What is remote works biggest obstacle? Viable internet connection? Video conferencing hardware? Collaboration software? Recruiting? No, it is trust in employees and team members!
Normally we blame managers that they are not allowing remote work because their lack of trust. But please try to turn your perspective around. I did, as I became a project manager some years ago and as becoming head of project management with a small team of project managers later on.
You can read more in my older post at: Trust is the key for successful remote work
It is really not easy letting your team members go out of sight if your are used to work in the same office. Even if you know their competencies and all the advantages of the home office and all the disadvantages of the office work. Read about the Pros and Cons here: The Ultimate List of Remote Work Pros and Cons
People are used to collaborate in the personal way. We are just not trained to work and trust over the distance. And this is not a miracle, because we all grew up in a world without real time video conferencing around the world for free. But even in the future kids will be raised by personal interaction – for good reasons. So we all have to learn trusting our remote collegues and team members first.
How to build trust with remote workers
This is a collection of methods and ideas to gain that trust and overcome this major obstacle of remote working:
- do a lot of communication, i.e. short daily video conferencing
- do video conferencing instead of phone or written communication as often as possible
- set up regular work demonstrations, a great possibility to show your appreciation
- even interesting is, that this enhances trust in the team, because most of the technical people rank their peers on their work results
- if communication and demonstrations are frequently, it feels less like monitoring
- try to avoid changes of the team members in a project and even over similar projects, because the team members are getting used to each other
- plan enough time at the projects start for newly mixed teams that they have the possibility to get to know each other
- do regular team retreats if you are fully remote, because having fun together is building easily good connections
- do off work activities even if you are co-located, to connect better to each other
- provide pictures of your home office or home stories in your employees magazin or collaboration tool
- talk about family and hobbies – it is always surprising what off work talents you have in your team
All our business ventures, companies and other undertakings could be so much more successful if we can strengthen the partnerships to our remote collegues which is possible with the above mentioned methods.
What is your experience? Missing trust is not the biggest obstacle? What else helps you in your daily work? Please let us know in the comment section!