How to Collaborate Effectively if Your Team is Remote

The world of remote work continues to grow by leaps and bounds, and that’s advantageous for both businesses and employees. With more remote work options available, businesses can reduce their overhead and tap into top talent without worrying about traditional geographic restrictions. It’s also appealing to great talent if a company offers a flexible work environment.

How to Collaborate Effectively if Your Team is Remote

How to Collaborate Effectively if Your Team is Remote

For employees, remote work means an improvement in work-life balance and more opportunities.

With that being said, working together may still be vital for everyone’s success and holistic organizational success. The following are tips and tools to collaborate with a remote team in a way that works well for everyone.

1. Real-Time Document Management

One of the most important tools you can put in place for improved collaboration with a remote team is the use of a real-time document viewing and editing tool. Then, everyone can work together without having to wait for a document to go through various disconnected channels.

As an example, if your team is coming together to work on an upcoming pitch, you can brainstorm creatively and do any necessary editing and revisions as if you were all in the room together.

When you use a real-time document management solution, it takes a lot of lag time out of working on a project.

2. Don’t Confuse Brief and Clear

With remote work, there are challenges, and one of them is how you can communicate effectively. Sometimes, we may think that if we keep our messages brief them somehow they’re also clear and concise, and that’s not necessarily the case.

Just because you cut down the length of your message, it doesn’t mean it’s any more clear to your team, and in fact, it may be just the opposite.

People on your team may spend more than is necessary trying to interpret your message, but if you had used a few more words, it could have been clearer.

3. Develop a Digital Water Cooler

There’s a relatively new idea that’s picking up steam as remote work environments become commonplace, and that’s the development of a digital “water cooler.” With a digital water cooler, it’s a good way to promote some of the team building that you miss out on when your employees aren’t in the same location.

Basically, you’re working to create a digital, shared space where employees can have casual conversations.

One way to do this in a fairly simple way is to have a channel such as Slack or another communication tool that all of your remote employees are invited to join.

There’s also a tool called Telegram, which is praised for its end-to-end encryption and high levels of security.

4. Set Communication Norms

Without a set of established communication norms and expectations, even the best technology and tools aren’t going to help your team operate at a peak level of productivity and efficiency.

What some companies are doing is adopting acronyms, they include emails and other messages to let team members know how urgent the communication is and when a response is expected.

Along with being able to label messages, you might also want to determine what channel is appropriate for what type of message or conversation. For example, when is Slack preferable to WhatsApp?

While it’s not exclusive to communication, having a good project management tool in place is vital for remote teams because it establishes expectations in a really clear and manageable way. With project management tools, employees can see who’s doing what in addition to what they’re responsible for. They can see timelines and deadlines, and it keeps everyone on the same page.

5. Use Video Chat From Time-to-Time

We tend to become isolated when we work remotely and feel somewhat disconnected from our teams, no matter how much we’re actually working with them. You can reduce this sense of isolation and disconnect by occasionally using a video conferencing tool.

This gives you a way to get to know people much better than you will in any digital message format and understand more of the nuances of their personality.

When everyone is together in a virtual chatroom, it can improve overall engagement and productivity, and it gives you many of the benefits of in-person meetings without the expenses.

When you’re leading or part of a remote team, collaboration tools, and platforms are critical for your success. Work to find the ones that are best for your team and foster a sense of collaboration and engagement among everyone.

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TechGlobeX: How to Collaborate Effectively if Your Team is Remote
How to Collaborate Effectively if Your Team is Remote
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