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Team Remote Working Charter

This tool guides your team through the process of writing a remote working charter, defining the guidelines and behaviour expected of people working at a distance. Team members reflect on their own remote working experiences and use that insight to create a shared charter for the group / organisation.

Part of "Leading Teams in the Digital Age"

A 6-week online course that will help you and your team work better together, be more effective and reach your goals. Get the modern toolbelt for culture, collaboration and leadership in times of change and complexity.

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  1. Step 1:

    Developing a strong remote working culture is crucially important and becoming increasingly essential in any modern networked business.

    Of course it requires a different way of working. Remote workers are often in very different physical locations, with different working patterns (that fit around the rest of their lives), and different needs. Very few companies will operate as fully remote, and in our experience a strong remote working culture can inspire better and more effective face-to-face culture.

    It goes without saying that this workshop can be conducted remotely. Use a tool like Mural to do this.

    The first step is to reflect on members own remote working experience. Ask them to spend 5-10 minutes thinking back on their experiences of remote working.

    • What has enabled effective remote work?
    • What has hindered effectiveness?

    Members should make notes. When they are done, ask them to briefly share their reflections in pairs.

  2. Step 2:

    Based on their reflections around what has worked and what has not, ask members to come up with their own essential principles for remote working.

    Each person should write no less than 5 and no more than 10 principles. With a maximum of 5 words for each one.

    When everyone has finished, share them in a space where everyone can see.

  3. Step 3:

    Next: simple technique to decide which principles to take forward. It's called the heat map.

    Give everyone a pack of dots (digital dots are good too!). Ask them to place 1 dot on the principles that they like, and 2-3 dots on the principles that they really love.

    When everyone has placed their dots, step back and see where the heat is. It is usually clear which principles should be used and which should be removed. Spend some time discussing the results of the heat map.

    If it's not clear, you can assign someone the role of the Decider. They get 5-10 large dots to place on the principles, taking into account the discussions and the heat map. The dots that the Decider places are binding.

    Those are the principles that you'll use to draft the charter.

  4. Step 4:

    Writing up the charter as a collaborative group process would take a long time. To expedite the process assign one person to draft it.

    They should create a collaborative document (like a Google Doc) so the rest of the team can comment and amend.

    Set a strict deadline for the completion of the charter. Once it's ready you can start to implement it as a team.

    The charter should evolve over time. Pilot your charter draft for a set amount of time. Spend 5 minutes at the end of online meetings reflecting on how effectively the team embodied the principles. After your fixed period, bring the team together for a more in-depth reflection. Make updates based on the team's reflection.