With the easing of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a good time to contemplate the skills that we have acquired and perfected during these trying times. We, as working professionals, have demonstrated flexibility, durability, teamwork, and technological expertise, allowing us to function in diverse and challenging situations.
The pandemic has compelled us to re-evaluate the definition of productive teamwork and how to collaborate on tasks without being present in the same location. We have obtained knowledge about how to work efficiently in a virtual setting and noticed that certain teams have handled the switch to this novel routine more effectively than others.
Collaboration among team members is crucial for boosting output and efficacy, and remote teamwork is an area that needs to be fostered in the future, with several companies introducing virtual working setups or alternatives. This article analyses the approaches that businesses are adopting to sustain their competitive advantage in remote team collaboration.
Dealing with Challenging Problems
The primary stage to enhance teamwork between virtual teams is to tackle the obstacles that arise from working in seclusion. These roadblocks can involve, but are not restricted to, the following concerns.
Inadequate sharing of information.Efficient communication is vital for thriving collaboration, but this can be problematic when individuals are not present in the same place. Time variations, technical obstacles, and the failure to comprehend nonverbal signals can all hinder effective virtual communication.
Ineffectual methodologies.Flourishing teamwork necessitates the presence of robust protocols, such as established procedures, constructive team meetings, and frequent assessment and revision. In the absence of agreement on these operational specifics, the successful execution of collaboration can be hampered.
Low morale in the workplace.In collaborative settings, it is crucial for teams to hold a shared comprehension of pertinent matters. This must encompass an awareness of the company’s past, as well as a comprehensive glossary of industry-specific vocabulary in any language used. In the absence of this, it can lead to a dearth of confidence, and the team may encounter difficulty working together effectively.
Inadequate communication between individuals.When team members are unable to gain access to identical documents, and technical hindrances stop conference calls from occurring, there is a reduction in collaborative effort that may result in increased exasperation and sluggish progress.
The ensuing sections elaborate on conceivable techniques for rectifying these issues and how best to manage them.
Adopting Suitable Technology
Employing appropriate software can significantly expedite effective virtual communication and collaboration. Video conferencing, for instance, offers the same level of dialogue as a voice call, but also enables virtual participants to visualise each other’s nonverbal expressions. This can have a notable impact on the efficiency of teamwork and make remote communication feel more intimate.
The reconstruction of a conventional workplace environment can offer several advantages. For instance, teams may profit from the employment of virtual whiteboards to better showcase their concepts and the inter-connections between different aspects of the project. Moreover, tools such as file-sharing programs, cloud-based data storage services, project management applications, and automation software are indispensable for the fortuitous functioning of virtual teams.
It is crucial to bear in mind that some team members may require extra guidance on particular technological issues. Optimal practices for video conferencing encompass maintaining gaze at the camera and addressing it directly, exploiting social media tools to offer participants the opportunity to react to each other in real time, and adopting asynchronous communication techniques to permit virtual meetings even when not all members are available concurrently.
Augmenting Interactions with Improved Dialogue
Technology, however influential, will be of no avail in enhancing teamwork without robust communication. For successful project management, team leaders must ensure that all purposes, vital junctures, and outputs are distinctly established from the outset. Each team member must be cognisant of their accountabilities and how their contribution can assist in accomplishing the project’s objectives.
Throughout the project’s lifecycle, team leaders and team members should ensure that everyone is updated on their progress and any obstacles they might be encountering. Troubleshooting forms a fundamental component of teamwork, but no assistance can be furnished if people are oblivious to the challenges faced by their colleagues. It is essential to predetermine the frequency, regularity, and deliverables of team meetings along with the frequency of progress updates.
The Science behind Conducting Productive Meetings
Virtual meetings offer the same degree of adaptability as those conducted face-to-face. If there is a spur of the moment meeting, team members should be instructed to invite any people who could be of aid, or contribute to the discourse. The ensuing are some ways to enhance scheduled meetings:
Prepareand disseminate it in advance of the meeting. This should be led by a single individual.
Establish an objective and strive for it.What do you aspire to accomplish? Plan in advance to ensure that you meet your aim before the end of the meeting.
Note-taking is imperative.Minutes of team meetings should be documented by a single individual and then dispensed to everyone or uploaded to a central online platform.
Recording meetings is recommended.Virtual meetings provide the convenience of being recorded for reviewing at a later time. It is advisable to keep the recording alongside your notes for quick reference.
Creating Strategies for Success
Remote work demands analogous standard operating procedures to those of a typical office environment. For instance, what cloud platform can we employ to obtain professional expertise if our team is drafting reports on industry trends? Where can I discover the report drafts? How will the report’s status be tracked? What approach will be adopted to record significant dates and events?
It is crucial to contemplate the channels that should be utilised for disseminating different messages. Does the live chat service allow for separate channels for diverse projects, groups, or discussions? Is a different channel employed to converse with individuals? Moreover, when should team members be accessible for meetings and other modes of team communication? Addressing these questions will offer valuable perceptions into the communication strategy.
Once you have recognised your preferred procedures, you need to ponder over how you will educate current and new employees. Will Human Resources be accountable for this, or will it be the responsibility of the Team Leader? Will you participate in the training? By when do you envision the completion of the training? What method should be employed for the training?
Enhanced Achievement through Better Collaboration
Synergising as a team can yield more than each person working in isolation. Hence, enterprises that concentrate on their objectives must cultivate effective teamwork and equip their team members with essential resources to implement triumphant remote strategies.