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Remote Team Culture: How to Improve Collaboration

by | Sep 3, 2022 | Asking For a Friend Featured, By Karin Hurt |

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Boost Your Remote Team Culture: Help Your Team to Collaborate AS IF They’re in the Same Room

One of the biggest challenges we’re hearing from managers leading remote and hybrid teams is how to build a better remote team culture. Specifically, “how can I help my remote team to collaborate AS IF we’re in the SAME ROOM?”

I feel this too on our own team. We recently got together for an in-person strategic offsite with some of our Let’s Grow Leaders team. About 20 minutes in, I stopped the conversation and said “THIS. THIS! How do we COLLABORATE MORE LIKE THIS?  How can we make our remote team culture feel like THIS (even when we’re not in the same room)?

We’ve been helping teams have this conversation about their remote team culture in three steps.

Be Intentional as You Build Your Remote Team Culture

1. Starting with a vision, such as …

To work together AS IF we were all in the same room. This includes:

      • Spontaneous communication
      • Better brainstorming and ideas.
      • Sharing best practices.
      • Asking for (and providing help to one another)
      • Being genuinely interested, learning about, and caring for one another as human beings.

This would mean that…

☼ People know what they need to know when they need to know it
☼ We use our meeting time strategically— and have space in our days to pick up the phone and talk to one another or walk down the hall
☼ We help our teams navigate change and stay motivated through uncertainty and change
☼ We care about one another and have some fun along the way

As the leader, you can set the vision. Or, you can use this team visioning exercise to help your team define it together.

2. Have a conversation about practical, specific norms the team can agree to, to turn that vision into reality.

These are standards the team agrees to uphold in their remote or hybrid team.

For example:

We…

      • Prioritize our mental and physical health
      • Have candid conversations
      • Ensure every meeting has an agenda

3. And then, come up with concrete I.D.E.A.s to achieve that vision and protect those norms.

We’re finding our “Own the U.G.L.Y. and I.D.E.A.” processes work really well to generate ideas to build better remote team culture quite quickly. Learn more about those tools here.  

I’d love to hear from you. What are your best I.D.E.A.s and best practices to build a better remote team culture? How do you help remote and hybrid teams collaborate and build trust “as if they’re in the same room?” How are you having these conversations?

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders find clarity in uncertainty, drive innovation, and achieve breakthrough results.  She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.

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