Working with the distributed team

Working with the distributed team has now become a normal working process for many reasons. People are adapting it day by day and the corona pandemic act as a booster for this adaptation.

The transformation was not easy for everyone. Many people lose their job only because they failed to adapt to new work cultures and processes. This adaption not only affect employee it’s also affected many organizations because of good management and working environment setup with correct technology adaption.

This story is not about the effect of a distributed team, this story contained some tips and process which has adopted by many organizations.

Before going further I separated this story in small pieces to point out the exact topic for further reading.

Here are the pieces

1. Misconception About Distributed Team

2. Tips For Employee

3. Organizational Roles and responsibility in Distributed Team

Misconception About Distributed Team:

Many misconceptions and myths are there about the distributed working process. The first step to create or adopt a productive and efficient team, those myths and misconceptions about the remote working processes should dispel.

Here are some of them with small explanation against it

Distributed Team are not productive:

It’s been a very common conception for many businesses and organizations that a remote team is not productive. But it is also proven wrong on every decade that a new working environment or even new technology sometimes makes people afraid of it. Some 15 years before we can’t think the Internet as a necessary thing in life and now its became oxygen for all of us

The remote team will not be productive without supervision and on-site management this misconception now is proven wrong with a help of new technology like Slack (most popular), Status Hero, Zoom, Skype, etc.

Teamwork and productivity can be monitored very efficiently with that new treading technology

Remote employees are not skilled or scope of it less :

Another misconception is that most skilled persons will be available only informal office, while distributed workers are those that simply could not qualify for the leading positions.

Having a distributed team can increase the scope of having skilled people from all over the world regardless of geographical restrictions.

Skill development and training becoming very popular. Most of the people now depended on online for training and team-wise development became so easy with the help of Coursera, EDX, Udemy, Udacity like platform.

Communication and Management are difficult with Remote Workers:

A common issue with a distributed team is a lack of communication and management across distances and time zones.

Common question like

“How do I know what my team member is doing, and what progress is being made?”

There might be some people who are not skilled in self-management, but it can happen in formal office life too.

But here we are talking about a working environment where everything fully depends on technology.there are many advanced apps and tools available that can overcome this potential problem. organization wise best practices like the working model and status wise work tracking can be helpful for a distributed working environment.

2. Tips For Employee:

Most of the organization now moved the Distributed working environment in this corona pandemic suddenly. Most of the employee were not skilled and ready enough to fit in this working environment, so many people failed to keep up their best performance, in the worst case, they lose their job

this adaption does not stick to employee or organization it’s an overall process

here are some tips that might help to fit in this new working environment quickly

Always prepare yourself :

Don’t think you can hide and only your work will talk for you. Presentation and how you talk to your team it’s very much important always in the office. And it’s now more important in the virtual working environment. Expressing your emotion and thought is very difficult in a virtual environment. So try to open your webcam so that you can express your emotion and thought as much you can, so prepare your self if you feel shy.

Make sure you are caring about your dress up as you cared earlier like, in an office environment, it will make you confident in all meetings.

Take a break and Chit chat :

In-office environment the fun part of it mostly the chit-chat with your teammate and college. But when you started to work in a distributed team you going to feel it’s always a private window and you can relax anytime but in the life scenario is will be always busy with your work and no one will there for you to force you for a cup of coffee and talk about climate.

Try to take a break at least every two-hour, and make a plan for virtual coffee with your teammates.even many apps are there which might help you in this like virtual coffee in slack.

Ensure your Privacy :

In a Distributed working environment mostly you will be working from home or in group-wise, maintaining privacy for yourself is very difficult in this. You might not always prepare for what can happen with your home using a webcam protector and background filter helps you in this.

Many tools like Chromacam, Personify, etc can help you in this.

Ensuring disk protection is also important when your system might be used by other

Beware of malware and ransomware, so that you can save yourself from many threats that might happen in a virtual environment. Always careful with email and other messenger spam and link.

Plan your day and synchronization with the team :

Try to plan your day you can use the app or other tools which can save you lots of time tools like Microsoft TO DO, slack TO DO, Evernotes, etc can you useful option

on every step of your work try to synchronize with your team so that work in progress can visible to everyone

3. Organizational Roles and responsibility in a Distributed Team:

The role of the organization is as equal as an employee in this environment. Whatever the working environment we transform well planing and management can solve the hardest problem.

Training up your employee :
Training is very important in this working process to bring the best of the employee and keep consistent performance. Online training is very much available in all platform today

Most of the employees either not ready for the distributed team or just pretend so better to give all equal opportunities for this.

Working Hour management :

In the distributed team, employees mostly working from home or even form a group but both of the case time flexibility brings the best out of it.

But over flexibility on timing can cut team synchronization.

It will be very helpful if the meeting can divide by topic trough out the day so that if someone lacks behind than can catch up on the next meeting.

Provide team required technological support :

Technology is the main key in this environment. Selecting the correct technology is very essential. The technology uses training support required in this case.

Providing software license and internet data plan will productive for organization and employee

Virtual event :

A common problem for the distributed team, people forgot to talk. They only talk about their work and this can cause serious mental and health issues.

To overcome this kind of thing, an online event is a very good option.

Comedy night, online meet up or even pub night can adopt in a remote environment.

Conclusion :

Covering all the aspect and the topic are not possible in this short story but thinking about improvement is one step forwarder than stay standing backward.

Changing in working environment was never easy in any decades and whom doesn’t adopt the changes eventually they disappear from history.

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Satej Sarker

Software Development Engineer

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