The Challenges of Remote Working: “Maintaining Productivity With a Distributed Team”

How Does One Maintain High Productivity With A Distributed Team?

No one wants to micro-manage and no one likes to be micro-managed. So how do you ensure that your team is working productively, that they are all on the same page, all with the same hard-working expectations and are delivering upon their responsibilities? There’s no easy answer to this however first let’s address the challenges you might encounter if you are part of a distributed team, then we can share how we do it at Mailbird.

 

Credit Georgi Georgiev from coupofy.com
Credit Georgi Georgiev from coupofy.com

 

Challenges:

  1. When working remotely, team members are unable to manage their productivity without a manager constantly overlooking their shoulder, reminding them to stay focused and deliver great results.
  2. Some team members are not able to prioritize and manage their own tasks in order to focus on completing one task at a time, rather than doing a little with several different tasks.
  3. When working alone and online, there are lots of distractions and team members can struggle with policing those distractions.

 

No Worries!

You know that distributed team culture is something that the world continues to move towards. A technology centered world is peeling away the boundaries of work from a single office to get things done! It’s awesome. Because of innovation and working culture shifts, today, it is much more possible to have the freedom to work anytime and from just about anywhere in the world. That is quite an amazing feat we, as society, have come to realize.

 

Credit Georgi Georgiev from coupofy.com
Credit Georgi Georgiev from coupofy.com

 

 

Your Productivity Toolbox

The secret comes from having the right people on your team and using the right tools to get the job done, regardless of distance and location of each team member. Here is our recommended tool kit to help maintain high productivity with a globally distributed team:

  1. Task Management
  2. Notes and Documents
  3. Time Management
  4. Email Management
  5. Video Meetings
  6. Time Zone Scheduling
  7. Calendars
  8. Human Resource Management
  9. Messaging/Chat
  10. File Storage
  11. Flights
  12. Accommodation
  13. Transportation
  14. Office
  15. For any other tools you might need

 

One thing we know is that, for now, technology cannot fully replace the value that comes with real-life, face to face interaction with your team. What is our solution here? At Mailbird, we make sure to schedule about two “Mailbird Hacakthons” each year in exotic tropical getaways like Bali. What exactly do we mean by a hackathon? We usually host it for one full, very productive and solid month where all team members from around the world come to Bali (or whatever other awesome location) where we work really hard, usually in preparation for a big software release/launch or update. We usually close off the hackathon with the launch before heading back home.

 

Mailbird Weekly Team Meetings Across the Globe
Mailbird Weekly Team Meetings Across the Globe

 

Mailbird Bali Hackathon in Action!
Mailbird Bali Hackathon in Action!

 

It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to all see each other and gain that great feeling of togetherness in building something really awesome. It’s long hours, but we get a lot done and reward ourselves usually with a couple of fun team outings. So yes, we fully embrace the work hard, play hard mindset at Mailbird. We establish respect of each other and the work we do and the result is an incredibly motivated, happy, rewarded team who works their ass off, whether in the same room, or across the seas in another country. It is a beautiful thing.

 

Let’s Recap on Why Distributed Teams Rock:

  1. Distributed teams are the future of work.
  2. It first must start with hiring the right people.
  3. Cultural fit when you are on a distributed team is mega important.
  4. Communication is more important than ever with the right expectations and tools to get it done, no matter where you are in the world.
  5. There are tons of tools available to us today to make distributed teams work with high agility and precision.

 

Automattic
Credit https://www.memberpress.com/building-a-team-like-the-star-trek-bridge-crew-2/

 

TRIPLE BONUS!

Want to know more about this remote work phenomenon?

1) “Why Remote Working Works For Us

2) “Why Remote Teams Are the Future (and How to Make Them Work)

3) “6 Tips For Managing A Distributed Team