The pandemic of COVID changed the views on the working process of most people, and organizations had to change their format of group interaction to meet the circumstances. Therefore, managing remote communication in the company has become an integral part of work. Even though this experience showed that companies could continue functioning in the new reality, and the communication format is not critical, remote work remains a partisan issue. Working from home and remote positions due to COVID negatively affected team dynamics due to a lack of adequate communication among employees, which is the primary problem managers should solve.
The research conducted by Yang et al. (2022) shows that remote work makes the acquisition and sharing of new data complicated for most employees. The prevalence of asynchronous communication decreases the overall level of interaction within the team. Thus, collaboration within these groups becomes more static compared to the performance of the employees who work from the office. The survey features data about the teamwork of 61,182 Microsoft employees who resided in the United States and worked in the company in the first half of 2020 from home (Yang et al., 2022). This information proves that remote work harms team dynamics despite the technologies the employees use to communicate with each other.
The challenges that negatively affect team dynamics are connected with destroying the feeling of membership that people lose while working from home. It is critical to remember that a team has a common goal that unites its members, and this common motivation should determine the interaction of independent employees. When people work from home, their connection becomes less evident because a person does not see colleagues and does not communicate with them constantly, which leads to a loss of cohesion between team members (Garro-Abarca et al., 2021). Interaction requires efforts from the employees, including sending them messages in chat or calling them. For instance, Microsoft tried to develop a “hybrid work environment” that would satisfy teamwork needs during the pandemic (Roe, 2021). In other words, there is a vital need for communication between team members that includes textual, voice, and video communication in real-time that allow people to feel that they belong to the community of their co-workers.
It is possible to improve dynamics by improving communication between team members in the virtual team. The critical point is that managers should remember that virtual teams function according to the same patterns as traditional teams (Johns & Saks, 2017). Even though the employees are in different locations, they should be united by the spirit of teamwork and the corporate aim they try to achieve (“The collaboration toll of remote work,” 2021). This example shows that managers should not only focus on technological issues connected with the organization of remote teamwork. It is also crucial to work with the ideological component and interpersonal communication within the working group, which is possible due to technological advancements. The elaborated virtual working environment for the employees, chats for the team, and video conferences are among the most popular and effective team-building methods.
To conclude, remote work and work-from-home harms team dynamics, which might cause problems in cooperation. It is possible to overcome these challenges by improving communication between team members in chats and during regular video conferences. At the same time, it is critical to give the employees the feeling that they work in a team whose members share the same goals and ideas. It might give the employees the feeling of belonging to the community, which motivates people to work better and communicate regularly.
Garro-Abarca, V., Palos-Sanchez, P., Aguayo-Camacho, M. (2021). Virtual teams in times of pandemic: factors that influence performance. Frontiers in Psychology 17.
Johns, G., Saks, A. M. (2017). Chapter 7. Groups and teamwork. In Organizational behaviour: Understanding and managing life at work. Pearson Canada.
MIT IDE. (2021). The collaboration toll of remote work.
Roe, D. (2021). Is remote working really impeding collaboration and communication? Rework.
Yang, L., Holtz, D., Jaffe, S. Suri, S. Sinha, S., Weston, J., Joyce, C., Shah, N., Sherman, N., Hecht, B., Teevan, B., Holtz, D., Jaffe, S. (2022). The effects of remote work on collaboration among information workers. Nature Human Behavior 6, 43–54.