How To Build Trust In The Remote Workplace

I still find the odd two-hour sessions in a cafe helpful for breaking up the day but I’m now in a position to enjoy my home office. If you’re am unproductive remote worker, things quickly start to fall apart and working from home feels more like a curse than a perk. These issues obviously impact the individual but they also have an effect on the team they’re a part of, too. Some cultural differences can impact the way your team works together. Native speakers need to be aware that misunderstandings will happen and take whatever possible steps to make them less likely/severe.

  • There’s a demonstrated link between the amount of social support people have at work, and having lower rates of burnout and higher productivity and job satisfaction.
  • Some people find informal socializing with their coworkers a way to build trust.
  • Technology keeps reminding us that we can all become easily replaced and our job made obsolete.
  • Timesheet app, for example, is a great way to keep team members accountable.
  • To demonstrate this in this article, we’re looking at 10 remote work challenges and how to overcome them.

If things go wrong, they will then trust that they will know about it with sufficient time to react or to understand how change will affect them. What this means is that even if a method has once proven useful, it is not a guarantee that it will continue to ensure a trusted interaction among employees. Most times, people try to gain the trust of an employee by relying on their unofficial and social side, but this clearly won’t be effective for some that have a poor social life. I spent the first months building trust with my colleagues in one-on-one meetings. That included my peers in engineering, product, design and my team members in every discipline as well.

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The advantages of the office environment have made me and most people so comfortable that switching to remote and hybrid teams became more difficult than necessary. We’ve always worked under the presumption that we can only build trust and resolve issues using in-person conversations. This is fading after working remotely for a couple of years, but it has been a challenge.

Now we’re getting into some of the more complex problems of managing remote teams. To hit big targets, you’ve got to make sure all the smaller tasks are getting completed in a timely manner. Keeping track of the progress multiple remote workers are making on a daily basis can be a daunting prospect.

Can you trust a remote team

The other question is what they want to do 3-12 months from now. I need to collect feedback from my team to make myself the best leader I can be and to be able to give feedback to them. You need to make sure to provide everyone the opportunity to speak their minds. You can go around and ask everyone individually or you can utilize the raise-hand features, but giving everyone a chance to speak up on every topic is still difficult. Finally, I mentioned an app called Daywise earlier and now is the time to explain about it in a little more detail. Sadly, it’s only available for Android and I wish I could suggest an alternative for iOS but I’m not aware of one that allows you to schedule notifications in quite the same way.

The Company Is Unsure Of What Method To Use To Build Trust

At the time I joined, the mobile division was just founded with one engineer building the MVP, one designer, one product manager, and another engineer helping out with the backend. The company planned to invest more into the division moving forward, and I took on the leadership role. The closest company office is in Toronto, which is about seven hours away from where I live, but I haven’t had a chance to travel there yet. You don’t want a yearly performance review to just meet expectations. You want to find the key moments when a person stood up for the team, took on tasks no one else was willing to, or went above and beyond.

Can you trust a remote team

More than anyone else, they need the boost to stay productive and happy. What you can do is inform yourself as much as possible – read articles, advice from other business owners, but most importantly, ask employees about their opinions. Precisely because we are all different, it’s best they share what they believe is a trustworthy train in a person. Then, find a method that will include them showing those traits.

You’ll then get a list of notifications when you’re scheduled time arrives, which you can view in chronological order. Best of all, you can set different schedules for different apps. This means you can use Daywise to block notifications that might distract you while you’re working and then block work-related apps from eating into your personal time. The best way to switch off after work is by getting everything done that you set out to do before the day is over. This is why productivity is so important because it’s you instinctively know that you deserve to switch off when you’ve ticked everything off the day’s list. I think it’s the same feeling I get if I fail to complete a task within a time period I’ve set for myself.

Invest In Your Employees’ Health

Micro-management places pressure on employees and makes them unproductive. As the team manager, you build trust communication as long as you encourage working together harmoniously and open communication. Give your team members the benefit of trust to work in your absence and only step in when required. The abundance of social interactions in the office may lead you to think you don’t need these meetings, but in remote teams, you need to have them often. Frequent 20- to 30-minute meetings help a lot with building and maintaining connections. As far as I see, the future will be a combination of remote and hybrid teams.

RescueTime is another productivity tool that helps you see where time is being wasted. The software tracks the amount of time spent in apps, revealing how many munites are lost to Twitter or other apps that often kill productivity. It can also do the same for specific websites insides browser apps to reveal which pages are holding up progress.

Can you trust a remote team

Well, the project management tools we looked at earlier will help you do that in a reactionary sense. In other words, they’ll show you when team members have started tasks and finished them, but you only get this information after these interactions take place. What we can learn from Phan’s statement is that measuring productivity is also a form of building trust.

There may be a number of competing priorities, but the main point is to let everyone know that you take their issues seriously and it’s on the agenda even if nothing is guaranteed. The more I trust executive leadership to take the issues I bring to them seriously, the more I can advocate for them in front of my team. Plan and track marketing collaboratively with your team with our roundup of leading tools for marketing team communication. With this in mind, you can see why it’s so important that you set achievable targets for each day and routinely hit those targets.

Challenges For Remote Workers:

Purchase the book to support the author and the ad-free Holloway reading experience. You get instant digital access, 800 links and references, a library of tools for remote-friendly work, commentary and future updates, and a high-quality PDF download. I had to simultaneously establish trust with my manager, my peers and my direct reports; learn the organization culture; and advocate for my division in the company. At the organizational level, the metric can be transparency around communication. Once you’ve built trust with individuals, you can build organizational trust on the back of that. One-on-one meetings have become easier to manage in a virtual team.

On the other hand, some proactivity can help you prevent issues. If they tend to say, “I’m working on it; I’ll get back to you when it’s done. If they tend to get into details about what they’re doing, what they’re struggling with, or even ask for help, it signals that they trust the team. Avoid giving surprise feedback, whether it’s positive or constructive, to maintain a trusting relationship.

It held a 5-day retreat for all employees in 2019, which included a “day off” for exploring with colleagues. The focus of the week is to help people form more direct personal connections with each other, and realign everyone with the broader mission of the company. You’re reading an excerpt of The Holloway Guide to Remote Work, a book by Katie Wilde, Juan Pablo Buriticá, and over 50 other contributors. It is the most comprehensive resource on building, managing, and adapting to working with distributed teams.

Studies have found remote workers are more productive, healthier and enjoy a more positive work-life balance. The benefits for workers and businesses alike are driving a workplace revolution – one that’s projected to see 50% of the UK workforce working remotely to some extent by 2020. Clockify is a time tracker and timesheet app that lets you track work hours across projects. Trust also means knowing that employees can autonomously decide what is best for their work process, and having faith in their judgment. This is the part where, in turn, managers and team leads need to build trust with others.

How Can You Measure Trust In A Virtual Team?

You don’t have to sit in a meeting room all day talking to one team member after another; you can fit one-on-ones into your schedule more organically. Remote employees worry about being overlooked for promotions since they can’t meet with corporate officials in person. Even when evidence showed that remote employees were more likely to be high achievers, most managers still evaluated their performance lower than in-person employees.

#7: Maximising Productivity

Building trust with your cross-functional peers is as important for a leader as building trust with your team. Once your team gets into a rhythm, leaders need to do less upkeep and monitoring to facilitate conversations. In my current team, I don’t need to check whether the engineers are connecting with each other or the product managers are getting the answers they need. These connections have been working reliably since people got comfortable in the virtual environment. Developing a trusting workplace environment may need patience and compassion while working remotely for some individuals. It’s important to remember that firms must flourish to meet demand.

For basic document collaboration, Google Drive will have you covered and things start to get a little more niche from here, depending on what you need. For those design teams we mentioned earlier, tools like InVision make collaborative prototyping possible for remote teams. The great thing about is that it gives you multiple project views to keep track of progress while its How to Hire a Remote Team task management system is great. Tasks can be assigned/reassigned and team members can set progress statuses for everyone to see. Without having a physical presence, communication is more difficult and keeping track of individual tasks is problematic, especially for complex projects and large teams. Without that kind of trust, turnover and general dissatisfaction are more likely.

Don’t judge your employees’ performance by how active they are on company chat or how fast they respond to e-mails. Using this strategy, an employee’s job is rated on the product rather than their looks. Focus on getting the task done to build trust between remote employees and their managers. Productivity isn’t only an issue for remote workers and there’s a lot of scientific research going into this topic these days. There are also plenty of tools designed to help businesses, teams and individuals maximise productivity. Basecamp meets at its office in Chicago twice per year to share company updates and give employees space and time for informal meetups, working sessions, and presentations.

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Remote working sounds like the business revolution we all need but it’s not something you can simply switch to and hope for the best. As with anything, there are downsides to remote working and a number of challenges to overcome, as well. Thankfully, there are working strategies and tools every business can use to overcome these issues and enjoy the full benefits remote working has to offer. Overcome the biggest remote work challenges for teams and individuals with these proven solutions .

#3: Tracking Tasks And Productivity

In remote companies, employees need a shared understanding of how to think about trusting their teammates and leaders. There is no gain-say in the fact that a trusted interaction and communication in a remote team is very important. The success of any organization depends largely on how much the employer trusts the employees and how well the employee trusts the organization’s objective. Working in remote teams presents an opportunity to build a more sustainable culture of communication. In an office environment, you can walk over to the person you want to talk to anytime or you can meet them in the hallway, the kitchen, or have a coffee together.

So, now, I’m working harder to meet multiple deadlines throughout the day, instead of just plodding my way through tasks. But I’m also taking more breaks and getting more done throughout the day and I feel validated enough by this that I now instinctively ignore anything that might distract from the task at hand. I’m not particularly good at self-discipline but I am good at responding to gentle encouragement and Serene prompts me to set a single goal for the day before I get started. This keeps me focused on a single objective throughout the day so I don’t get caught up in distractions that can wait for another day.

It takes more effort to set up a call for the same discussion in a virtual environment. People who establish trust too easily tend to assume the bright side of a tough situation or conflict. People basing their trust on evidence take their time to get comfortable around new coworkers, and they’re more likely to have negative thoughts when others make small mistakes.

Working remotely requires your company to trust you can do the work not only without them seeing you, but also without constant physical interaction with your teammates. The other product divisions in our company consist of people or more. My trust in my team makes me a better advocate for them when it comes to budgeting, resourcing and prioritizing. I trust my teams to deal with the technical aspects, so they need to give feedback to each other. They have to deal with the consequences of each other’s technical decisions. You don’t want your team to over-engineer every pull request to the point where safeguards against an unlikely error take 10X more work than the task itself.

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