We have covered pretty accurately all the advantages and benefits of working remotely in previous articles but have you ever wondered on how we can keep up the sense of being part of the team when you are not with your team?

We strongly believe that working remotely is the ultimate future of the workplace, companies are increasingly looking for candidates with the right skills which will fit the “outside worker” perfectly.

So what does it actually means being a good team player while you are not even in the same room?

Bosses often expect that candidates will contribute to the team remotely and will perform all the tasks collectively when not physically together however the fundamentals of the high performing teams remain the same. What actually helps is understanding on who you are and how you prefer to work. Having open communication about this will bring huge rewards when it comes to your contribution as a team player!

So how you can become a great team player when working outside the office?
  1. Excellent communication skills

Whatever your default tools of team and client communication are, whether it’s a Skype, email, instant messaging, voip, sip, phone, video calls, you need to make a conscious choice about which of these channels of communications is the best for you as well as for your colleagues, you absolutely need to find a compromise as some people might be for instance better in expressing themselves in writing, where others prefer to communicate verbally, all it matters as long as you can all keep up with the conversation. Virtual world has so much room for misinterpretation and you may lose your opportunity to ask the right questions or explore other challenges fully in these group communications. Get the old traditional phone and have one to one catch up with your colleague and setup plan, a middle ground for your communication. This is a key, you know already what you prefer, now you need to find out what others prefer so you can meet them half way there. Absolutely do not be afraid to follow up and ask a few key questions, be direct if you require some clarity, ask right, specific questions which can be answered with simple “yes” or “no”. As a tip from me – try to keep everything in writing, as much as you can, whatever it’s from boss, colleague or client, you want to make sure that conversation is saved in case you will ever need to bring it up.

  1. Take notice

In these high performing teams, colleagues do support each other, hence why they are successful. The key here is to be proactive, if you notice that colleague has a problem with difficult client or situation, don’t be afraid to step in, your advise may change perspective and it is always more welcome to see some second input. As a member of team, weakness is spread across very fast, to avoid situations like that, have “no agenda” meetings and chats to find out where your colleagues might be struggling, or maybe that is you who need some help or assurance, it is better to bring it up so it can be solved within the team rather than wait for weakness to affect everyone’s work. It is and always has been a two way street. Have a virtual coffee so you can sort the problems.

  1. Be clear on who is responsible for what

Within a team roles and responsibilities should be well known to everyone, this is the principal of any office work, however this isn’t always clear, especially when you working remotely. It is very easy to assume or forget certain things when everyone is under their own umbrella. Being a good team player requires you crystal clear clarity as well as great management of expectations. This will be very important when the landscape inevitable changes. If you are struggling to meet deadlines or cannot finish certain task, make sure you communicating it in a good time as well as asking others for solutions. In office circumstances you would probably walk to your colleague and ask him to join in, here you need to send clear signals if something isn’t going as well as planned.

  1. Don’t forget to share your wins!

We have established that you are a team player, but an accent strength of the word “play”! Playing usually means that you are having a good time and some fun. Why not having it in your work? No one needs to be dead serious, unless you are working for funeral company! Treat it like a game, treat your tasks like levels and collect achievements. Play is a an excellent and great way to depend further our connections as a human being. How will your colleagues or boss know that you had a great week? How everyone feels when they are heard and valued? Your department might be lacking “win of the week” or “win of the month”-type celebration, so if it does, maybe it is a time to suggest it! Also don’t forget to share all the great feedbacks and success stories with your team members, this might get them inspired and you will create a nice healthy environment around you. This is not showing off, remember, this is a team work – if you do something well, you all are beneficent of what you have done! Share your wins and encourage others to do the same so your team will be even better thanks to you.

Are you a great team player? Feel free to let me know in the comments section below.

All the best and have a great week ahead,


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