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The 7 Aspects to Remote Working Agreements

By May 5, 2020No Comments

Through our experience working with remote, distributed teams across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India, we have learned that there are 7 aspects to creating a Team Working Agreement that most teams face.

  1. Toolkit: What tools will you use and for which purpose?
    From work reviews to socialising, there are myriad online tools to support day-to-day work. What activities do you need to support with online tools and how will you champion the use of those tools within your team?
  2. Etiquette: How do you create a respectful environment when you’re in a remote team?

Etiquette in business is about providing basic social guidelines and creating an environment where others feel comfortable and secure. It’s much easier to read intentions, emotions, and body language face-to-face; so consider how etiquette can help smooth over communication when the regular sensory cues aren’t available.

  1. Rituals: What can you all do together (online) to feel like a team?
    Maybe you have a ‘coffee break’ chat channel open to everybody for one hour every morning dedicated to casual chats. A large part of any company culture is built on routines. Think about what activities you can regularly do with your team to foster connection and belonging.
  2. Decision Making: How do you make decisions when you can’t be in the same room?

If you’re not in the same location, it’s important that you’re able to clearly communicate the complexity of a problem or the decision that needs to be made. Whether you need a quick decision on the fly or group consensus from your team, decide upfront what format to use for your various decision-making types.

  1. Task Management: How do you know if your team is being productive?

Using digital task and project management tools are great, but there needs to be a clear understanding of how they will be used. You can’t pop past somebody’s desk to get a status on their work or use a whiteboard to track tasks, so consider how you will clearly communicate your expectations and create visibility of work remotely.

  1. Information Sharing: How do you make sure everybody has access to the right information at the right time?

It can impede your work if you don’t have access to important documents or information. Consider details such as naming conventions, file structures and being clear on where to store shared information to ensure your team always has the means to do their work.

  1. Stop Doing: What’s holding you and your team back from being more efficient?
    Consciously or unconsciously, we are all prone to distractions and picking up bad habits. What’s on your team’s to-don’t list? This list could include things like: don’t speak over one another in calls, don’t call someone out on a public forum or don’t hit ‘reply all’ on emails.

If we resolve the obvious but often overlooked challenges from the start, it saves time, energy and frustration further down the line. This allows the team to function better, allowing them to get better results. In our guide, Me We Us – Remote Team Management, we provide recipes and formulas on creating an effective Team Working Agreement with your remote team.

We would love to hear your feedback and how we can help you strengthen your remote teams.

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