Remote work often requires some adjustment, especially if one is used to chatting around the water cooler or brainstorming on an actual whiteboard. With some strategic modifications made to communications processes and team-building activities, teams can collaborate efficiently no matter their geographical locations.
Below are seven key strategies for effective remote team collaboration: 1. Utilize Collaborative Tools.
1. Create a Digital Space
Remind yourself that remote team collaboration doesn’t always require video calls – sometimes a simple chat message may be more efficient and effective.
At meetings, strive to maintain eye contact as often as possible by using a standing-height table and clear microphones; making eye contact can also help ensure maximum productivity during discussions. However, excessive micromanagement of remote team members may become distracting and decrease trust over time.
Be sure to celebrate company and individual wins, both company-wide and individually, so your team feels supported in their work, and are encouraged to continue producing quality results. A Slack channel or weekly email can serve as an effective means of honoring top performance or achievements; or employees could present them themselves during team meetings.
2. Utilize Collaborative Tools
Communication is key for team success, but keeping remote work teams productive requires more than text messages and video calls alone. Leveraging collaboration tools that offer customization, group chat rooms and document sharing enables teams to get creative with their workflows without time and distance being an impediment.
Leaders need to determine how their teams will communicate when working remotely, especially by creating channels for specific topics or projects so that information doesn’t get mixed in with general messages.
Scheduling regular team meetings is also recommended, to provide updates and ensure everyone understands deadlines, share any pertinent or time-sensitive housekeeping details and ensure everyone understands their contribution to the company’s goals. In these gatherings, leaders may also have an opportunity to align employee personal goals with company goals so employees have a clearer picture of what their contribution means for the business.
3. Encourage Transparency
Effective remote team collaboration relies on employees having a clear idea of the tasks required and progress made, and how each employee’s assigned tasks are progressing. One effective method for doing so is sharing regular project dashboards that include key metrics as well as updates about team member assignment statuses.
Encouraging transparency also ensures employees are informed about company goals and values. This can be achieved in various ways, including via regular virtual meetings and company updates.
employees need to feel supported and encouraged by their managers regardless of where they work, whether remote or not. One way managers can demonstrate this support and encouragement for remote workers is by reaching out and celebrating both professional and personal successes outside the office environment.
4. Encourage Flexibility
Remote teams present challenges unique to themselves; making a quick request of an employee in one room could mean waiting several days or longer for information that you need. To minimize frustration among your team members, learn to communicate what must be completed immediately versus what can wait.
Your team should make use of video conferencing and other collaborative communication tools designed for team collaboration in order to discuss projects and ideas. Encourage them to utilize these tools regularly, setting up regular meetings for updates; Zara AI teams hold daily 15-minute huddles in which team members discuss goals achieved as well as any challenges they face.
Encourage your remote employees to incorporate exercise and healthy eating habits into their home work environments as it will help maintain both mental and physical wellbeing while avoiding burnout.
5. Set Clear Expectations
Communication tools, project management software and flexible work practices can all play an integral part in helping remote teams succeed; however, effective communication remains just as crucial.
Make sure that every team member understands its goals and roles in reaching those objectives. Also, set clear expectations regarding communication norms – such as when an employee should respond to messages.
Mentoring employees you don’t see every day may be challenging, but it is vitally important that guidance and support be available when needed. Recognizing exceptional performance as well as those that embody company values should also be encouraged via tools like Slack or meetings to boost employee productivity and morale.