How To Collaborate Effectively if your Team is Remote
Remote work has seen a surge in popularity over the last several years. Thanks to advancements in technology, it’s easier than ever for companies to Master Remote Team Collaboration and to run effectively and efficiently with employees across the country – or the globe.
However, that doesn’t mean remote work doesn’t present unique challenges. For employees, things like productivity, motivation, and feeling like they aren’t part of a group can cause issues. For businesses trying to manage remote teams, keeping everyone on the same page and improving productivity are additional challenges.
Thankfully, by blending technology tools and leadership strategies, you can achieve remote work success. There are plenty of practical techniques that can be used to maximize productivity in remote offices while boosting workflows and team efficiency along the way. If your team has been struggling in those areas, consider implementing some of these tips right away.
There are countless benefits to remote work for both individuals and businesses. Some of the biggest perks include:
- Greater flexibility
- Increased comfort
- Reduced overhead
- Real-time communication and information
- A better work-life balance
However, depending on your team member’s individual environments and work schedules, they could struggle with things like loneliness, isolation, and a lack of creative motivation. One of the best ways to improve connection, boost productivity, and help your employees’ mental well-being is to do whatever you can to improve team morale. That’s often easier to do in person, but it can be accomplished in a remote setting, too.
Start by using the right communication tools, or consider a virtual office software solution. Consistent communication will help everyone stay on the same page and feel like they’re connected all day. Solutions such as chat software, cloud-based programs that allow for document sharing, and video conferencing are all great ways to improve the closeness of your team.
You can also organize virtual team-building activities, like online games or challenges, virtual workshops, or even virtual parties.
Finally, make sure you’re publicly showing gratitude and recognizing team members often. You can offer company-wide recognition, or give those people some “perks” like extra time off, personal treats, or upgraded technology. When employees feel seen, heard, and valued, they’re more likely to feel happy about their work.
Remote Team Collaboration – Maximize Productivity
A happy and inspired remote team is one that will be eager to get things done. But, even if you have a team full of productive people, it’s up to you to manage your remote team effectively, as well as to make sure people are on track and meeting deadlines.
As a leader, there are a few steps you can (and should) take to make sure every remote employee knows they can depend on you to keep things running smoothly.
First, it’s essential to be accessible. Even if you work remotely, make sure you have specific office hours when people can reach you. Investing in the latest cybersecurity technology and training yourself on best practices for staying safe online will help your team feel even more comfortable talking to you and sharing sensitive work files in a digital space.
It’s worth it to install monitoring software to keep track of what your employees are working on. That doesn’t mean you need to “spy” on everything, but, it does give you an idea of who is doing what and how things are going. If you see someone who seems to be falling behind in their work, tracking their progress gives you the opportunity to reach out. They could be struggling with something personal that isn’t easy for them to talk about. Being a good leader means fostering communication with those individuals. They could be overly stressed about their projects, or they could have something going on in their personal lives. A good leader invests time and care into the well-being of their employees. So, don’t make assumptions that someone’s lack of productivity has anything to do with laziness or distraction.
Foster Collaboration – Collaboration Tools for Remote Teams
If you’re worried your remote team might feel disconnected from each other, consider streamlining remote workflows to boost collaboration. Team collaboration tools are a great way to ensure everyone understands their tasks. They can also help to improve workflow by breaking down those tasks and allowing employees to “check” them off as they’re completed. No one is in the dark, everyone understands their role, and with proper communication, everyone will be able to work together to get things done quickly.
With that in mind, some of the best team collaboration tools include:
- Microsoft Teams
These programs all have their own unique features that are mostly a matter of preference. Don’t be afraid to try out a few different options before determining the right fit for your team. Look for programs that are easy and accessible for anyone to use, and check out special features that would specifically benefit your team and your business.
As a leader, it’s your responsibility to boost team collaboration and prioritize the well-being of every remote worker. Productivity problems can plague businesses with multiple remote workers, but they’re less likely to become an issue if you lead the way in collaboration and communication, and use technology to your advantage. In doing so, you’ll enjoy greater productivity and a happier team that’s likely to remain loyal to your company.
Author Bio: Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, business, education, and fitness-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.