in order to get things done? What can you do to collaborate better? Where are those collaboration windows and requirements? 

These seven remote enablers are the ingredients for exceptional remote work within our teams. 

Blair Wagner, Organizational Change Manager  
UHR coaching tips to share   

This is the fifth in a series on working remotely, based on content from Jennifer Britton of Remote Pathways. For your convenience, view the first, secondthird, and fourth blog posts. Any feedback that you have on this post, posts in this series, or thoughts in general can be sent to hr-oe-blog@uiowa.edu. Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts and reading!