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Manners in distributed work teams


Unlike distributed teams, when we work with a team in person and in an office, the first thing we do is at least say hello, we can even have an informal conversation, because we are people! On the other hand, when we need something from another coworker, we usually ask for the favor, among many other practices.

When we work in a distributed team, it works a little differently; however, that is no excuse for not having manners. We must always take into account the following premises:

    • Our partners are humans and a little affection or concern for their lives is not bad.
    • The other’s time is important.
    • Interruptions can deconcentrate people.
    • You are part of a team. You don’t work alone.
    • You should always be in sync with the rest of the team.

Taking into account the above, we have established a series of rules or recommendations that make day-to-day work in a distributed team more enjoyable. For this we have considered that the team has a common communication channel such as Slack or similar:

  • The first thing you should do at the beginning of the day is greet the rest of the team. In addition to being polite, this serves to let everyone know that you have arrived and are preparing to work.
  • If you have a virtual meeting scheduled with someone from your team, arrive early, if possible join it at least 5 minutes in advance.
  • Try to use the camera whenever possible for meetings. It’s kinder when we can look at each other’s faces.
  • If you are in a virtual meeting, don’t focus on other things. Give the importance you deserve to the other who is speaking.
  • If you need to meet someone, ask them first if they have availability at the moment. By making a direct call you may be interrupting your partner.
  • Private matters should be discussed in private, do not use public channels to talk about things that do not concern others.
  • If you must be absent, inform your colleagues in advance, so that they can coordinate or plan in your absence.
  • Frequently use and review the tools intended for your work, for example: Email, calendar, Chat, among others. Someone may be expecting something important here.
  • Notify when you are not going to be available, so that your colleagues are aware and do not get surprises.

These are just some of the recommendations that make day-to-day work exceptional. If you have any other recommendations to work better in distributed teams, you are welcome to leave a comment!