Since the start of the information age, worldwide connectivity has influenced our lives in almost infinite ways and does not appear to be slowing down any time soon. It has created a vast number of ways for us to communicate and collaborate with people around the world.
Knowledge is available to anyone with an internet connection, and skilled people are based all over. Improved connectivity means it has become standard for us to collaborate with colleagues across the globe, only now we often need to constantly remind ourselves about the different time zones which are the obstacle for global teams.
Within Leaseweb, we have agile development teams who collaborate with people that spend a significant portion of their time working remotely. We find that being flexible and embracing diversity is an effective way of harnessing expertise from people working all over the world and skilling up our workforce. Through this approach, we now have more teams collaborating over long distances.
Three steps for embracing remote workers
Due to the increased number of remote colleagues in our workforce, we figured that changes were required to embrace all our colleagues and make them feel engaged and empowered. We wanted to focus on individuals and interactions to improve things.
The first step to embracing remote workers is to make them feel welcome from the start. For this reason, we invited our new team members to our HQ for at least a couple of weeks. Next to meeting team members face-to-face, the idea is that it gives them a chance to soak up the company vision and core values.
Provide shared workspace
Whenever possible, we try to make sure multiple remote team members are working side-by-side and not isolated by themselves. Members of the same teams should regularly visit the off-premise locations to get more feeling of the impediments one can encounter when working remotely.
To minimize the communication gap, we make sure to meet daily over video calls and use voice responsive 360° view cameras to get a face-to-face view of everyone present in a room and an experience more akin to being there in person. Even though we have not yet set company standards in regards to which tools to use with our remote colleagues, it is evident that every team finds its own ways of collaborating through a broad range of tools. There is a multitude of tools available to share ideas, discuss complex topics and express feedback, and teams should continuously reflect on the effectiveness of these tools.
We are still adjusting our habits and minds to the new challenges that come with remote team members such as miscommunication, adjusting meetings to time differences, and situations open to interpretation.
We are seeing a lot of benefits from embracing remote working as well such as: working in different time zones thus more flexibility, a bigger pool of talented and specialized employees, different insights and solutions to complex problems and of course more fun people to build great things with. We look forward to bringing more global remote workers in this year, and to growing together!