The 21st century has changed many things about workplace culture and handling tasks. There have been so many technological innovations, and it isn't easy to keep up with the new tools and programs developed every day. Remote workplaces are one of the latest innovations introduced to the entire world. As a result of the widespread COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, many companies had to resort to these remote tools to connect their staff as they had to work from separate locations. Now, the threat of the pandemic has died down to a great extent, but many organizations have stuck to having their team members work online from separate locations.
While remote workplaces and teams enjoyed the benefits, these new systems have had challenges. Not having a physical space to communicate and interact has caused unique administrative problems for organizations. Now, workplace conflict has taken another dimension, and many administrators find it difficult to deal with. If you're finding it difficult to deal with issues with your online team members, we've got you covered.
This piece will look at the best ways to resolve conflicts in remote teams. Let's begin!
Why Does Conflict Happen in A Remote Team?
Workplace conflict occurs when two or more members of your team or staff disagree on an outcome. For example, team members may have issues based on an expected result and optimal production procedure. In this scenario, each person feels their approach is best and fails to concede to his colleague.
It's normal to expect that remote team members would have lesser issues with each other, but that's not the case. Remote workplaces also have to deal with conflicts like their in-house counterparts. Now, the cause of workplace conflict may vary from one organization to another. But what are the underlying problems that cause these issues? Keep reading to find out.
It's clear that working online and within a physical space are entirely different experiences. Team members will have to sit behind their screens for long periods, and there's almost no form of physical contact. Without any doubt, the level of intimacy and interaction between team members will reduce. Also, your team members will feel less inhibited about what they say. As a result, people will be bolder and readily type what they think in their minds. This type of behavior would result in conflict and cause ideas and egos to clash.
Remote workplaces rely on written correspondence, which is great but easily distributed. Verbal meetings let you access the tone and mood of the speaker and give a clearer meaning to the message. But even well-written posts may be misunderstood and lead to misfires.
When using In-house offices, staff and team members have no choice but to face each other at work. It's easier to avoid conflict when working in a remote team than in an office. You may have some underlying issues between certain team members. These issues may blow up if left untreated for long periods.
How To Resolve Issues with Team Members Online
Yes, you may be the best leader globally, but that doesn't stop your employees from having issues. Therefore, you have to be prepared to resolve any problems. So, how can you resolve issues with team members online?
Here are some tips to help you with conflict resolution in remote workplaces;
As mentioned earlier, communication is a major cause of conflict among remote teams and workplaces. During cases of war, you need to communicate clearly to both parties. This isn't the time for correspondence. Instead, place a phone or video call through to both team members. Video calls are even better because they give you a clearer view of both parties affected. Make sure to talk to each person, listen to them, and understand the cause of the conflict. As a result of listening patiently, you may learn something that will help you prevent such scenarios from recurring.
Pay Attention to Little Details
The best way to address conflict is to nip it in the bud and prevent it from rotting. A great way to do this is to pay attention to little details about your employee interaction - there may be a lot of hidden warning signs right before your eyes. For instance, an employee may fail to report or resolve a conflict with another employee because they feel they are preserving the peace. However, this could lead to bigger issues. Learn to notice subtle changes in employees' interpersonal relationships and ask the right questions about minor details.
A great way to spot and resolve issues on online teams is to ask. Speak to everyone regularly and ask if they conflict with any team members over an idea, outcome, or process. Don't just assume everyone is okay. Instead, ask if there is any disagreement or if anyone has a better approach to solve the problem. If you create the right atmosphere, your employees will feel free to answer you and relay their minds to you. At times, you may not have to ask the questions before such issues are brought to your attention.
Handling remote workplaces is an entirely different ball game. Despite all its advantages, problems and conflicts may occur. And that's all on resolving issues with team members online. Are you looking for expert tips on resolving issues with team members online? Go through the article above. You'll find some helpful information in it. While it's impossible to prevent problems among team members, you have to fix them amicably. It's important that no party feels cheated.