Creating a work atmosphere that fosters a high level of collaboration and productivity is hard. Cultivating the same environment remotely is even harder and brings about a unique set of challenges. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. In fact, both workers and companies can benefit from having remote teams that collaborate effectively. Studies show that remote employees have a higher likelihood of working over 40 hours a week and being more productive than their on-site peers. But how can you achieve that level of productivity with your remote team? Here are a few effective ways to collaborate while working remotely.
1. Embrace Digital Communication
Effective communication is the key to seamless collaboration. No matter the technique or tools you leverage to keep everybody connected, ensure all your remote workers have an easy and straightforward means of communicating with each other or as a group. You can take advantage of the powerful intranet software to keep your employees communicating and collaborating together through videos, direct messaging, audio calls, private messaging, online forums, and much more. Also, ensure they’ve the right programs to unzip files free to help them fast-track turnaround times and meet deadlines.
2. Build Collaboration Spaces
How do you encourage collaboration among your collocated workers? Perhaps you could hold meetings and give out tasks to be performed in groups. But how do you deal with remote teams where physical meetings aren’t possible? The answer is building virtual collaboration spaces. Choose the best digital platforms that are built purposely for team collaboration. That way, your employees will have a dedicated space to meet virtually, ask questions, share valuable insights and updates, and collaborate effectively. Skype, Google Meet, Slack, and Zoom are great platforms for building a collaborative remote office environment.
3. Streamline Project Management by Integrating the Right Online Tools
Are you using any project management software? If not, then you need to integrate one to enjoy the many benefits it offers. With the right project management system, you can delegate tasks to team members based on their capabilities, which enhances accountability and productivity. It eliminates confusion and blame games, which are common when you’re dealing with virtual teams. Some of the best program management software programs include Trello, Wrike, Basecamp, and Asana. Many of these programs come with special features that allow everyone involved in a project to discuss the tasks on their to-do lists.
Features of online collaboration tools:
Trello is one of the most widely used collaborative platforms that allows diverse teams to easily identify goals, categorize them in specific manageable tasks, and track the progress of each task and individual. It allows teams to overview of every process and step of each activity and know in real-time in which phase of development a certain project is. Trello is completely online and hosted in the cloud, meaning it allows you to have access from any device, with a simple unique ID. What’s more awesome about this platform is that all these features are available for free.
Asana is another widely used collaborative tool that uses features that aim to connect team members into one place. Through its user friendly and useful features, this platform allows teams to keep tabs on project management and stay up to date with what each member in the team is doing. Asana allows its users to add tasks, assign them to each other, mark the progress of each activity, set deadlines and reminders, add comments or notes, and also attach relevant documents. The cool thing is that you can connect it with email and once a deadline approaches or date is set for completion of a task, you will receive an email with notification.
Jira is another project tracking tool designed to serve large teams to help them better manage their project workflows. The platform itself is very flexible and developed in such a way that it accommodates the need of every business or industry. Regardless of the type of business, Jira allows teams to plan, manage, and report adequately on their work. More specifically, Jira allows business project tracking, task tracking and management, workflow management, and dashboard management of project tasks and progress.
4. Make File Sharing and Opening a Cinch
Having the best file sharing and opening tools will help you maintain a continuous flow of information among your remote employees. Tools like Google Docs allow creation and editing of documents in real-time. More than two people can review and edit a single document simultaneously. What’s more, Google Docs also has a comment feature that enables project managers to incorporate their suggestions and ask for edits. Other than file sharing tools, providing your virtual team with the best programs that enable them to unzip files free can help take their collaboration a notch higher. You can try WinZip, Ashampoo Zip, or Zipware.
5. Put Emphasize on Leadership Support
Although remote working offers many benefits to both workers and businesses, it’ll never be the same as working in a physical workspace. That said, you should show your remote staff that you understand their needs and appreciate their remote efforts. Without genuine support and encouragement from the leadership, remote teams can feel isolated and unmotivated to actively engage in collaborative efforts.
6. Perform Quarterly Performance Reviews
Transparency is an important aspect of any successful remote team. While every team member may have the relevant skills to perform their work responsibilities effectively, you still need to determine if your team is performing at the speed and quality you require. This is where quarterly performance reviews come in. Through performance reviews, you can see the strengths and weaknesses of your virtual team. With this information, your staff will know the improvements they need to make to boost their performance.
Collaborating while working remotely takes effort and determination. Embracing digital communication, building virtual collaboration spaces, investing in the best project management tools, emphasizing leadership support, and performing quarterly performance reviews are a few of the strategies you need to implement to develop a strong collaborative culture for your remote team.