If you are outsourcing to Philippines, India or any other outsourcing company then it is fair to say that you have a remote. However, if your team started to work from home because of the pandemic I think all the tips that various articles mention about remote teams and managing them are not applicable.
According to Wikipedia, the definition of remote team is:
A virtual team (also known as a geographically dispersed team, distributed team, or remote team) usually refers to a group of individuals who work together from different geographic locations and rely on communication technology such as email, FAX, and video or voice conferencing services in order to collaborate.
Those who have worked at an office together and now work from home should Not be called Remote Teams because of the following reasons:
Those working from an office location understand the organizational norms, methods, processes and the atmosphere and therefore have built a relationship with the organization. However, people who are working remotely and have never experienced this office culture can be called remote workers. Outsourcing companies in Philippines and or any other country or your own company team who works remotely can be called a remote team.
As we work from the same office the physical proximity and the opportunity to work on common projects, have lunch together, or chat in the kitchen or in meetings etc. enables us to build relationships which continues even after the projects are completed and teams are disbanded. Remote teams don’t have the opportunity of physical proximity but over time tend to build some form of relationship.
Team members who have worked together at an office, such events which impact us collectively further builds a sense of mutual empathy and concern. This sense of empathy might not be that strong when a team member is a remote member and does not share the same cultural or geographical background.
Teams members who used to worked at the office and are now working from home know what is expected of them and the deliverables they have. Therefore, the communication challenges to ensure that tasks are completed and delivered on time will not be the same as those encountered when working with remote teams.
Summer Barbeques, team building golf day, going together to get coffee or lunch and similar activities further strengthen the relationships built between people working at the same office. The shape of these activities is not the same for employees working remotely because of geographical distance.
The key is to remember is that these are the same team members with whom you worked in the office and are now working from home. Don’t call them remote team members because they have built a relationship with you and other team members when working in the office.
The bottom line is not to create new rules which are going to impact productivity and positivity of the team you have built over the years.