Leadership and management: the three basic rules of good online teamwork. Online teamwork works particularly well when there are standard rules for participation, communication, and meetings.
How can we communicate effectively and well with our team in our home office? During the Corona pandemic, most team leaders and managers usually started in a very pragmatic way – by leading their teams online. Most people already routinely use Zoom conferencing and home office services. Indeed, some online teamwork practices have emerged and been studied by researchers. For example, “Virtual Teams in Times of Pandemic.”
We’ve gathered the most important trends and tips. Conclusion: Every home office is a small independent office, and every web conference is a meeting point for various micro-businesses.
The key to successful teamwork is standard guidelines. The group leaders can set ground rules jointly by all participants. The rules should also be regularly reviewed and adjusted.
Three essential ground rules for teamwork
Even if everyone works from home and can decide how and when to work, the team needs to define ground rules and expectations clearly. These guidelines explain what work is to be done, how it is to be done, and which everyone must follow.
Ground Rule 1: Set guidelines for the team
- Standard working hours, i.e., times when team members can be contacted.
- The contact address and working hours of each team member should be known.
- An emergency address, including a definition of what an emergency is and how to proceed.
Ground rule 2: Prepare group meetings
- Meetings should last no more than one hour.
- If longer team meetings are held, the length and timing of the break should be determined in advance.
- The agenda for each meeting should be set and ensure that there is a to-do list and expected outcomes.
- It should be clearly stated when the camera should be switched on and when team members can switch to audio-only.
- The rules for chat or multi-tasking should also be clarified in advance.
Ground rule 3: Define communication in terms of “emails” and “messengers.”
- When should colleagues be informed by mail or receive a copy?
- Important information should be communicated through only one channel, usually email.
- There should be a defined timeframe for a response.
- If a messaging or chat application is used, there should also be clear rules and channels.
Standard team rules have the following advantages
There are many advantages to standard team rules.
Each team member knows exactly what is expected of them.
A common framework will ensure that the team can work more productively, as everyone will know how to coordinate with their colleagues and when and how to contact them.
Finally, each team member knows their own time, so they can work undisturbed and focus on the task at hand.