Many employees love the idea of working remotely. It is productive, as well. But remote workers say that the biggest challenges of working remotely are collaboration and communication.
Good communication is crucial if you want to be productive and achieve your business goals.
Keeping the team informed and up to date by providing clear information, using communication and collaboration tools, conducting digital meetings, tracking employee performance, and giving feedback are all great ways to enhance remote team collaboration.
Let’s go through the nine effective team collaboration tips that you can implement right away.
1. Communicate clearly
When you communicate with your team members, communicate in such a way that they understand you. Don’t assume that someone has fully understood what you mean unless they say so.
When you work remotely, you are not only separated by space and time but, in some instances, culturally too. Keep in mind that what you say might be interpreted differently as they won’t understand the context behind a turn of phrase.
It will also be helpful if you could establish communication norms. For instance, Merck Company uses its own acronyms for communicating digitally like Four Hour Response (4HR) and No Need to Respond (NNTR). It adds predictability and certainty to digital conversations.
Use tools like Todoist to keep everyone up to date with everything. With this tool, you can list individual assignments, team tasks, and customized projects with deadlines.
2. Use communication and collaboration tools
To easily communicate and collaborate with your team members in an effective way, start using effective tools.
Here are some of the best collaboration tools you can consider using:
A. Zoom: It is great for live video conferencing, meeting management, messaging, screen sharing, and reporting, and statistics, among others. Plus, you can integrate Zoom with several platforms, including Dropbox, HubSpot CRM, Zendesk, and so forth. Moreover, it is suitable for Web, iOS, and Android devices.
Trello helps you collaborate with your teams remotely. This tool is great for team communication, task management, document sharing, and many more. It also offers a team book hub feature.
The dashboard is easy to use and based on boards, lists, and cards that you can drag and drop easily and communicate with your team members.
Trello integrates with many platforms, including Slack, Adobe XD, Jira, and so forth. Plus, it is suitable for Web, Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices.
3. Track employee performance and give feedback
Whether your team is working remotely or not, you need to monitor their performance and measure productivity. Sort out the key indicators of success for each task and get transparency around this. It will help you assess whether your team members are productive or not.
Plus, don’t forget to give feedback, both positive and negative. It will keep them motivated to perform better. You can use tools such as WorkIQ to track employees’ computer behavior.
It will provide reports on their time spent on productive and non-productive apps. The dashboards will also show you which employees are actively engaged with their tasks and who are distracted.
4. Allow flexible working hours while maintaining consistency
People working remotely prefer to have flexible work timings. You can allow a degree of flexibility while managing your team members, but just ensure to keep some consistency.
If things go haywire, you won’t have a shared collaboration window when each team member is online at the same time and able to chat.
5. Avoid chat and email overload.
It is hard to avoid this as you want each team member to communicate enough. But if you overload your team with chats and email, they will easily get distracted and overwhelmed.
Ensure that your remote workers are not subscribed to more channels than necessary. They should be receiving only the messages that they need to see.
6. Make collaboration effective on documents and spreadsheets.
At times you will have documents that need to be edited by many people. You can make effective collaboration on docs and spreadsheets by using Google Drive.
When a document needs to be shared and needs no edition, you can keep your documents in a shared Google Drive. You can even use Dropbox. There are other project management tools that allow file sharing and collaboration as well.
7. Make daily check-ins
At the start of each day, ensure that everyone is doing a check-in. You can keep a channel where each of you announces what you will be working on that particular day.
When the day ends, you do a check-out and announce what you’ve accomplished and what you didn’t. It is a simple yet good habit that your team can implement. It will enable you to structure your day and know whether you are productive.
This habit also creates work transparency while focusing on the outcome.
Consistency is a crucial factor that forms the foundation of remote work. Keep repeating the right routines, rituals, and habits. Once you announce it, make sure to follow through. It is the task of the manager to take charge and ensure that everyone is doing it.
9. Build a remote team culture
Building a remote team culture should be a crucial part of your remote workforce strategy. Since your workforce is scattered, you will need to put in extra effort to build a remote team culture.
Be prepared to solve the question of how to engage remote teams. Perhaps you may employ Casual Slack channel, virtual games, virtual fitness challenge, and so on. It will give you a productive team that works cohesively and helps each other out.
There you have it! 9 tips for effective remote team collaboration that you can start implementing right away. With the advancement in technology, it is not hard to work and collaborate remotely while being productive. Just ensure that you are using the right tools and have a great strategy. Miscommunications are bound to happen at times. Don’t be too harsh on your employees. Also, allow flexibility at work up to a certain degree that doesn’t interfere with organization and productivity. And do focus on building a remote team culture. It will be beneficial for your business.