Can flexible and remote teams truly build a rapport and team cohesion? We assume that the most effective way to build team cohesion and rapport is when team members are physically together in the same place. Many virtual teams don’t have the luxury of meeting in person. So, can remote teams build a rapport from a distance? Can they build team cohesion comparable to teams working in the same office? Can organizations develop a culture that unifies and motivates remote teams?
Simply put, flexibility is a culture. An organizational culture includes the expectations, experiences, philosophy, and values. Even organizations and teams that are very accepting of using the latest and greatest technology are slow to embrace remote teams. Many employees might feel threatened by remote teams and workplace flexibility, thinking that it may be a step towards making their jobs obsolete. Many others may just simply be resistant to change and say that “if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it.”
When upper management seeks to push culture, it will need buyin. There is always usually resistant to when a culture is attempted to be changed and buyin is when workers begin to accept and take on that culture. The challenge is to create and get buyin to a culture that motivates works in a remote team to work efficiently even at a distance.
Many organizations have found that implementing a cultural change is more effective when working with workers to create and implement it. An organizational culture holds teams together with common attitudes and customs. Even if there is effective buyin from the culture being from the bottom-up, the challenge is ensuring that the culture is one that can keep remote teams motivated despite of working in distance.
There are many variables involved in changing an organizational culture. As we discussed in one of our previous article, The Key to Maximizing Productivity, Today and Tomorrow, workplace flexibility is inevitable so organization will need to develop a culture that supports it. But for many companies, the culture is simply a meaningless statement in a handbook or on a wall. It would be beneficial for your organizations to get help from consultants that are well-versed in organizational culture and process improvement. If your organization is going to develop a culture that unifies and motivates remote teams, it will need to be one that truly permeates every aspect of the company.
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The next article in this series will discuss how working flexible can stimulate innovation.