The sun rises and sets with you on the couch. Your pet snuggling beside you. You have found satisfaction in working remotely on your own. It’s great—but you might be growing in isolation.
Maybe your team’s on a flexible schedule. Some work in the morning while some work when the moon is hanging up high. Things may seem to move slowly, and you are looking for other ways to improve your productivity.
If you want to connect with your colleagues and collaborate effectively this year, here are some adjustments you may work on together.
Importance of Teamwork for Engineers and IT Professionals
Collaborating with others keeps a tech team overflowing with strategies and solutions. Like in any line of work, teamwork is very much needed in tech. Working with others not only provides you with a helping hand but also resources for new tech innovations.
Surely your colleague heard of new software you can all try to make work faster and foolproof. Another one of you may have discovered a new security threat that no one has detected yet. Learning from experience is one thing but learning from the experience of another is a whole new level.
This is the power of teamwork and collaboration. You get the help you need, and you learn new things as well. In turn, you help your colleague and share your own experiences. It’s a win-win.
Implementing the Best Teamwork in a Remote Setup
It’s great to work remotely. It lets you have a more balanced work and personal life while saving precious time that could’ve been wasted traveling on the road. No one likes to be stuck in traffic or wait in a long line at a restaurant just to get a decent meal.
However, remember that working with a team needs a genuine connection to function productively. Working remotely is no exception.
Communication is key and setting clear expectations for one another sets a good standard for your team. Of course, remember to always leave room for error and improvement.
1. Set attainable expectations and have confidence in each other.
Maybe you have colleagues who require your occasional assistance. Teamwork can be tricky. You might go out of your way and take charge of the tasks assigned to them.
- Instead, trust them to fulfill their part.
- Remind them that they can resolve the obstacles through their own unique skill set.
- Believe that they have their own way and pace of accomplishing things.
- Be there when they ask for help and they’ll be there for you when you need it back.
Encourage open discourse and celebrate successes together to help build each other’s confidence. Being heard and knowing what you say matters creates a lighter work atmosphere and helps coworkers to feel more at ease to collaborate.
2. Make support accessible and practice co-mentorship.
You don’t have to be a boss to mentor other people. Practice co-mentorship among friends and colleagues to learn from each other’s best talents while also finding solutions for your vulnerabilities.
- Set a regular schedule of friendly discussions.
- To balance your time working together and alone, let others know the best times to get in touch with you.
- Be as specific as possible and go through tasks that can be improved together.
- Take notes or create shared online threads and discussions that everyone can go back to for tips.
In terms of support, being familiar with your teammate’s work can also help you take over in times of an emergency or when they decide to leave the company. Having a firm and understandable structure in your department can make this easier for everyone.
3. Communicate clearly and efficiently to avoid collaboration overload.
Over the past decade, collaborative work has increased by over 50 percent. Employees now spend roughly 34 hours out of their 40-hour work week teaming up with others. ¹ Teamwork should be done hand in hand with solo work.
- Communicate your needs clearly and briefly.
- Lay out all the information to avoid a follow-up meeting too soon.
- For one-on-one discussions, send a private message or set a call instead.
No one should be forced to keep on attending excessive meetings or updates every week. This can lead some to feel overwhelmed and exhausted and can affect their productivity. Find the right time to regroup and understand your peer’s social needs and limits.
4. Practice your company’s values as a team.
If you’re unsure of how to work with others, take this time to familiarize yourself with your company’s values. Ask yourself in what situations you can apply important things like boldness, integrity, and creativity.
Encourage others to create a work structure based on your core values to make them authentic to your team. This can also help your team create solutions that align with the company through new products or services.
If your workplace gives importance to:
- Accountability, set accountability partners within the team.
- Creativity, be open to sharing your thoughts and ideas.
- Leadership, take the helm and have the initiative in doing things.
5. Take advantage of the latest collaborative tools.
Make your teamwork and communication more fun and strategic.
- Use project management channels like Asana and Trello to make important information accessible to everyone.
- If you are looking to engage your team through your various interests, try setting up clubs or simple activities on Microsoft Teams or Discord.
- You can set bots that can play music contributed by everyone. You can get to know each other’s tastes and discover new jams to listen to.
- If you want a more flexible working experience, search for apps that can be easily accessed on a mobile phone.
Read More on Tasks: How to Use a Virtual Assistant to Manage Your Remote Employees’ Task List
6. Meet your teammates in person whenever possible.
If you are luckily working in the same city or near each other, try meeting up to chat—not for work. Having an atmosphere of fun where you can get to know each other off-screen can help you be more comfortable with each other.
- A coffee shop is always a good place to have meaningful conversations.
- If you want to do something else while outdoors, try walking around a park.
- You can also try fun-filled activities like theme parks.
- Or indoor activities like skating, wall-climbing, jump parks, and laser tag.
Find a place that is peaceful where you can pay full attention to each other. Or in other cases, full of fun!
Your team is surely one of a kind, formed by individuals who have their own stories to bring to your table. Celebrate each other’s uniqueness with kindness to make your output more abundant and creative.
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1 Jaclyn Margolis Ph.D. “Emails, Slack, Zoom: Is Your Team Too Connected?”. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/shifting-workplace-dynamics/202302/emails-slack-zoom-is-your-team-too-connected. Published last February 9, 2023. Accessed last March 7, 2023.