Five tips from coaches on working in a team online
Working online has become familiar to each and every one of us, more or less, during the ongoing year of 2020. It might feel overwhelmingly hard sometimes, especially since you are expected to work completely online, as a team. Sprint Innovation Festival coaches, Marianne and Mona from MindMe Solutions share their thoughts and tips on working online.
Mona Räsänen and Marianne Murto have together founded MindMe Solutions in April 2020. Their passion for coaching got its start from ProAkatemia, where their business got its spark as well. Mona laughs. Mona and Marianne summarize their business idea into: they coach skilled teams in organizations and various institutions. In these institutions they also help to plan out the teaching in the classrooms. Mona and Marianne want to bring out teamworking and genuine expertise.
“During our time in school we noticed that our collaboration works really well, and the customers liked what we were doing. It was at that moment when we realized that we could get married and by that we mean we could start our own LTD.”Mona Räsänen
Since the current situation in the world has changed the way of working for a lot of people, and especially the team working aspect has become more difficult by a large margin. Mona and Marianne have put together a good checklist on how to get the teamworking going in an online setting better.
Tip #1: Be present
A small and a simple thing for you, but a major and really important step for teamworking. Be truly present in the moment and leave all other things aside. Especially in an online setting it is easy to start doing other things. However, for successful teamwork, it is a requirement to be present, to be humane and to give your fullest attention to the team. Close off all distractions. Give your undivided attention to one thing at a time. Come as you are.
Tip #2: Camera ON
As with face to face situations, you want to see the person you are talking to. It is also important to keep a visual contact in an online setting. By doing this, you can read the room better, as in others’ feelings and facial impressions and overall behavior. Empathy is also easier to uphold if you can see the person you are talking to. Conversation and dialog are much easier to uphold when you can see the other person on the screen instead of it being just a picture or initials. If your teammates don’t have their cameras on when you work together, try to remind them about it, by bringing out your thoughts and how you feel about the situation. Remember to bring this aspect forward in the very beginning of your teamwork as well! Marianne mentions that no one can question your feelings and thoughts.
Tip #3: Scheduling and adapting to the work
During the remote working time, it might be hard to tell the difference between the working hours and your spare time, since you most likely will not be working from the office, but rather from home. Information flood and emotional load are major issues in remote working, when the boundaries might not be very clear. Schedule your work properly and make sure you have the right mindset for working as well. Set yourself and your team a certain time when you start working and when you quit working for the day, the same way you would do it in a normal office setting. Setting boundaries makes it easier to separate working time and your spare time from each other. One good tip is also to put off all notifications and close off Teams when you stop working, to stop you from working from your spare time. You can work whenever, wherever, BUT the mindset matters the most, are you working or not!
Tip #4: Decision time
Set your team clear rules and boundaries, make conscious decisions what you do. It is also important to phrase what you do and how you act. Stay aware of how you come across and what you say. Decide the agenda and the goals for the day together and make clear everyone understands what they are. Understand your own actions and create clear frames to what you are doing!
Tip # 5: Humor and having fun
Have fun! Even though the team wants to work hard and get results, it is also important to have some fun and take time to relax. Short, shared coffee breaks during the day help to recover while working. You can also try to come up with something fun for the team to do together sometime, such as watching a movie or playing a game. By being more open and relaxed, without forgetting humor, and talking about everything and anything other than work related issues, you can build trust within the team!
Marianne and Mona take their own advice and put these tips in to practice in their own work. They think that the end result or outcome is the most important, everyone has their own preferences when it comes to working by yourself or in a team. It is important to set goals and things to achieve, evaluate the overall workload and identify yourself as a teammate.
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