Companies have found new ways to promote and sell their products as technology advances. With the Covid-19 pandemic hitting in 2019, businesses had to find a way to pivot and ensure their company was still generating profit. Business owners learned how to run their companies remotely, employees started working from their homes, and many more companies started distributing their teams worldwide. Distributed teams have shown to be highly beneficial for each employee and the company as a whole. Read on the learn more about them!
What Are Distributed Teams?
Distributed teams consist of employees that work remotely, from India to Brazil. All employees don’t have to work remotely; some can take calls from the office, while others are in the comfort of their own homes. Despite being miles away, distributed teams still collaborate and conduct business.
Here at Colibri, we are a distributed team. Some employees work from the US, while other employees are in Venezuela. Being a distributed team is a big part of Colibri’s identity, and today we’re going to talk about its benefits to each employee and the company.
Benefits for Each Employee
Distributed teams allow employees to have a flexible schedule they can work around. Many parents struggle to find jobs because they have to juggle taking care of their children, cooking food, cleaning the house, and other such chores. Being a part of a company with a distributed team allows them to fulfill both duties with their best efforts.
Working from one’s own home office is comfortable and minimizes distractions. Operating in an office building, there are constant distractions, with coworkers taking calls, talking loudly in meetings, having conversations and phones ringing in the background. An employee is forced to put less focus on their work. However, operating from their own home office allows them to work in a space they’re comfortable and efficient.
Benefits for the Company
Along with benefiting each individual, distributed teams bring the company together as a whole.
Frequently, there isn’t going to be an overflow of talent where a company is based. That is why distributed teams are essential because they bring together the most talented workers from all around the world. Some workers may excel in specific skills and others in different aptitudes, but a distributed team brings them together to make a diligent and experienced team.
Along with having talent from around the world, distributed teams bring diversity. Employees from around the world can share their culture, morals, and ideas with the company and teach new things to the other employees.
Most importantly, a distributed team makes a company known worldwide. Having employees from different parts of the world opens new business opportunities. Companies can be based in one place but have clients worldwide. This brings in more revenue, customers, and competition.
Overcoming the Disadvantages of Distributed Teams
The benefits of distributed teams are endless. However, there are a few downsides that need to be mentioned.
With distributed teams, employees miss out on getting a sense of companionship with co-workers. Operating remotely eliminates the opportunity to spend time and bond with the whole team. Quality time with coworkers and bosses is essential to a collaborative and communicative team. This doesn’t mean you can’t find opportunities to engage and interact with your colleagues. From virtual happy hours to holiday parties, you and your team can make it happen!
Here are some fun virtual activities your team can engage in:
- Virtual Karaoke with Virtual Voicebox
- Show and Tell Night: Share a unique hobby, object, or part of your culture
- Dress up as show characters and play out an episode
- Travel Virtually: Play music to set the mood, bring food out, wear a fancy outfit, and set your background to the place you’re traveling to
- Family Feud on Zoom!
- Host a cooking session: Have each employee lead the team through a cooking session of their favorite. Explore new cultures and try yummy foods!
At Colibri, we understand the importance of having a solid company culture and strive to make it possible despite being miles away from each other. We have weekly Zoom calls where everyone comes together, checks in with each other, shares fun stories from their week, or mentions exciting things happening in their lives. In these meetings, employees are encouraged to open up about any issues they’re having, discoveries, etc. Each team member strives to help their coworkers and collaborate to solve a problem. Employees must feel like this is a safe space where they feel accepted and appreciated.
Connecting over long distances can be challenging, and often we want face-to-face communication. However, with apps like Whatsapp, Slack, and Click-Up, communicating with one’s team has never been more convenient.
It lets users easily connect with their co-workers, bosses, and other team members. While working on a project, if employees have a question they urgently need an answer to, they can use Whatsapp to message their manager or co-worker to help them out. Whatsapp also has a voice message feature which easily allows users to send a voice recording instead of having to type out an explanation of what they want to say. It also has capabilities to send files and documents over chat.
It’s another marvelous messaging tool that allows employees to send documents to each other and use their workplace tools. Slack allows users to create channels, which could be a place for all team members to talk. Additionally, on Slack, users can individually message someone they have a specific question. Andrew Wilkinson from MetaLab explains that because Slack has a joyful and informal vibe, it allows users to have fun while using it.
It’s an excellent project management tool that allows you to collaborate with your team, create projects, assign tasks, and give statuses. On this application, managers can assign tasks to their employees with descriptions of what they have to do and an area for them to ask questions or leave comments. After completing a task, employees can assign it back to their manager so they can check for quality and accuracy.
Click-Up also allows employees to show whether a task is in progress, completed, or yet to be done, and managers don’t have to continuously ask their workers if they have finished a task. It also has a lot of capabilities that allow for automation, time tracking, setting meetings, and even sending emails through the platform. The possibilities are endless!
Time Zone Differences
Having employees from around the world unite comes with the downside of time zone differences. However, this disadvantage is nothing that can’t be worked past if enough dedication is put in.
Managers and employees should ensure they utilize tools to help them manage different time zones. This will ensure that they contact other employees or set up meetings at appropriate times for everybody. At Colibri, we use ClickUp to assign tasks to employees with reasonable due dates so that there is enough time for an employee to complete a task and review it.
Additionally, it is essential to have flexible hours. Proper communication and mutual understanding of working hours are vital to respecting each person’s time and availability. Furthermore, flexible working hours allow employees to get work done at a suitable time and communicate any concerns or questions with other team members, depending on their work availability.
Distributed teams are incredibly powerful because they allow people from different places in the world, different walks of life, and different morals to come together and collaborate with their unique perspectives. Although distributed teams make it hard for an employee to get a sense of the company culture, efforts can be made by the whole company to get to know one another and get comfortable despite the distance.
At Colibri, we are proud to say we’re a distributed team, and our Colibris from around the world are who make our company unique. Want to talk about how we can make your digital marketing soar? Schedule a complimentary session with us.