8 Tips to Work with Distributed Teams

Today, it is common to find that business and human relationships are globalizing, and in turn generating alternative work dynamics - such as working in distributed teams.

A major challenge

We face a constantly changing reality, linked to new labor dynamics that have emerged along with the impact of technology, telecommunications and the ability to quickly close geographical gaps more easily.

As companies become increasingly global and begin to occupy different geographical areas, so arises the need to distribute workers across different parts of the world but with a significant need for connectivity between them. It is here that the work team is confronted by a paradigm shift: to change from a physical, in-person team to a distributed team where people span across different cities and even countries, as well as a high tendency towards multiculturalism.

Even though in most cases workers have physical offices and working spaces, they must still take steps to address this cultural shift that calls for a transition and adaptation on the part of workers to the new structure and dynamics that distributed work brings, with different types of communications and strategies for maintaining a good working environment.

Resistance to change is the main factor that gives human beings difficulties in the adaptation process, where there is also a risk of running into the following problematic situations:

  • Disruption of the work team.
  • Disruption of the work process.
  • Resistance to change and difficulty adapting to the new dynamics.
  • Demotivation.
  • Breakdown in communication.
  • Dehumanization in long distance relationships.
  • Lack of knowledge about technological advancements.

Virtual Watercooler

What to do? The most effective solution: put online culture in place

This paradigm shift comes with the need to create a pleasant working environment in both the in-person and remote workplace in order to allow the transition and change process to be assimilated in a proactive and healthy way. It is also essential to create the conditions to reinforce the virtual team as a new way of going about the day-to-day. It is therefore advisable not to lose sight of the following aspects that will help build a good online culture:

  1. Change Management and monitoring of the team's adaptation and transition process.
  2. Contain the cultural change transition process: Give support for the human capital in the team.
  3. Raising awareness and building knowledge of the virtual relationship and distributed teams.
  4. New relationships, which when well managed, provide excellent opportunities for multicultural exchange and richness. Recognition of the new dynamic as a distributed team and virtual proximity.
  5. Generate synergy and connectivity with one another even while not sharing the same geographical location.
  6. Foster virtual spaces in order to humanize the workplace and strengthen the human potential.
  7. Empower team members in order to encourage autonomous and self directed work.
  8. Implement collective leadership strategies in order to reinforce the distributed team.