Attending an online discussion is no longer a new thing in this advanced technological world; in fact, online interaction is seen as a preferable means of building, gaining, and sharing knowledge between different groups of individuals. Due to the fact that all physical distractors, including facial expression, tone of voice, and body language, are off the table when exchanging the information online, we have less clue to judge other people’s intentions and behaviors toward what we are sharing and to assess whether our idea meets their expectations. Building trust in the virtual workplace, therefore, becomes hard to nurture in a virtual world.
This issue poses a significant risk when it comes to working virtually, where trust is a key foundation of a successful business. More specifically, all leaders expect their team members to follow a rule, exert commitment toward their tasks, be intentional about communication, while employees wish to have their voice heard, to not be exploited with long hours of work when working from home, two parts of a corporation can’t function well, resulting in poor performance in very departments as all departments are interdependent.
A report’s result posted in Harvard Business Review called ‘The Neuroscience of Trust’ pointed out that in a high-trust company, employees were seen to have 50% higher in productivity, 76% more engagement, 74% less stress, 40% less burnout, and 29% more life satisfaction. In a remote world, there is obviously more room for misjudgment, misunderstanding, or confusion among laborers and managers.
Even though figuring out which components to look at when building trust through communicating, assigning tasks, and maintaining it in a virtual environment is a great challenge, there are 3 ways to reproduce effective virtual teams as an in-person collaboration would do.
1. Start with clarity and commitment toward promises, goals, and expectation
Promoting discipline within your virtual workplace in the first place is paramount important for achieving a following peaceful working environment. At the first point of commencing a working from home event, companies must agree on the team on what metrics and KPIs should be used to measure their performance, what roles and responsibilities an individual should provide, and which process will be deployed to each type of business. Importantly, to avoid any later conflict, managers must appear as role models; for example, if you want your employee to be on time for a meeting, you have to work on that too. Don’t let your employee second-guess the company’s credibility.
2. Deploy technology for trust fostering
Technology plays a big role in generating a credible and secure place for employees to connect and establish trust. Some applications companies can consider would be Slack– an application that provides interactive channels allowing employees to organize their conversation, a great idea to keep other employees updated if they’re off-site, Trello – a project management software where the manager or leader of a project can issue tasks and set deadlines for each team members and notably, it is visible to any in a team.
Another advanced solution worth trying is investing in AI technologies that offer collaboration tools, Chatbots, Business intelligence platforms, and cloud-based software.
3. be widely open to re-direct business toward flexibility and innovation
In the time of Covid, not everybody is easily flexible with fixed working hours. For example, some employees might have kids staying at home all day, some might have to deal with terrible background noise, or other rights have worse health conditions. These issues arise on a case-by-case basis, which requires companies to provide adjustable policies and listen to their workers with empathy. If companies are able to welcome their employees to speak their minds and dictate how they can get their work done perfectly, not only can the employee be motivated, but trust also naturally comes into your workplace.