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Why you should build distributed teams

Distributed teams are becoming more prominent in today’s workplace. Technology is enabling modern-day workers to work from different locations and time zones.

It is exciting to see that companies and workers are breaking stereotypes, and ditching conventional workplace practices that no longer serve. The urge to be exceptional and work with the best talents has led companies to acknowledge and accept the concept of distributed or remote teams. The 2020 pandemic has highlighted that it can be done, even for the traditional companies that have the “if you're not at your office desk, you're not working” mentality.

What are distributed teams?

A distributed team usually refers to a group of individuals who work together from different geographic locations and rely on technology to communicate and collaborate. They are also called virtual, remote, or asynchronous teams. So why does it matter?

Widen your talent pool

If you want to work with the best people in the industry, you will have to widen your geographic search. If you limit your search to your local area, there are only so many people that you can reach. However, as a result of widening your search scope, your talent pool will increase and will be more diverse. Many CEOs and business leaders are adapting to this new change to hire the right person for the job.

Higher employee satisfaction

Remote working conditions have enabled better work-life balance with the flexibility in working hours. It also promotes autonomy, accountability, and responsibility, and as a result increases employee satisfaction.

Increase productivity

A happier workforce is a more productive workforce. The extra flexibility and personal benefits that your staff receive only leads to a happier workforce, and when people are happier, they are more productive. They aren't sitting at their desk at 4 o'clock twiddling their thumbs, and wondering if 5pm will ever arrive. They're being productive, and if they aren't in the right head space, then they can take a break, go for a walk, and finish off their tasks when they are mentally ready and less distracted. Working in a peaceful atmosphere without distractions results in a better quality of work.

Trust

Managers of distributed teams trust their staff. They know that just because someone isn't online at a specific moment, doesn't mean that the work won't get done, or that they won't deliver on time. They trust their colleagues to deliver. Staff who feel trusted then feel valued and take more ownership and responsibility for what they're working on, which only leads to a better quality service/product and ultimately happier customers.

Boost retention

In an office-based model, you lose good people because they need to move away. They may want to move somewhere they can afford a home, be closer to family, or their spouse may get a job elsewhere. If you open the door to remote work, those people can still work for you, potentially saving you from losing a key employee.

Whether it’s a personal medical issue, a family matter, or something else, allowing employees the flexibility to go remote can help retain key employees who would otherwise need to leave. Best of all, this retention has its own savings attached to it when you consider the cost of recruiting, interviewing, and hiring someone to fill their shoes.

Fewer overheads

A distributed company can also be that bit leaner than their competitors. There are no overheads such as office rent, electricity costs, furniture, or even water coolers or snacks to pay for. Sure, there are extra travel costs if we want to get together in person, but it's a lot more cost efficient than the traditional in-office working model and we are in control of when and where we meet.

You might be wondering this whole concept of working remotely is easier said than done. How can you build a team culture where team members are scattered across different cities? What are the hiring criteria? Our Empathy building in remote teams workshop is designed to help organisations promote personal development, inclusion, and emotional intelligence, within a remote and distributed work context. In addition, our Engineering better hiring practices workshop will provide you with the background and tools to hire talents and build a diverse inclusive team.

There are many benefits to why you should build a distributed team, and with the increasing online tools to enable us to do so, we should embrace the new future of work and increase our overall productivity and happiness.

Posted on January 13, 2021 by Sarah Tobin

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