Accelerate Collaboration, Innovation and Performance Across Your Remote Teams
During this time of volatility and uncertainty due to COVID-19, most Lean/Agile teams have found it necessary to work remotely. Although this has caused a slight inconvenience for some and major disruption for others, most teams are now working differently and are experiencing the anxiety of not knowing what the future holds and how things will be different coming out of COVID-19.
Many companies will extend their work-from-home policies through the end of 2020, while others may never return to an office environment. Which is why it’s essential to invest in healthy remote team collaboration.
To help during these uncertain times, AgilityHealth® has released the Remote Work Health Radar allowing individuals and teams to assess how effective they are in areas such as team collaboration, utilization of tools, meeting facilitation, and individual productivity.
Additionally, through the Remote Work Growth Portal, teams will have access to recommendations and a variety of videos, articles and other resources to help address any gaps they have identified.
Teams will now be able to assess how they are doing and get targeted recommendations across four specific categories (also known as dimensions) outlined below, each of which is critical for healthy collaboration while working remotely.
By taking the short survey, analyzing their results, and applying the recommendations for their targeted improvement areas, teams will be able to significantly enhance their remote working experience.
The Four Dimensions of Effective Remote Work
The first dimension focuses on how effectively individuals are able to work remotely and includes the following competencies:
- Time Management – This is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities. This is especially important when working remotely as there are often many more distractions and demands on your time. Good time management enables you to work smarter – not harder – so that you get more done in less time, even under heavy pressure or strict deadlines.
- Prioritization – Learning how to prioritize means getting more out of the limited time you have each day. It’s one of the cornerstones of productivity and once you know how to properly prioritize, it can help with everything from your time management to work-life balance.
- Focus – Focusing at work is difficult enough, so maintaining focus while working from home can be extremely challenging. Working at home brings business and personal aspects of life together under one roof, so it is easy to get distracted when trying to complete business tasks until you are able to separate business and personal activities.
- Working Environment – It is very important to set up a workspace that is comfortable, enables productivity and eliminates distractions.
The second dimension focuses on teamwork and how the team is able to collaborate and work together in a healthy manner while working remotely. This dimension includes the following competencies:
- Working Agreements – Remote teams are more effective if they set up working agreements for what they expect of each other and how they should operate as a team.
- Short-Term Goals – Setting short-term goals to keep everyone focused and working toward the right outcomes is a critical component for remote teams working effectively. Teams may need to create goals in shorter timeboxes than normal to help everyone adjust to working remotely.
- Team Meetings – Meetings and virtual working sessions are the foundation of remote collaboration for teams working remotely. Teams need to think about many aspects of remote meetings including time zone differences, frequency and duration, facilitation and how to engage so the team meetings are healthy and productive.
- Daily Work – As a remote team, setting daily goals, tracking them and checking in with the team regularly is the best way to stay productive.
- Team Health – Healthy collaboration and team dynamics are a big part of delivering effectively. Teams should consider how they continue to build relationships, make decisions and allow for self-organization as they work remotely.
The third dimension focuses on the tools and technology the team utilizes while working remotely and includes the following competencies:
- Collaboration Tools – Remote teams leverage tools that enable effective brainstorming, problem-solving and team communication.
- Video/Meeting Tools – Teams have a video/meeting tool in place that has the functionality, usability and feature set that allows them to have effective meetings and collaborative working sessions.
- Work Management Tools – The team’s chosen work management tool is easy to use and provides excellent visibility into their projects, stories and tasks while providing a way to share files and artifacts, easily communicate with each other and perform real-time reporting.
- Access & Support – Team members have access to the right tools, applications, environments and enough bandwidth necessary to do their job.
The final dimension focuses on the facilitation of team meetings and collaboration sessions. The competencies include:
- Preparation & Design – Remote teams are more effective if the facilitators invest in preparing and designing remote meetings ahead of time. This includes identifying the purpose, outcomes, agenda, and any decisions that should be made as a deliverable of the meeting.
- Listening & Questioning – Meeting facilitators can significantly enhance the quality of virtual meetings by being versed in specific listening and questioning techniques, and reading body language (via video). Active listening skills can identify meeting dysfunctions, guide the team to follow meeting norms, and ensure all participants have a fair and equal voice.
- Engagement – Virtual meetings will be much more effective if facilitators use creative methods for engaging everyone. This includes developing an engagement plan to determine how to best leverage tools, activities, polls, breakout discussions, etc., to engage participants and get the most out of the time together.
- Closure – Closing virtual meetings effectively is important for participants to feel the time was well spent and there was real value gained. Additionally, decisions, impediments and action items should be documented, sent out and followed up on in a timely manner.
Enhancing Team Collaboration and Individual Productivity
Each of the competencies discussed has a unique Growth Portal page that outlines healthy versus unhealthy practices, includes specific recommendations, and provides learning resources so teams can implement specific improvement items to enhance their team collaboration and individual productivity.
How Healthy Is Your Remote Team Collaboration?
We’ve created a FREE Remote Work Assessment for you to use individually or with your team. See instant results displayed in our intuitive Remote Work Health Radar and gain valuable insights to make your remote work experience more effective and more enjoyable.
*Please note: the Growth Portal is only included with paid AgilityHealth subscriptions.
Additional Remote Work Resources
- Watch the Assess and Improve Your Remote Team Collaboration webinar
- Read the Top Tips and Resources for Working Remotely blog post
- See the Remote Work Health Radar in action – Request a Demo
By Bryan Tew, Enterprise Business Agility Strategist