Distributed teams are becoming more and more common. However, are they getting more remote-friendly at the same pace? I doubt that… Here you can find a few tips to make remote coworkers feel better in your “guild”.
1) Small talk
If you are like me, still struggling to set boundaries in your calendar around the number of meetings, you may feel a temptation to not beat around the bush and kick off a meeting by going straight to the point. However, not knowing your remote team members aside from work could hinder a dialog between you. Make your connections more meaningful by, at least, asking how they feel before a One on One or even a team session such as a Retrospective.
2) Get everybody together every once in a while
I know – it is not easy. But if there’s a budget for a distributed team, the least you should expect would be a gathering every year. In my previous job, remote folks would visit once a quarter. Make sure this is part of the plan and ensure your coworkers have a chance to learn more about your company culture and socialize.
3) Get over the distance
Virtual rooms on Google Hangouts, so your collocated team and the others can easily talk and see each other over the day. Slack as a messaging tool to build alignment and mitigate miscommunication. Awareness during team gatherings, so everyone has a chance to speak (setting a time box for every person’s contribution could be an idea). Those are just some examples I’ve seen myself in previous groups I worked with, but the list goes on and on. Whatever you can do to remove the geographic “barriers” may be valid.
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