As technology has advanced, the ability to work from anywhere has become even more popular. However, working with remote teams is common for product companies that hire offshore software developers for web and app development projects.
While some companies are in the initial stage of working with remote teams or have never adopted remote work programs, most notably Yahoo and IBM in 2013, on the whole, many enterprises majorly prefer hiring remote teams option as an enticing perk.
Identifying remote employees' potential will drive innovation and business success. It is possible when you put the right practices for remote management might be on the table.
This blog post outlines high-performing team characteristics they should exhibit to excel at their jobs.
Before jumping onto the seven qualities of high-performing remote teams, let's quickly overview what a high-performing team is.
High-Performing Team - An Overview
According to Wikipedia, a high-performing team definition is a group of individuals with specific roles and comprehensive talents and skills, aligned with and committed to achieving a common business goal, consistently delivering high levels of collaboration and innovation, and producing outstanding results.
Also read: How to spark innovation in a remote team.
7 Qualities of High-Performing Remote Teams
Let's dive into the seven characteristics of high-quality remote teams.
Building Trust in Remote Team
Creating a successful remote team is not only about setting up remote technology tools and carrying out work as normal. Building trust in an unfamiliar virtual environment can challenge remote leaders in a remote work environment where you can't physically monitor employees.
Trust is one of the cultural norms and is developed with the team's development. The atmosphere of trust enhances information, improves cooperation, and helps to overcome problems and conflicts and reach team goals. In traditional teams, an authority system controls work in which a supervisor delegates tasks and oversees employees when they are working. In a virtual environment, such a system no longer exists; trust takes over the role of control.
This means that workers need to trust each other to risk that others will not be working in their own interests instead of the team's interest. This is why trust is critical in enhancing virtual team building and success.
Wining employees' trust is vital, and one can achieve this by ensuring their managers won't micromanage, which eventually encourages them to do quality work. While setting clear expectations, and encouraging your employees, can be an effective way to build trust.
Make an effort to build trust with your remote team by giving them a full space and letting them prove their competency and dedication.
Furthermore, it is always a good practice to be readily available for your team whenever they need your assistance. So, just like having an "open-door policy," you can now place an "open Zoom policy" for your virtual team but with clear boundaries of how that will work for you.
The most common problems when “working remotely” are not connected with technology but lack interaction between people, mainly due to the absence of physical presence. Moreover, individuals suffer from a lack of information about the work process and a lack of knowledge about the other team members.
Communicating problems can arise due to the lack of accessibility and availability of collaboration tools; knowledge is being communicated when the requirement of that process are greater than the costs of communicating it. It is necessary to focus that the low quality of communication, its reliability, and unpredictability were problems for many respondents.
Even more critical, remote team members can suffer from a lack of informal communication. As a result, it can lead to social isolation and a lack of trust between managers and team members. Therefore, communication should be treated as the most crucial task for virtual organizations because it delivers efficiency and transparency.
It can also be extended to remote teams. But, most importantly, effective communication improves knowledge exchange, boosts job productivity, enhances decision-making processes, and reduces uncertainty.
While virtually working has many benefits, it also means managers have an additional responsibility to keep track of. Managers must juggle their own hectic workload with quick team meetings, one-on-one sessions, project meetings, performance reviews, and team feedback. All communications are generally much easier and more effective in person.
When working remotely, managers must be even more organized and ensure they're handling all their people's responsibilities hassle-free. It's much easier for tasks to get lost, dropped, or forgotten when the daily reminder of the face in the office isn't seen. Various tools like Asana, slack, and ring central can be used for daily work summaries and work priorities. By doing this, managers can easily organize their teamwork and ensure effective and seamless process workflow and communication.
Providing the effective functioning of a team needs the right leadership style. Many remote team members' functions differ from those commonly used in face-to-face teams; one of them is the lower importance of the control function. A shift of the managerial function to remote team members is more effective than direct leadership in the case of virtual settings.
Significantly, managers must prevent such concerns as lack of project visibility, difficulty in communication, and technology constraints, which lead to the lack of trust, lack of physical interaction, loss of face-to-face synergies, greater concern about reliability, and lack of social interaction.
They also have to manage the implementation of common goals, reduce feedback, obscurity, restricted social control, and trust building. Appropriate leadership is especially important when raising challenges to the motivation of physically disconnected workers.
When diverse types of leadership are considered, it seems that the most satisfactory results can be achieved when transformational leadership is placed.
Transformational leaders are those who provide their team members with vision, encourage their followers intellectually, and expect high performance.
Furthermore, transformational leadership is more fruitful in teams that are virtually connected. The leaders who grow their transformational leadership behavior in such teams achieve higher levels of team performance.
To sum up, transformational leadership implementation encourages a sense of purpose and introduces certainty.
Good leadership identifies
- The continuous interaction with a virtual team ensures seamless operations.
- Methodologies to handle and monitor workflow process
- Placing an efficient project management system to manage day-to-day tasks
- Placing solutions to ensure seamless communication transparency throughout the process to enable lower time to market and deliver end customer satisfaction.
During the formation of a successful virtual team, the most critical elements are: trust, communication, goal setting, leadership, and technology, providing support, getting trained, and getting organized. However, the whole process should start with selecting the right virtual team members who can work successfully in virtual reality.
This factor is crucial as some may find it challenging with limited social contact, lack of clarity created work boundaries or using technology-based communication tools.
A virtual team member must have the following attributes: familiarity with new media and collaboration technology, the ability of self-management, self-sufficiency, interpersonal trust, and dependability.
For instance, you are setting up an offshore development center and looking to hire an offshore remote development team. So while choosing team members, you need to communicate an understanding of the end business goals and decide on the level of virtualization that will be the best way to achieve these goals.
It is also recommended to clearly define the team's structure and place within the whole organization and determine its roles and responsibilities. This phase also enables you to establish the core team, which will consist of functional leaders from each discipline engaged in the project.
Moreover, the team must get support from a team manager who can answer the team's questions and help during the problem-solving phase.
Addressing the problems of "scope of the project commitment," decision to time schedules, identifying risks involved, and agreement to share knowledge on a regular basis" will lead to lower chances of misunderstandings and add value to a virtual team's effectiveness.
Another way to improve communication, trust, and cooperation is to place an operating agreement, which incorporates meeting protocols (for instance, a meetings schedule based on computer-mediated meetings will be held), describe a communication plan (how often individuals should communicate and utilize which methods, how disagreements are mitigated, and the way feedback is shared) and the how decisions will be made (designing of a decision-making process and choosing of people responsible for decision making).
Team building activities are crucial for maintaining relationships and fostering a fun atmosphere in a new virtual environment. Organizing regular meetings to build team unity has its own advantages. While making them exciting and innovative, you can also include your team members in leading those meetings with new insights and ideas.
Playing virtual games with your whole team virtually based on team building themes will contribute to team building and enable every team member to know each other.
Working remotely makes employees hesitate to ask their manager if he is busy. To avoid such scenarios, it is essential for managers to keep their employees updated on how their day is going or simply share a work calendar so they know when you are free.
While instant messaging and video conferences are valuable for remote teams, most remote employees prefer asynchronous communication that does not guarantee a real-time response and allows everyone to contribute to the discussions according to their availability.
Eventually, that leads to a delay in response, as when your teammate sees a message you sent, you may be unavailable online to clear any doubts that they may have. Therefore, it is critical for remote employees to be as clear, concise, and direct as possible when sending out messages to team members.
Every message, email, and call in a remote work setting must be effective to improve productivity and save everyone’s time.
Remote team leaders can sometimes feel like challenging to ask for support from their team. Delegating your team can reduce a lot of stress and give you and your team time for other things.
Establishing expectations with your team from the beginning and giving specific duties to those you know will excel is smart. This is where understanding each person and their personalities of where you feel they excel more than others is important.
Partnering With The Remote Team is The Future
By focusing on the above-discussed high-performing team characteristics, you'll be able to create self-awareness. Knowing what works and what doesn't while setting your outsourced team up for success.
An experienced offshore partner can help you hire remote team members who can work remotely in a professional, effective, and productive manner. As a result, you can achieve higher productivity, high ROI, pre-defined results, and overall business success.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]
How do you make a high-performing remote team?
Here are the points to consider for building high performing remote team:
- Hire the right employees having in-hand experience with advanced technology and tools.
- Lead to inspire, not to control.
- Communicate expectations, processes, and structure, and instill accountability.
- Boost interpersonal connections.
- Invest in cloud-based project management tools.
- Encourage innovation.
How do you unite the remote team?
Below are the tips you can consider:
- Hold regular standups.
- Implement weekly brainstorming sessions.
- Ensure seamless and regular communication.
- Prioritize one-on-one meetings between managers and team members.
- Always show availability.
- Create Slack or Asana channels for task updates and related discussions.
- Trust your team with timely deliverables.
How do you manage remote team performance?
You can manage remote team performance by placing the following practices.
- Set Boundaries and expectations onset with Remote Workers.
- Encourage and Embrace Diversity.
- Schedule 15-minute daily stand-up for task discussions and updates.
- Provide online training to enable them to improve their soft and hard Skills.
- Give Them Help When They Need it.
- Invest in the Right Remote Project Management Software.
How do you motivate a remote team?
Below are the effective ways to boost remote team motivation:
- Offer health benefits.
- Show your emotional concern.
- Provide the best tools and technologies for remote workers.
- Extend innovative incentives.
- Conduct team-building games and sessions.
- Ensure providing quarterly employee feedback.
- Use communication as the key.
What are the top collaboration tools for remote teams?
Here are a few popular collaboration tools for remote teams:
- Ring central