Creative Process with Remote Teams | Article – HSBC VisionGo
Inspiring creativity within your remote team means showing up as a leader every single day. And how can we harness creativity with our remote teams?
More and more companies are working towards remote teams. But what exactly does that mean? What is a remote team? A remote team means a team that is not geographically co-located and they rely on communication via technology to collaborate. At LOUDER we have team members in multiple continents and time zones around the globe. And guess what? Being a leader to a remote team is not some overly complicated concept.
When being a leader of a remote team, you must be committed to using creativity as an engine for innovation and team collaboration. Before working from home became the norm, in the in-person office space we could often rely on impromptu interactions that lead to creative solutions, however, today, we must rely on disciplined communication to promote creative thinking and human connection. At LOUDER, we believe that creative connections are essential for all areas of a business to foster success and employee well-being.
Below are some tips that we have used at LOUDER to inspire creativity within our remote team.
1) Build a Safety Culture
Building a safety culture can encompass a broad spectrum of things, however, at LOUDER it means having a culture that embraces the below:
No one is perfect, we all make mistakes
Mistakes are not stigmatized
Be vulnerable as a leader, showcasing that vulnerability is a strength
Encouraging vulnerability within your team
Trust in your team’s abilities, give them space for individual reflection and creativity
When your people feel stressed or threatened it can cause reduced creativity in the workplace. Things like shame, anxiety, or fear of failure are examples of possible workplace threats.
A strong safety culture takes time so don’t wait, start to implement these practices now.
2) Obvious Communication
When your team is remote and your primary source of communication is video calls, voice messages, emails, and text messages things like body language, context, and tone can easily be missed. Which in turn, can make disagreement not as obvious.
As leaders, we must bring all thoughts to the surface in the virtual space. Create a safe space where every team member feels empowered to fully express themselves, be heard, and make decisions by having the full picture.
Don’t be afraid to be direct with your team and lead by example by always having your video on in virtual meetings.
As a leader of an in-person team or remote team you must realize that you are not good at everything. You need to have a deep understanding of each of your team’s strengths so that you can delegate their energy accordingly.
Become a master at harnessing the power within ourselves and using collaboration to enrich the process of the journey. Once again, use vulnerability as a strength and admit when a certain project may not be your strength.
4) Encourage Spontaneous Meetups
Remote workers will often say that they miss impromptu meetings with coworkers in the office and studies have shown that this can lead to decreased spontaneous insights.
So how do we create a culture of spontaneous meetups in the remote workspace?
At LOUDER we use a combination of working on personal projects, online games, and platform randomness (including lots of WhatsApp voice messages), to create the feeling of impromptu run-ins with your team to get those creative juices flowing.
Flexibility in a remote environment can entail quite a few things. For me flexibility includes having a laissez-faire leadership style -- if my team wants to go to the beach in the morning, well they better be sending me a picture of it! But in all seriousness, I love promoting and nurturing a healthy work-life balance.
Many individuals are feeling isolation which can impact employee well-being. So how can we be flexible in how we show emotional support to our teams?
Don’t always wait for them to tell you things. A simple “how are you?” can go a long way.
Practice radical empathy: it’s not enough to hear about issues, you need to understand them.
Remind your remote team about the core values of the organization so that they can use them for support and inspiration.
With a little bit of practice, in no time you’ll be a pro at leading the creative process within your team.
For remote leaders, supporting your team’s creativity is a different challenge than in person.
Over time, the LOUDER team and I have had a lot of amazing moments creating together. We don’t always agree, the ideas don’t always flow perfectly, but we feel good about speaking up, taking creative leaps, and pushing one another to be our best.
Communicate. Be Vulnerable. Trust Your People. Be Flexible. Be Creative.