Dr. Veronica Gilrane, 2013 Graduate of the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Program, has been doing research into helping better collaboration among colleagues who work in remote locations. In a blog post for Google, she outlines her findings, which includes not only a breakdown of her findings, but improvements to ways of thinking about how people collaborate over long distances.
Gilrane surveyed 5,000 Google employees and held focus groups with employees in remote locations in order to measure performance, well-being, and general feelings of connectedness among employees. In doing so, she also worked out an action plan that helps to bridge this distance, including asking open ended questions that built rapport, using physical space to the best of their abilities, and "being present" during remote meetings.
She found that it is difficult to build working relationships when people don't "bump into" each other on a regular basis, and this is something that needs to be taken into consideration when team building across distances. This is is something that people tended to not take into consideration when working on distance collaboration, and using those moments to build report were important.
April 10, 2019