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A Series On Trust - Part 4: Strategies For Building Trust In Remote Teams

Kristin Schleicher

Building trust in remote teams can be more challenging than in traditional, co-located teams.

The lack of face-to-face interaction and communication barriers due to differences in time zones, communication styles, and cultural backgrounds limits spontaneous

interactions, and can lead to feeling isolated or disconnected from colleagues, impacting sense of

belonging and trust in the team. Without regular in-person interactions, it can be harder to gauge team

members’ progress, commitment, and reliability, leading to potential trust issues.

Strategies for Building Trust in Remote Teams

Despite these challenges, trust can be successfully built and maintained in remote teams with intentional efforts and strategies:

Foster Regular Communication

Establish clear and consistent communication channels. Schedule regular check-ins, team meetings, and one-on-one sessions to maintain open lines of communication and build relationships.

Promote Transparency

Share information openly and keep team members informed about project progress, decisions, and organizational changes. Transparency builds trust by fostering a sense of inclusion and accountability.

Encourage Collaboration

Create opportunities for collaboration on projects and tasks. Encourage team members to work together on assignments, share ideas, and support each other’s efforts.

remote teams

Focus on the Output

Evaluating the work of your remote team is not as simple as reviewing their work in the traditional setting. Always aim your attention on their overall output. If your colleagues deliver their high-quality tasks on time, that’s all that matters. Each team member has their own method of managing their workload. But their results will speak for themselves.

Build Personal Connections

Take time to get to know your team members on a personal level. Encourage virtual coffee chats, social events, and informal conversations to build camaraderie and rapport.

Set Clear Expectations

Clearly define roles, responsibilities, and expectations for each team member. Establishing clear guidelines helps prevent misunderstandings and ensures everyone is aligned.

Provide Recognition and Feedback

Regularly acknowledge and celebrate team members’ contributions and successes. Offer constructive feedback to help them grow and improve. Recognition and feedback reinforce trust and motivation.

Be Accessible and Responsive

Make yourself available to your team and respond promptly to their queries and concerns. Being approachable and responsive builds trust and shows that you care about their well-being and success.

Building trust in remote teams requires intentionality, consistent effort, and the right tools.

By fostering regular communication, promoting transparency, encouraging collaboration, building personal connections, setting clear expectations, providing recognition and feedback, and leveraging technology, leaders can create a trusting and cohesive remote work environment.


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