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Digital dynamics of a distributed team: The benefits and challenges

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by Startacus Admin


Managing a distributed team? Nick Nooren, Head of Proteus Marketplace shares his insights on how tech can be used to enhance the benefits and mitigate the challenges when you're doing just that.

The past year has taught us that companies can maximise the benefits of remote, hybrid and office work if they have the right digital capabilities.

photo-1617529497471-9218633199c0.Moving away from the cultural tradition of the physical office to meet the shift brought on by the global pandemic, has required connectivity to be augmented through greater adoption of modern technology.

Navigating the dynamic of a distributed team has not been smooth sailing. Waves of disruption have made engagement and management of the remote office an immense challenge to overcome. As we look at what the office of tomorrow looks like, companies must look at their structures and focus on how benefits are enhanced and challenges mitigated.

Global opportunity with remote work

Arguably, one of the significant benefits of working remotely is the autonomy to manage time in a way that suits. Frequent physical meetings and travelling take away valuable time to concentrate and complete the task ahead.

Additionally, access to the right talent also widens. Offices are no longer confined by locality. Talent attraction broadens from the expertise of professionals across the country and even the globe. For roles that are specialist and need niche experience, the world is your oyster.

We already see many examples where companies reduce office space to have more investment available for their talent, technology and operations. The benefits are significant for employees too.

Keeping teams engaged

The ideal scenario would be to establish remote work policies to support the dispersion of employers and employees. However, for many companies, the pandemic did not afford this luxury.

photo-1588196749597-9ff075ee6b5b As we know, communication is paramount. Remaining collaborative without physical interaction can get complicated when the necessary cultural mindset is not in place. Not to mention keeping up conversations when coordinating teams, tracking progress or managing workload. Getting the balance right to block time out for team meetings in calendars is fundamental. And ensuring time during these meetings gets used most effectively.

Brainstorming and creative problem-solving can become stagnant without the benefit of bouncing ideas off one another and gaining inspiration from colleagues in the office. Remote work can be demanding on the individual. Job performance may decline due to the lack of face to face interaction and greater inefficiency challenges depending on home set-ups. Revisiting your technology stack is key to ensuring team collaboration is supported.

Technology solutions

Collaboration channels can both remove creative barriers and schedule virtual coffee chats to mimic the across desk catchups.

Cloud-based work management software can connect distributed teams and offer oversight on progress. Delivering tomorrow's office as a hybrid hub, open to flexibility, will maximise the benefits of remote work and maintain the necessary collaborative human interactions. Other technological capabilities such as AI and machine learning can recognise and take on menial and tedious tasks. Refocusing efforts in the business that need immediate human attention will drive benefits across business operations and efficiencies within teams.

Digital delivering for teams

Remote, hybrid and office work all have their benefits and challenges. We have seen a seismic shift in working cultures, bringing to light a much more flexible approach to the office.

It is fundamental companies look at their operations as we settle into employment in a new working world. An attractive environment without frustrating processes and slow decision making will drive employee retention in the long term.

The global pandemic has dispersed teams yet driven connectivity as companies have had to get creative to manage and engage their teams. Embracing the capability of technology and putting digital at the forefront of strategies will support constant and open two-way communication as we navigate new ways of working.

Nick Nooren Headshot ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nick Nooren is Head of Proteus Marketplace developed by Xergy. Based in the Netherlands after having lived more than 12 years in the Middle East and Asia, Nick has over 25 years’ experience of working with engineering solutions and enjoys the challenge of managing dynamic and cross-cultural businesses.

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Published on: 15th July 2021

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