Why the Team Members Should Know Each Other - 7 Challenges of Remote Team Communication

Why the Team Members Should Know Each Other - 7 Challenges of Remote Team Communication

Do we need to switch on our cameras? Can we skip the warm-up? Do we really need to talk about how we feel during this meeting? Oh no, not the team game again!

Why is it crucial for the team to know each other?

We live in times when hybrid and remote work are a standard. Yet, still many Scrum Masters running their meetings often hear all those comments mentioned above. Nevertheless, whenever you feel overwhelmed by too much communication going on in the team, it's good to remember one thing: Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches are those, who observe the dynamics of the whole organization on a daily basis.

Oftentimes they are the ones, who see things happening in the teams before they get bigger, more intense, and problematic.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez / Unsplash

We gathered a few observations from scrum practitioners, here's the list!

  1. One of the biggest work process challenges is a team that doesn't know each other while working remotely. Such dynamics are quite easy to achieve when the team only works on the project, especially in the companies where the process becomes more important than relations inside the team. Why?
  2. Relations within the team have an impact on productivity and what is more, on the sense of agency and ownership. One doesn't exist long term without another. If we don't know who we're working with, it's impossible to support each other, exchange knowledge, develop as a team.
  3. It's much harder to hear extensive comments, which are crucial to improving the whole teamwork. People who don't know each other will neither be willing to engage in the conversations nor problem-solution brainstorms.
  4. Most experts agree that 70 to 93 percent of all communication is nonverbal, so without cameras oftentimes it's impossible to spot the challenging moments and help people overcome difficulties. "Without the visual clues, it's impossible to read the communication fully."
  5. People not knowing each other are afraid of talking in the meetings. They work as a group, not as a team. Team spirit is extremely important when running projects together.
  6. Without the "personal talk" it's difficult to spot the motivations, frustrations, dreams, weaknesses, and plans of the individuals.
    Also: the feeling of being a noticed part of the team is priceless and builds the ownership and responsibility.
  7. The long-term character of the projects consisting of many modules spread in time might have a big impact on team engagement and motivation decline. Communication during the retrospective meetings builds engagement and motivation - so important when the project isn't as attractive as we'd like it to be.
Office meeting
Photo by charlesdeluvio / Unsplash

Those little steps like turning on the cameras or having a chat about random things happening in our microcosms can have a huge impact on our productivity, engagement and team work. Why not treat it as an experiment and give it a try?

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