Employee Engagement

How to Resolve Conflicts Among a Remote Workforce

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If you want to work remotely solely to avoid dealing with office politics and conflicts, you should reconsider your decision. It is certain that you will come into contact with your employer or colleagues at some point. It needs you to understand what remote work conflict is and how to deal with them as employers, employees, and teams.

What is remote work conflict?

Season 5 Ifc GIF by Portlandia

According to some research findings, it has been discovered that arguments among remote team members are more common and difficult to manage than those among onsite members of the team.

So what is a remote work conflict all about? Cooperation and coordination can be difficult in remote teams. In fact, they are the second most frequently mentioned difficulty of remote work. And when wires are crossed more easily, it can lead to feelings of frustration, animosity, and tension among those involved.

The worst part is that, because of the physical distance that separates you from the rest of your team, you may not even be aware that disagreement is spreading rapidly.

How can remote workplace conflict be prevented?

While it may be impossible to avoid conflict in remote work completely, you can utilise a variety of strategies to moderate and lessen the number and severity of conflicts, as well as the harm caused by conflict. Here are some suggestions.

Suggestions for the πŸ‘©β€πŸ’Ό boss

Reach out regularly and make yourself available. One of the most important aspects of conflict avoidance is communicating with all employees regularly while keeping the same accessibility guidelines for all employees.

You should keep track of all processes, procedures, and outcomes to avoid future misunderstandings and miscommunication.

Keep track of productivity. Establish explicit expectations, and then follow up by keeping track of employee progress. Tracking productivity and making information available to employees makes it possible to avoid remote work conflicts almost entirely. Monitoring productivity can also help your team stay on target and stay focused.

Demonstrate effective communication abilities. Employee communication behaviour will be influenced by the manner in which their immediate superiors interact with your team members. Make a point of setting a positive example.

Suggestions for πŸ‘©β€πŸ’» employees

To assure clarity and avoid potential problems down the road, ask questions whenever you are confused about something. Ascertain that everyone is on the same page. Never presume that the other person is already aware of or agrees with your point of view in any discussion. Instead, ask for clarification to avoid misunderstandings if there is any ambiguity about the situation.

Get a jump start on problems. The majority of conflicts arise due to long-standing difficulties that have reached a breaking point. Any issue with colleagues or supervisors should be addressed as soon as possible.

Maintain an open and courteous demeanour. Because of the impersonal nature of remote conversations, it is essential to remain civil. Additionally, if someone feels left in the dark or tricked, you should talk clearly and honestly to avoid further problems.

Suggestions for πŸ‘©β€πŸ¦° πŸ§‘β€πŸ¦± teams

Establish ground principles to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. Ensure that the same rules apply to everyone in the team, regardless of where they are located. Setting explicit and documented expectations, policies, and procedures is an essential component of this process.

Create opportunities for virtual teams to come together to celebrate their accomplishments and to be recognised as a group for their efforts. This will help boost team spirit and mutual appreciation among members when done appropriately.

When a team is formed, it is preferable to meet in person. This will help establish the team members as real persons with genuine sentiments for one another. In addition, gather as a team regularly via conference calls or video chats to foster a sense of belonging.

Work in a collaborative online environment. Create a shared workplace where team members may speak quickly and informally with one another. Utilising project management software on the internet is very beneficial for project-oriented teams.

Conflicts can be managed 

There is no workplace that does not know what remote work conflict is. It is unavoidable in the workplace and true for all kinds of groups. However, it may appear that the additional difficulties of working in a distant location will result in even greater strain and conflicts.

It’s nearly always preferable to deal with problems head-on rather than allowing them to fester for too long. Even if the notion of having to confront difficulties on your remote team makes your palms sweat, there are a few steps you can take to minimise disagreements to a minimum in the first place. These include:

πŸ‘‰ Establish clear expectations and procedures.

πŸ‘‰ Determine the importance of communication and transparency in your organisation.

πŸ‘‰ Take employee feedback regularly to identify potential problems before they escalate.

πŸ‘‰ Provide team members with possibilities for distant social contacts for them to bond on a more intimate level.

Will you be able to eradicate team conflict in the future entirely? Nope! However, understanding how to mitigate and handle it will assist you in maintaining a healthy culture at your workplace.

Conclusion 

We hope that we were able to shed some light on what remote work conflict is and how to tackle them comprehensively. A common hazard in the pandemic era, many factors lead to such disputes. Employees and team leaders are still adjusting to the unprecedented global health crisis.

In such circumstances, reassuring your employees with benefits like Plum Insurance goes a long way in boosting their morale and letting them know you’re looking out for them. 


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Hi everyone! I'm a growth marketer at Plum Insurance. I specialise in crafting functional and structural articles for search engine optimisation. I joined the insurtech space in 2018 and have been writing ever since. Also, I'm fluent in intermediate Python 🐍 as well.