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Brainstorming from a Distance: How Distributed Teams Collaborate

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https://99u.adobe.com/articles/66322/brainstorming-from-a-distance-how-distributed-teams-collaborate

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Brainstorming from a Distance: How Distributed Teams Collaborate
We asked six creative leaders how they set the scene for creative exchanges and productive collaboration in the age of remote work and distributed teams. 

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Structure For Success

Structure For Success

Remote work days need to have a specific routine in place, which has structure, clarity and consistency.

Each team member needs to be provided with a daily block of time to be heard, maybe ...

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A Clear Briefing

Creativity thrives in limitations, and little check-in meetings with a specific agenda and a clear briefing to brainstorm can provide excellent results, as they have built-in time constraints.

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Collaboration Time

Online collaborative tools let us literally be on the same page, editing a document together, collaborating using the phone or the built-in chat.

Remote working makes the participants prior...

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Psychological Shortcuts

While working from home, it is hard to not be distracted, as, after all, one is in their home environment in the physical sense.

You can use the wallpapers, posters, props and even musi...

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The Quiet Times

Most people are so used to noise and the buzz of workplaces or even cafes that they find silence a bit tough to embrace. In truth, silence can be a great way to understand ones internal creative rh...

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Edit Yourself

Roleplaying always makes you learn, and looking at your own ideas with a critical perspective and finding flaws with it will develop confidence, independence, and supercharge your creative instinct...

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Make It Social

Providing a sense of community when teams are collaborating remotely is not easy, but is crucial.

By asking relaxing and accommodating questions, the remote team feels taken care of, an...

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Embrace Familiarity

Working remotely from home, one has more time to reflect, ponder and dig into their unexplored side, and unseen creativity.

There is no commute and no hassle to dress up and rush, so on...

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A Central Management Tool

A Central Management Tool

Physical presence does play a large part in moving our projects forward. Managing a project remotely requires a diligent and transparent approach to keep track and maintain the various tasks, deadl...

Keep teammates accountable

Creating accountability is a great way to manage the work remotely. Accountability is shifted to the teammates, who are now supposed to be responsible for their own work and decisions.

One way to build accountability in remote teams is to assign groups and let teammates hold each other responsible. Also make teammates share their work experience and any issues they face, publicly (within the team) so that it acts as a ready solution for others, reducing repeat work.

Document Everything

Even if the team is small, document, formalize and map each process, making it scalable and automatic.

Standard Operating Procedures, if used correctly in a remote setting, can act like a central nervous system.

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22% of Americans work from home

.... while nearly 50% are involved with remote or virtual team work.

This continuing shift calls for a new range of behaviors and skills.

Communication challenges for remote teams

  • Body language. Even when we share the same space, the tone of a text or of an email is left wide open to interpretation and can generate anxiety.
  • The delay between our messages can often postpone or hide emotional reactions to our comments. Lacking an immediate response, we can become distracted, second-guess ourselves, or even grow frustrated with our teams.

3 types of distance in remote teams

  • Physical (place and time)
  • Operational (team size, bandwidth and skill levels)
  • Affinity (values, trust, and interdependency).

The best way for managers to drive team performance is by focusing on reducing affinity distance.

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Suddenly Working From Home

There is a sudden shift towards remote working in workspaces all across the world, with many people abruptly thrust towards it without warning.

Experts share a few tips on how to transition ...

Mimic Your Office Culture

For many of us, the office becomes a fun place due to a sense of community, purpose and fun interactions that make up an office day. To try and mimic your office culture virtually:

  1. Set up Slack channels for water cooler conversation
  2. Schedule virtual movie days, when the same movie is streamed with the chat option on.
  3. Try to recreate virtual versions of what employees miss the most in office, like a coffee break, for instance.

Being Social While Remotely Working

Being social at office lubricates official conversations and the work itself. The more we spend time with colleagues having non-essential chatter, the easier our work becomes with them.

It helps to be creative and infuse fun into a virtual interaction. Any official conversation, like a manager meeting his subordinates in a one-on-one meeting, can start by asking about the person’s life (something unrelated to work), so that a connection is built.

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