I'm the founder of FutureWork IQ where I spend my time assisting businesses to design digital workplaces or “offices in the cloud.” These environments enable companies to allow flexible and remote working for their teams. I also teach the digital literacy, fluency, communication and collaboration skills needed to work in these modern technology-rich workplaces.

A Team Charter is crucial for a successful remote team. It’s there to clarify the teams direction, setting boundaries and operating principles and is normally developed BEFORE the team goes remote. However, since many have been forced into this situation at short notice, I highly recommend taking the time to develop this document if you haven’t already.

Develop this with the entire teams input, so that everyone understands what is expected of them. This collective creation process goes a long way in ensuring buy-in from everyone.

The charter is all about setting expectations. What behaviours are encouraged or discouraged? What’s the tone of your “office in the cloud”? What outputs are expected? What do you expect from each other? The document should clearly define rules of engagement for different contexts as well as codes of conduct. (Eg, cameras on during online video meetings, limiting background noise, no multi-tasking during the meeting etc.)

The charter creates structure which is crucial to operate effectively and with minimal conflict.

I recommend that this should be a “living document” that can (and should) be refined as you go.