The Digital Nomad lifestyle is completely different from the “office culture” that most of the people you know are probably comfortable being in. However, since you are reading this I will assume the days of working synchronously together in a cubicle-ridden office from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, are long past comfortable for you.
The advantage of the cubicle lifestyle is that you are literally right next to all your teammates every day which makes it easier to communicate ideas, problems or ask for help.
A digital nomad however is usually either working from home, or a coffee shop alone while travelling. This makes teamwork a little more challenging, however it is not hard at all.
Here are four tips you can use to make working with a teammate a little easier:
Take advantage of technology.
Guess what, you can’t be a digital nomad without technology, so make the most out of it! There are tons of ways to communicate at a distance these days – emails, instant messaging, chat programs, video chat programs and, of course, phone calls.
Using and finding the best technology to best suit you and your teams needs will make collaboration so much easier.
The main tool that we use is TeamWork. It allows you to create projects, add tasks, create calendar events, file collaboration, chat and more!
You can see more information about it by clicking the banner below as we highly recommend it.
Set clear expectations and workflows.
You may find yourself in trouble if expectations of your team are not made clear. So to prevent that let your team know exactly when you expect them to be available, as well as let everyone know when you will be available.
For example, we had a couple of clients we were working with who expected a response 24/7. We quickly learned that we had to set the guidelines at the beginning of the project to avoid any frustrations and communications. Have your guidelines well documented so that it can always be referred to by your team and clients.
Have face-to-face days.
Even though most of your time will be spent working alone and in remote places, it would be good to speak to your team members face-to-face at times.
Luckily, if your team members are just so far apart that weekly face-to-face meetings are not possible, you can take advantage of all the video chat software available today.
Skype has been widely used for this purpose, but now even Facebook as the option now to use video chat in messenger. Take advantage of it!
Set overlapping hours.
The advantage of being a digital nomad is the ability to set your own hours of work. However, your hours may not match your teammates hours. You may like to work in the early hours of the day, while your partner likes to work in the middle of the night.
This can be slightly challenging when you are trying to get an answer for something so that you can move ahead with your work, but your team mate won’t respond until 12 hours later.
The solution to this is when working on a specific project, set some overlapping hours when everyone will be online, at least for 1 hour. This allows you to get the answers you need fast so you can move ahead with your projects without massive delay.
I highly suggest using these strategies when collaborating on projects with team members remotely, and in time you will master the strategies that will work best for you and your team.