Being employed — in my case, being an intern — in a company like Stratpoint allows us to work in teams whether we’re assigned to a project or a support team. A team is expected to work together towards the success of a goal. We usually perceive group work to be better face-to-face, and it can be quite a challenge when done virtually.
The pandemic limited physical contact. Some of us were forced to work alone and in an isolated space. That’s why Stratpoint launched programs and new ways of working in hopes of fulfilling the gaps created by remote working in terms of rapport, productivity, and communication. When a team closes these gaps and adapts to the new virtual norm, they are able to enjoy the perks of working in the comforts of our own homes, spending less time in traffic, and having more face time with family — without compromising the quality of work they deliver as a group.
I may be new to the corporate world, but I am fortunate to belong in the nurturing environment of Stratpoint. Not many companies still allow interns to work from home these days, but Stratpoint is a tech-savvy company, so we get a lot of things done wherever we may be, interns included. So I thought to document my learnings on how teams can make things work in a remote setting, in the eyes of a budding young professional.
Virtual team-building activities
Not all team-building activities need to be held in resorts in summertime. Thanks to technology, we can hold mini group activities that will help team members get to know each other better, from their personalities and hobbies to their professional strengths and weaknesses. I strongly advise everyone, especially us newbies, to participate in these activities. They help us establish rapport with our colleagues. Who knows? Apart from being able to work well together, we may find new friends too!
Clear roles, tasks, and processes
It is important that roles, tasks, and processes are clearly defined in every team. Everyone should know who is accountable for each deliverable. I gained a new sense of responsibility, knowing that the team was counting on me to complete an important task. It helps to know where my tasks ends and begins, whom should I turn to for help, and who gets affected when I don’t do my job right (or when I do it right!).
Mutually agreed on communication channels
Imagine getting updates on a Viber group, assignments on Facebook messenger, and feedback via email. As part of Gen Z, I am well versed in shifting from one messaging app to another, but as an HR intern who needs clarity and organized information — this is a no-no! Thankfully, it is easy to solve the challenge of information being all over the place: agree on one communication platform! In Stratpoint, we use Skype for direct messaging, group chats, and even as a virtual tambayan.
Regularly scheduled meetings
Because we can’t simply drop into our colleagues’ work desks anymore, we set up regular meetings as a way to check in on each other and to provide the social interaction many of us craved. It’s a good thing that this initiative aligned with Agile practices such as daily standup meetings and retrospective meetings. But we have to remember to have a clear set agenda so that we don’t disrupt everyone’s workday.
Personal autonomy and trust
Closely monitoring everyone’s work is a challenge in a virtual setup. That’s why trust is central for the success of a virtual team. Each of us has the freedom and flexibility on how we will deliver each task, and we trust that each team member is responsible enough to deliver said tasks. Of course, our leads are there to give a helping hand to any individual who needs it.
Healthy environment for feedback
Because we respect each other’s opinions and expertise, Stratpoint has established a healthy environment for both positive and negative feedback. Positive feedback is great and important for us to continue doing well. Negative feedback is just as important — it allows us to change our course early in the game and correct our mistakes.
A sneak peek of a great work environment
I enjoyed my stint as an intern at Stratpoint. They are a premier service provider for software, cloud, data, and AI — so I can say that it was not easy to catch up with the demands of customers like Globe, UnionBank, AyalaLand, and other big names in the industry. But I gained a lot of experience and knowledge along the way — things that we do not learn inside the 4 walls of the classroom. I’ve had my share of challenges, and now I know how to solve them when my own time comes to be officially part (or even a leader!) of a team. If you’re interested in being part of Stratpoint, go to the Stratpoint Careers page.
About the Author
Princess Magadla is a 4th-year student at Batangas State University majoring in Psychology. As an intern in Stratpoint during a global health crisis, she helped develop the company’s Mental Health Policy.