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The Invisible Remote Teammate
Uncover the impact of proximity bias and discover strategies to ensure every remote team member's contributions are recognized.
Hello, Remote Leaders 👋
This Saturday, let's discuss an often-overlooked facet of remote work - the Invisible Remote Teammate.
Who are these Invisible Remote Teammates?
These colleagues consistently deliver, yet their efforts might not be as visible.
They might be quiet during meetings, their updates might fly under the radar, and their work might not always be reflected on your dashboards.
Unraveling Proximity Bias
In remote teams, proximity bias can quietly seep in.
It's a predisposition to value those we interact with more frequently because their contributions are more visible.
The insidious aspect of this bias is that it's often unintentional. It can lead to overlooking valuable team members who work more silently, undermining morale and potentially losing out on important input.
A Real-Life Example
A recent revelation from a friend, who is a remote entrepreneur, perfectly illustrates this issue. He was puzzled about the role of one of his developers, who works part-time, just two hours daily.
Upon closer inspection, he discovered that this seemingly 'invisible teammate' was managing a crucial code optimization process vital for the company's revenue.
An enlightening discovery!
Building an Inclusive Culture
Being proactive in recognizing every team member's input is fundamental. Here are a few strategies:
A quick daily sync can help everyone stay informed about what others are working on.
Virtual Coffee Breaks:
Casual get-togethers can boost team morale and foster a sense of belonging.
Letting team members present their work periodically to different teams can highlight less apparent contributions.
Transparency in Documentation:
Make all work visible and accessible to everyone.
While identifying each teammate's value can be demanding, particularly with large teams, a practical approach can make things smoother.
Create and share a simple Typeform or Google Form, asking teammates to reflect on their contributions to the company.
Not only does this method give you valuable insights, but it also provides a moment of introspection for the teammates.
After collecting responses, you could schedule brief one-on-ones to delve deeper into their self-assessments.
This process ensures two things:
Firstly, you gain the information you seek without individually reaching out to each team member,
And secondly, it promotes self-reflection among the team, enhancing their understanding of their value within the company.
So, as we wrap up this issue, I leave you with this thought:
Are you fully aware of each teammate's value to your remote team?
That's all for this Saturday.
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I wish you a great weekend!
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