How can teams stay inclusive when operating remotely?

'Stay inclusive by steering away from rigid working time-frames'

How can teams stay inclusive when operating remotely?

Regardless of where team members are physically situated, it remains important to acknowledge everyone’s individual needs fairly, according to Julia Poloai, Head of Culture and Talent at Clipchamp.

When operating remote teams, leaders should take into consideration employees’ families, networks and connectivity, the ways individuals absorb information when digitally communicating, and the varied energy levels of staff at different times throughout any given day, added Poloai.

“Businesses can cater to these varying needs through shared high-touch check-ins with all team members and a flexible approach to work,” said Poloai.

“Stay inclusive by steering away from rigid working time-frames and business-directed agendas to better support the blended-life reality of remote workers and ensure you're giving everyone the attention and resources they need to continue feeling supported and heard.”

Poloai added that schedules can be planned based on a shared understanding of deadlines and clear communication of desired outcomes.

That way all team members can individually plan their preferred day-to-day, and company-wide communication can be streamed twice per week to allow everyone opportunities to hear important upcoming business updates and ask questions or offer suggestions to items that impact their projects.

“We all want team members to feel connected to their colleagues whether near or far, so to specifically cater to the social needs of staff whilst operating 100% remote, you can provide your team ‘always on’ virtual chat rooms to facilitate social interactivity,” she said.

“These virtual chat rooms enable employees to check in with their colleagues as they would in a physical setting, without placing parameters around when individuals have to utilise the space.

“Similarly to the office ‘water cooler’, you don’t want to require your team members to actually stand around a water cooler, simply to feel included in informal chit chat.”

Andrew White, ANZ Country Manager at Signavio, added that collaboration is crucial to maintaining inclusivity, especially when teams are operating remotely.

White added that no function should be siloed, and neither should any employee.

“Teams that are encouraged to share knowledge and create cross-functional workflows help to optimise multiple business operations, not just the processes they work within,” he said.

“In terms of operating remotely, being responsible to another team ensures individual accountability, as the work of one impacts the work of many. This keeps productivity levels high and employees motivated.”

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