Remote teams often face significant challenges when it comes to collaborating effectively over long distances. In an office-based setting, communication typically involves email and telephone, and when a problem requires a collective effort, a group meeting is usually arranged (which might even include celebratory doughnuts if you’re lucky).
Although your team may be spread out across different locations, there are still ways to collaborate effectively. As outlined, this article will detail various solutions that are specifically designed for remote teams, with a focus on using collaborative platforms to enhance task completion and productivity.
Upon reaching the conclusion of this article, we are confident that you will no longer view in-person collaboration as the only effective option. Our ongoing research is centred around identifying various digital tools for virtual whiteboarding, document annotation, group brainstorming and other collaborative activities. If you require assistance in selecting the most suitable platform for your team, feel free to get in touch with us.
Starting Off with Footnotes
Have you ever been frustrated with the process of obtaining design approval via email? Perhaps you sent over an image in PDF or JPG format, only to receive feedback that left you feeling confused or uncertain. Subsequently, additional feedback may have introduced conflicting ideas, resulting in multiple iterations and resending of the image. It can quickly become a seemingly endless cycle.
Collaborative projects can be significantly streamlined with the use of annotation tools like GoVisually. By uploading an image, team members can easily invite others to leave feedback and comments. With the addition of tools such as pointers, it becomes simple to direct attention towards specific areas and ensure that all participants are responsive to relevant feedback. This fosters an efficient dialogue, enabling teams to reach mutually agreeable conclusions within a shorter timeframe.
Skitch, an image-editing app available on Apple devices, offers users the ability to capture images and add annotations, including text and arrows, before sharing them with others. However, some users have recently reported encountering an unusual error message. In such instances, we suggest taking a picture of the error message and emailing it to our technical support team. This approach will help them to gain a clearer understanding of the issue and recommend the most appropriate solution, which may simply involve restarting the device.
Facilitating team discussions and evaluations of ideas is a great way to ensure that everyone has a vested interest in the work being undertaken. Brainstorming techniques offer an opportunity for all team members to put forth their thoughts and ideas, whether it’s to determine a team goal or to utilize mind mapping for problem-solving during the production process.
Mindmeister is an online mind mapping service that offers on-demand accessibility, regardless of location. With Mindmeister, users can create a detailed map of their ideas and then customize its appearance using a diverse array of themes. Once the map is complete, it can be published online and shared with others for collaborative feedback. Additionally, you can assign tasks to other users within the app, allowing for asynchronous collaboration at a personalized pace. This feature is especially useful for working together effectively.
Ideaflip is a highly useful tool for facilitating both synchronous and asynchronous sessions, offering real-time updates and an attractive interface reminiscent of a table covered in post-it notes. With Ideaflip, team members can add, rearrange, and make necessary adjustments to the project, all while feeling as though they’re in the same physical space, without the need for subpar snacks.
Collaboration is not restricted to the workplace alone. In order to liaise with external individuals and organizations, your team will require effective communication channels. In the past, developers and technical support personnel have predominantly relied on ticketing systems as the primary method of interaction in such circumstances.
If you’re looking for a reliable cloud-based help desk and customer care system, Groove is an excellent option to consider. Boasting an impressive user base of over 8,000, this robust platform features a live chat widget and FAQ-creation tools, enabling prompt and comprehensive responses to inquiries, even when staff members are unavailable.
Writing a technical report can often feel like a necessary yet laborious task. Thankfully, Draft simplifies the entire process, enabling each user to work on their own copy of the file with minimal hassle in keeping track of revisions, unlike older word processors. The author retains control over the approval or rejection of any changes made, with the ability to revert back to the original document easily, thanks to the alteration history storing all amendments.
Finally, we arrive at whiteboards. If the mere mention of whiteboards conjures unpleasant memories of nerve-wracking developer interviews featuring whiteboard exercises, let’s take a moment to reflect. We appreciate this perspective and do not advocate the use of physical or digital whiteboards in this context since there are more fitting solutions available.
Even amidst the growing prevalence of technology, whiteboards have retained their value as a helpful tool for remote teams. Giving visual thinkers the opportunity to draw and chart ideas, much like the mind mapping techniques we’ve previously discussed, is a great way to involve them in the creative process. Engaging the entire team in the concept development fosters a greater feeling of unity as a group.
If you’re seeking an online whiteboard solution, the AWW App is frequently recommended as an excellent option. The free version allows for collaborative use with colleagues for a limited two-hour period, with no option to store created work. The paid premium version of the software allows for saving of work and invites colleagues to participate, either working on a shared whiteboard or individual ones. The AWW App is an invaluable tool for flexible and collaborative task completion.
When it comes to collaborative tools, RealTime Board reigns supreme. Looking for an infinite whiteboard, anyone? (No? Just me? That’s okay, let’s move on!) The reality is, RealTime Board offers exactly what you’re seeking. With over 1.5 million users from well-known companies such as Netflix, Cisco, and Twitter, the platform’s effectiveness is unquestionable.
Gathering the Troops with Tools
In embracing distributed teams, organizations can experience a multitude of benefits, including heightened productivity, job satisfaction, and increased workforce diversity. With the proper resources at their disposal, remote teams can compete with in-office teams on a level playing field, and in certain cases, surpass them in performance. It is imperative, therefore, that organizations ensure their remote teams have access to the same suite of resources as their on-site teams.
If your company is struggling to attract suitable candidates for your job vacancies, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. With vast experience in sourcing talented developers from across the globe and matching them to appropriate roles, Works serves as an additional asset in your recruitment process.