Each business owner pictures their companies as success-brewing machines with employees working together and turning down problems like clockwork. A well functioning team with no difference will be an apt brick-and-mortar office to work at, Right?
Not precisely, conflict is often considered as a sign of a passionate team who happen to have differences of opinion. At the same time, this disagreement should be productive rather than deconstructive and cost consuming.
It may be easy to assume a place with no conflicts, but there are always some internal issues that pop up disagreements. When the tradition of work from home is at its peak, the rise of conflicts in the new normal of remote working has subdued the assumption that conflict can only happen face to face.
Certainly, when a team is working from home, they tend to give higher productivity and better results, however, every organization has been facing some unique challenges like unrecognized or unresolved disputes. These unresolved conflicts can have an impact on the productivity, business growth, mental health, and wellbeing of those involved.
According to Myers-Briggs study, 85% of the employees experience conflict in the workplace. Moreover, in the US employees spend three hours a week over a conflict that costs the economy over $359 billion per annum.
Small disagreement is quite common in workplaces- be it in the lunchroom, by the pantry, or walking down the stairs. However, these little conflicts seemed to be solved more quickly as and when compared to virtual conflicts. As when encountered in-person, body language, eye contact, and tone play significant roles in conflict resolution, which isn’t the case when a team is working remotely.
Workplace conflicts arising at the ground do possess some risks, but it also brings in the opportunities to foster innovation and creativity with improved teamwork. Although, when it comes to handling the team remotely, it’s often more tricky than usual.
What causes team conflict while working remotely?
1. Communication problems
Miscommunication among employees is one of the major ingredients in the rise of conflicts. In the transition of working from home, communicating and coordinating team members is exceptionally challenging that proves to be a stumbling block in many organizations.
2. Scheduling difficulties
When your team is working from home, getting them all over a call for the team meeting is one of the most challenging tasks. Though virtual teams have shown a significant increase in productivity, managing the employees across the globe is a bit more difficult. What if there’s a crucial mail that needs to be answered but a late response from a virtual employee leads to unnecessary downtime and declined productivity.
3. Lack of trust and cohesion within the team
Team-building is one of the major activities for any team who is working in or out of the office. Remotely, the advantage of human interaction and daily communication cuts down the scope of trust-building within the team. Each team member needs to be comfortable around their team even when they are working virtually.
If your team is working remotely, there are high chances that conflicts arise more often than usual, or it goes unresolved. When the team is ‘out of sight,’ they need to get their hands on some of the tips to handle these disagreements within remotely working scenarios. Knock off the team feuds with some of the useful and necessary tips.
Conflict management for remote teams
1. Set clear procedure and protocols
In the era of work from home, some of the businesses were facing this shift for the first time. The work style changes and blends digitally when the entire team is working remotely. To avoid any kind of conflict, it’s essential to set the procedures for the team interaction and protocols. While considering the company’s way of working, everything remains the same, just it goes virtual, such as:
- Kind of information shared among employees
- How the information should be shared
- The right person for informing the work progress
2. Build remote teams based on geography and personal characteristics
Teams are decided according to the person’s roles and responsibilities in the company. As not all team members can work together. To choose the right team remotely, start with geographical location, for two reasons:
- The time zone of the team should match to make sure the entire team is logging in at the same time.
- There might be a need of meeting the team in-person, with the same location, there’s a possibility to meet.
The next consideration will be the personal characteristics of an employee. As a manager, you should know each team member at their personal level in a way that you will be in a place to make the right call in grouping the employees.
3. Catch up meetings
The tea or lunch breaks are missing out majorly while working from home, isn’t it? While working individually from home, the mindset of each employee revolves around the idea of skipping the meeting and getting the job done faster. But, this skipping of the meetings slips out the advantage of getting the team together and increasing productivity.
According to the statistics, 80% of the workers believe that team meetings are essential for a company’s growth. Keeping the entire team on the same page drops out the chances of a conflict.
4. Virtual Team Building Activities
When the entire globe is going to accept the new work culture, some challenges need to be managed virtually. One of them is activities to increase engagement among team members remotely. These activities help in overcoming the difficulties of disconnection among colleagues, which majorly leads to team conflict and a decrease in productivity. Team building exercises help in driving a sense of fellowship and shared understanding.
5. Recognize achievements as a team
Appreciation boosts self-confidence and willingness to work harder. Promoting mutual trust among team members will foster high productivity and less serious conflicts.
According to the social workplace, recognizing employees would
- Motivate 78% of them
- 65% will work harder
- 51% will stay with the company
Apart from individual contribution and achievement, recognition should be a collaborative experience. Gather the entire team to pat on the back and celebrate their hard work. This positive environment will foster motivation among team members instead of tension and disagreements.
Conflicts cannot be overlooked. When people work together, they tend to disagree on certain points. But, maintaining and resolving those conflicts is one of the skills that employees need to acquire.
Though it has been noticed that with less face to face interaction, the disagreement has risen, virtual team building activities must be considered to bring down the number of conflicts.
Team building and team exercising will boost the mental wellbeing, teamwork, and productivity of the employees working collaboratively. If your team is unable to knock down the internal issues, open the doors of virtual team building activities with us for a highly functional team.
Reachout to us on www.crewit.in for requirements.