Telecommuting is not an evil. It can be a necessary part of maintaining a loyal, integrated, engaged team. A Microsoft study has found that fully distributed teams ( all remote workers) are more productive than hybrid distributed/collocated teams.
Rules for Successful Distributed Agile Teams
1. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.
- Not available?
- Issues with workflow?
- Problems with tasks?
Notify your team!
2.Set up time for the team to just hangout. Encourage team members to share personal ideas and talk about non work ideas. They will get to know each other and build team camaraderie.
3. Use virtual icebreakers. These are 1-2 minute games to reduce tension and increase opportunities for idea sharing.
4. Try using mind maps to give people an idea of who you are. Each person can list things that is important to them. Sharing these gives the teammembers a way to connect.
5. Treat your team like adults. If they are producing at an acceptable rate, you do not need to micromanage.
Good Tools for Agile Telecommuting
- Zoom Meetings for video conferencing
- Slack for quick notifications and conversations
- Appear.in ( free video conferencing)
Collaborative Superpowers by Lisette Sutherland