Working remotely sure has its own perks. Employees are more in control of how they do their job without worrying about someone watching their every move. Managers and supervisors, in turn, learn to trust their staff and rely on their outputs despite the setup. But along with the perks also comes the challenge to improve collaboration with remote teams.
While technology has made it possible to work together regardless of someone's location, it's also one of the reasons communication and collaboration could get quite tricky in more ways than one.
Gone are the days when employees can bounce from one cubicle to another just to share ideas, stories, and whatnots. Now that work-from-home is starting to be the new normal, more people are starting to adapt and are learning how to work remotely without sacrificing the quality of their output. Of course, before selecting the right tools that can help promote collaboration between teams, they first need to have an internet-ready gadget to help them power through the new normal way of work. Some employees had to sell their old gadgets to cash for used laptop businesses and purchase new ones that can accommodate the tools and systems needed in a WFH setup.
For a business owner like you, the challenge lies in finding ways to make collaboration with remote teams work efficiently and seamlessly. To help you out, here are some ways you can try to improve collaboration in spite of the remote setting they have:
With all the work being done remotely, it's your responsibility to ensure that your employees are equipped with the right tools to accomplish their daily tasks. You can invest in project management tools and team collaboration software to ensure that your staff can work together without worrying about how everyone can give and receive feedback, among other factors.
To start with, your remote team needs an online project management software wherein they're given access to a wide selection of collaboration features. Such features may include:
Another tool you might want to consider getting for the remote team is a business tool that allows them to create, share, and store online documents. Don't forget to have a video chat or conferencing tool for online meetings with a personal touch and an email service provider that helps improve productivity.
Although the setup makes physical interaction impossible, it doesn't mean that your team shouldn't participate in events that can boost effective communication and collaboration with remote teams. You can plan for virtual team-building activities that can help everyone get to know each other more. It's also an excellent way to make them feel that they’re a valuable part of the team.
For example, they can do virtual home tours at least once a month. You can randomly assign a member to be the host of the home tour. You can also do online gaming and coffee sessions so that your employees can have a little break at work.
One common roadblock of remote collaboration is the vague communication methods that often lead to misunderstanding, confusion, and interaction delays. In remote working, one thing you must understand is that a message can be interpreted and relayed in different ways. You must know how to communicate clearly, so everyone is well aware of what message you're trying to get across.
A good example is when writing emails to the team. It might be best not to assume that your recipients would immediately understand what you're trying to say. A simple sentence could mean so much, and chances are, people will have their own interpretations when your email or message reaches their digital space.
You might want to be clear on specific things you want to emphasize. For instance, if you're going to let everyone know of the project's target completion date, don't beat around the bush and just tell it straight away. Don't leave any room for misunderstanding so that everyone knows and can do the necessary tasks to reach the target.
Even if you're chatting and sending emails to one another every day, you still shouldn't forget to hold regular team meetings. This will significantly boost collaboration as the team feels more comfortable and confident around the organization. Team meetings can also be a great way to ask for their feedback regarding the work setup. Ask for their opinions and suggestions on how you can work better to improve collaboration.
The remote setup is here to stay even until the pandemic ends. Companies have found a cost-efficient way to keep the business going. On the other hand, employees appreciate the flexibility and control that they have as they work remotely. What's left to do is find more ways to improve collaboration with remote teams so that the professional relationship can thrive and foster even better.