Remote workplaces: 3 tips for spatially separated virtual teams


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Globalization and distancing pose new challenges Company and employees. An important contribution to this can be made by intelligent room solution concepts.

Intelligent interior design supports the internationalization of the world of work - Photo Steelcase

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Stephan Derr Stephan Derr - SteelcaseStephan Derr is the CEO of Steelcase and an expert on working environments.

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Internationalization and identification - is that the case?

The global intertwining of the economic areas, the global competition, the international division of labor and thus also the complexity are steadily increasing. Technical progress, especially in the field of transport and communication technologies, is driving this development forward.

One thing is clear: the work of the future must not be thought nationally, but globally. At the same time, distancing yourself at work is one of the most important interpersonal challenges. That doesn't just have to be a disadvantage, on the contrary, there are many opportunities that companies can use to gain innovation.

Working in spatially separated teams: uneven presences

The digital transformation brings people in separate teams - often across borders - in contact with each other. This complicates the common togetherness, the collective problem solving as well as the communication in general.

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Company are confronted with a variety of challenges in this context:

  • Global teams have to find common solutions despite different time zones.
  • Employees in the home office, teleworking or crowdsworking lose their proximity and identification with the company.

Future challenges: how can we deal with them?

Already the basic coordination, eg appointments and book meeting rooms, can no longer be done by acclamation. Cooperation in different time zones, languages ​​or cultures can make the effective implementation of projects even more difficult. In the worst case, not only the efficiency of the teams suffers, but also the cohesion of the colleagues.

All these factors can be summarized under the term "uneven presence". In order for companies to bring their employees together across national borders, improve their performance and thus exploit the full potential of the company, powerful communication technologies and innovative concepts for effective networking are required.

Identification loss with the company

In the course of the dissolution of the physical bindings to the workplace, there has also been a serious change in value: the traditional relationship between employers and employees has been completely thrown overboard, corporate districts are less and less a concept and the identification with the employer is increasingly lost.

This development is critical because it is essential for every company to attract and retain talented employees.

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Wellbeing and work engagement thanks to informal networking

The dwindling identification with the company as well as the increasingly rare direct contacts with colleagues are two key factors which have a negative impact on employee engagement.

On the other hand, networking, private contacts with colleagues, and the building of friendships can contribute decisively to the well-being of the employees at the workplace and their commitment. For example, the Gallup study on 2014 workflows has shown that it is beneficial for employees to have a good friend in the workplace.

Decisive factor: Intelligent room design

The internationalization of the workplace thus poses new challenges to companies and employees: Spatial distances must be overcome, the identification of the team must be ensured and the well-being of the employees increased.

If this is the case, internationalization and identification can take place together, instead of being a contradiction. Intelligent room solution concepts, such as the office expert Steelcase, make an important contribution to this:

  1. Video conferencing systems: They help spatially separated teams to build a personal relationship despite the distance. It is important that all participants can see and hear well, but at the same time have a look at the presented content. The work environment should offer as much freedom as possible - which keeps the teams active and motivated.
  2. Suitable working environments: Employees need to be able to use the right work environment for their diverse tasks - a space for concentrated work, a space for constructive teamwork, or perhaps a standing workplace for more activity.
  3. Informal exchanges: Employees benefit from informal areas where they can exchange, learn and network at a private level. A workcafé can be a space - a cafeteria that is both a work space and a meeting room.

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  1. Judith Zähringer

    RT @KaiserSPR: How global teams work better - #Tips from Arbeitsraumgestalter @Steelcase_DE #arbeitenviernull - Highly recommended yXKRQIG3df

  2. Steelcase Germany

    RT @KaiserSPR: How global teams work better - #Tips from Arbeitsraumgestalter @Steelcase_DE #arbeitenviernull - Highly recommended yXKRQIG3df

  3. Steelcase Germany

    3 tips for the digital transformation. - Highly recommended Cc4TA8ODYa via @Berufebilder #Digitalization #FutureDerArbeit #ArbeitVierNull

  4. Julia Maria Emperor

    How global teams work better - #Tips from Arbeitsraumgestalter @Steelcase_DE #arbeitenviernull - Highly recommended yXKRQIG3df

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    New challenges through digital change: intelligent room solutions can make an important contribution - Highly recommended i2SzN2WQhj

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