One of the arguments against remote work culture is that you cannot collaborate with team members as easily as you can in person. For savvy business owners who want to expand their remote workforce, there is good news. Collaboration is easier than ever, even if your team works in different parts of the world. Here are some of the best ways that you can make remote work more collaborative:
Use a Shared Online Workspace
While most remote workers use individual tools to get their work done, using a shared workspace is a great way to encourage collaboration, especially in between meetings and formal collaboration sessions. A shared online workspace is a great way to get people working together. You can use an online whiteboard to share ideas and to get input from multiple people. If you want to do a quick brainstorming session, you can use collaborative whiteboards to connect with your team members, even if they are on the other side of the world.
Productive team meetings are an important collaboration tool. Don’t set meetings for no reason, but remember how important they are for remote workers to collaborate. Setting aside time on everyone’s calendars to work on important projects is critical. Remember, if it can be said with an email, then use an email to communicate. Regular meetings are a great way to keep your remote team on track and focused. Keep the meetings short and to-the-point, so everyone can get back to work quickly.
Use Video Conferencing Technology to Facilitate Collaboration
Video conferencing has revolutionized the ways we do business. If you’re a team leader, it’s important to use video conferencing technology to facilitate collaboration. You can talk to your remote team in person and even do screen sharing to work through problems that both parties can add information to help solve. You can use video conferencing for virtual meetings, check-ins, or even just casual chats about projects.
Let Your Team Work Together
While most people didn’t love group projects in high school or college, when you are working with a high-impact and highly collaborative team, working together is essential; no one person can do all the work themselves. Create an atmosphere where working together is the norm and is encouraged at all levels. Additionally, make sure team members get credit for their contributions. Stealing the glory from someone else’s great ideas only breeds frustration and resentment. You can leverage messaging apps, shared documents, phone calls, and video chats if needed to facilitate opportunities for collaboration time.
Make Face-to-Face Time With Your Team a Priority
As a remote worker, you’re going to need to make sure that your team is given face-to-face time. This is especially important if you have a remote team in another location or country. Face-to-face time can be used for building relationships and getting to know each other better. This is an important time to help people build trust. When staff members trust each other they are more likely to be collaborative versus competitive.
Check on Your Remote Employees’ Progress Regularly
Micromanagers don’t do well in remote work environments. It’s not necessary to get minute-by-minute progress reports from your team. However, you do need to check on your remote workers regularly. Some managers meet up weekly for a block of time, while others will connect in short bursts a few times a week. Offer them any support or help to get them unstuck if needed. This will help ensure that everything is going smoothly. It also gives you a chance to get feedback from your employees about what’s working well and what could use some improvement.
Use Internal Communication Apps
Want to know what everyone is doing throughout the day? You can leverage internal communication apps to find out. Technology is critical to help teams work well together, and different apps allow this to happen. They can help you reach a co-worker more quickly to get an answer from. They can help you problem-solve and get unstuck. And they can even help you simply connect with the people who work together to get stuff done. Working remotely can include collaboration even more so that working in an office if you set the right tone and provide training and tools to make it easier.