Opting for remote working can be beneficial for all parties involved, as it leads to enhanced efficiency, reduced carbon footprint and travel time, in addition to minimised operational and infrastructural expenses for both the employer and the employee.
Collaborative team efforts may face obstacles in remote work, owing to the lack of face-to-face interaction. It is imperative for leaders to identify effective solutions to help maintain and develop team cohesion, as seamless collaboration is vital to a company’s success. Thus, we have compiled a comprehensive list of some of the most useful strategies and tools that can help enhance remote teamwork productivity.
Here are five valuable resources to aid in the enhancement of remote teamwork effectiveness.
1. Platforms for Instant Messaging
To improve communication, one can opt for a messaging application such as Slack, WhatsApp, or an equivalent programme. These tools offer the ability to connect with an individual or a group of people through various channels, in addition to facilitating file sharing.
To maintain a peaceful and organised working environment, it is crucial to reduce the number of notifications that workers receive. One way to do this is by avoiding posting information to a general channel that may not be relevant to everyone. Instead, direct messages or customised channels should be utilised when communication pertains to only a small segment of the team.
2. Comprehensive Office Suites
Comprehensive productivity software suites, such as Google Suite and Microsoft Office Teams, offer a broad range of essential tools for effective business management and team collaboration. For instance, Microsoft Office Teams comprises Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Outlook, and Microsoft PowerPoint, which are all highly beneficial for personal productivity, in addition to facilitating teamwork productivity.
Microsoft Office Teams is a cloud-based suite for productivity that enables synchronous collaboration – whereby multiple users can simultaneously view and modify the same file, such as an Excel spreadsheet, ensuring that the latest version is being accessed. Comparable capabilities are also offered by the Google Suite.
3. Applications for Project Management
If you have not already incorporated them into your workflow, purpose-designed tools for managing and monitoring the progress of projects can be a valuable time-saving measure for both you and your team. Applications such as Trello, Jira, Monday, Wrike, and others can assist with task allocation, setting deadlines, identifying phases, and other functions that aid in managing and organising tasks.
These tools provide much more than just superior collaboration abilities. Furthermore, the significant range of features, tools, and personalisation options that they comprise can be customised to comply with your company’s unique needs, thus contributing to advanced project management.
4. Services for Online Data Storage
We often leverage Google Drive, which is already cloud-hosted. This enables us to offer immediate access to the required data to all members of the team, enhancing security and facilitating real-time collaboration. Cloud storage solutions allow for synchronous viewing and commenting on documents during meetings.
5. Platforms for Virtual Meetings
When compiling a comprehensive list of remote collaboration tools, it is crucial to include video conferencing software. Apps such as Zoom and Skype have become an indispensable part of our daily lives as they allow teams to conduct regular meetings, share updates and information, and deliver presentations. Video conferencing is truly crucial for maintaining interconnectedness and keeping everyone informed.
Approaches to Remote Teamwork that Harmonise but also Operate Independently
Although integrating state-of-the-art technologies to promote communication and collaboration among remote teams is important, the adoption of best practices is critical for realising a boost in output when competing for the best employees.
6. Establish a Procedure for Remote Work
When working with a team that is spread across dissimilar time zones, it is crucial to establish shared guidelines for them to follow. As the manager, it is your duty to ensure that these protocols are conveyed effectively and comprehended by all members.
It is important to consider the availability and timetables of all parties involved while arranging meetings. Before scheduling group video calls, all asynchronous communication options should be considered. Email and instant messaging have emerged as prevalent methods for addressing issues instead of in-person meetings.
7. Establish Limitations
Collaboration is beyond mere communication and task-sharing. It also involves respecting the privacy of others, especially in the digital realm. Remote work can make it challenging to distinguish between one’s personal and professional life as people may be working from their homes. Consequently, it may be difficult for them to disconnect.
It is essential to define unambiguous limitations with your team. To prevent burnout and encourage a better work-life balance, you could implement a policy like “no work emails after 6 pm” for your employees.
8. Clearly Outline Your Expectations
When physical observation of your team’s progress is not possible, important details can be easily overlooked. For greater collaboration and efficiency, it is imperative to establish and convey clear expectations for managing remote work scenarios. Describe the processes, routines, and approaches that you require to attain enhanced efficiency and team performance.
For instance, it is critical to be informed of when members of the team leave for the day and are expected to resume. If employees do not follow this schedule, it is essential to calmly explain the situation instead of becoming irritated.
9. Identify the Weaknesses
Encountering issues, particularly while using new or infrequent technology is a common occurrence. Although it is easy to feel aggravated when things do not go according to plan, creating an environment of cooperation and productivity is crucial. It is wise to assign extra time to prepare for any technical difficulties and to brief your team on how to handle any system malfunctions.
While giving presentations, it can be advantageous to reserve some extra time for dealing with any technical glitches or necessary adjustments. By doing so, you can handle any unexpected issues without feeling overwhelmed.
10. Provide Abundant Assistance and Resources
For many employees, working from home can be a difficult experience, especially for the first year. To achieve successful outcomes for the company, it is crucial to equip your staff with the essential tools and support to facilitate collaboration and productivity. It is important not to wait for staff to request these resources before providing them.
Conducting a survey to determine the essential resources employees need to enhance collaboration and produce superior outcomes would be beneficial. Explore the following blog for more details.
Achieving proficiency in remote working involves significant considerations. Nevertheless, implementing the recommended strategies and tools can familiarize you and your team with this “new normal”.