Many companies have recently transitioned to implementing remote or hybrid work styles. What was once perceived as unrealistic turns out to be productive and successful. Remote work offers numerous benefits ranging from having fewer distractions and saving more time to saving on transportation costs and having a lesser impact on the environment due to traveling less.
Nevertheless, as remote work has been proven more effective, companies now focus more on keeping collaboration more viable and efficient. Companies now establish more importance on how staff members in a team can work productively together despite the distance. Fortunately, there are surefire strategies and techniques to develop flawless team collaboration.
Read this guide to implement the best practices for remote team collaboration:
Utilize Effective Remote Work Collaboration Tools
Every remote team would automatically think of using virtual collaboration tools as one of the effective practices to yield productive and optimal work results. After all, computer technology is being innovated and developed to provide support for all online workers. Fortunately, different intranet software is available in the market today, and your task is to find the right one.
No matter where team members clock in for the day, this centralized hub will allow them to collaborate, accomplish their work, and stay connected. An intranet design with a wide range of features and functionality is essential for remote teams. An employee can access a social intranet from anywhere and on any device. People working in different time zones find these tools most convenient.
Gone are the days when companies needed paper and printed documents to monitor projects. With remote work, everything should be digital and done on screen. Virtual collaboration software allows your team to streamline processes and improve employee performance and productivity. This saves time and cuts human errors, as menial tasks get automated through the tools. Keeping track of projects and comments helps you stay on top of things without micromanaging.
Always Establish Clear Goals
Before a project starts, the team should always meet to establish clear goals. Providing clear instructions to the team is a priority for team leaders or managers. During meetings, this is an important agenda that needs to be remembered even during the project implementation and its different phases.
Setting clear goals serves as a guide and reference for all team members. And it won't hurt to remind everyone constantly about these goals, especially during project discussions and updates. Boosting team productivity requires remote workers to know what's expected of them.
Everyone performs their respective tasks to contribute to the overall structure. However, your staff won't be able to flourish with their roles and functions if they fail to understand the common goal. Therefore, always establish the discussion of clear objectives whenever possible. This makes everyone be on the same page and set their eyes on the goal.
Set Up Regular Meetings
In the past, face-to-face work settings usually begin the shift with scrum meetings. This practice can still be maintained even for remote teams. After all, having regular meetings offers specific benefits. For example, this is the best opportunity to discuss project progress and steps, as well as address concerns that are creating hurdles in the process.
Meetings can be one of the most valuable tools for finding a collaborative footing, despite many disliking them. The best approach is to apply meeting rules so that it won't take a toll on everyone. Give your staff the liberty to turn off their videos and have them turned on only during a monthly video chat meeting. It's also advisable to prepare the agenda early, making the regular meeting more efficient. Avoid lengthy discussions, as 15 minutes maximum is already more than enough.
During the meeting, discuss necessary topics for the week, the goals, and how to achieve them. Let anyone freely share their two cents, as they might have spotted opportunities or thought of wonderful ideas. Leverage meetings in a way that everyone should look forward to and not something they hate or fear. Try to keep everyone involved and delegate meeting roles to different people each time so that everyone will feel more invested in this activity.
Hold Team-Building Activities
Much like conventional work settings, team-building activities are crucial. You should apply the same for your remote team. Fortunately, there are different exciting team-building activities that you can execute virtually. By creating and scheduling virtual team-building activities, remote teams can foster camaraderie. And this is paramount as your staff doesn't have that many opportunities to communicate and get to know each other.
It’d be ideal to schedule a team-building activity at least once a month. Ensure everyone interacts with one another and gets to know one another better. This is a simple but effective step in building trust and healthy professional relationships. There are different virtual team-building ideas you can apply like the following:
- Play games online like video charades, Bingo, and so on.
- Organize social events like karaoke or movie night. There are apps that your team can use to sing karaoke or watch a movie together. Despite the distance, these small things can be enjoyed on screen.
- Organize a team trivia session to share fun facts about the team members. This allows everyone to share a bit about themselves and discover more about their colleagues.
Build A Supportive And Helpful Work Culture
Work culture is the holy grail of any remote work team. Despite the distance, nurture a positive and helpful culture for everyone's mental state. Let everyone know the importance of being supportive of each other. Promoting this value in the workplace makes the environment lighter and more optimistic and increases employee morale. Everyone won't feel anxious and scared, thinking they're on their own, especially when complex tasks are a burden.
Shared suggestions and ideas should be welcomed without fear by employees. Also, motivate them to have open minds toward constructive feedback as this will only help them grow to be better in what they do. Support and guidance should set your workplace apart from high-paying companies. But these are enough to make your staff feel happy and contented with their job.
Despite working remotely, it pays to know they can always run to each other for help and support when the going gets tough. Team collaboration dynamics are built from the top down by leading by example and often collaborating with your teammates. Create a thriving collaborative culture by inspiring your teams to follow your lead.
Delegate Diversified Members In Each Team
As companies become more globalized, you'll be hiring different races and nationalities worldwide. When delegating teams, it's a good practice to diversify its members. Employees from different backgrounds and experiences can benefit from working together in a virtual team. This is because a diverse group usually has different views and strategies that they can share to innovate project procedures.
As the project manager, consider mixing employees from different projects and decide who’s the best fit with who. You might be able to create an exciting, engaging collaboration if you think about which colleagues have the right skills and experiences. Once you assign the members, ensure that they introduce themselves to others so that they can feel less intimidated and more at ease with their new group. When you diversify project teams, everyone can get to know one another, and the team becomes more cohesive.
A manager or team member's most significant challenge when working from home could be maintaining transparency. This is why it should be included in this guide. The sad news is that low employee morale, lack of trust, and lack of enthusiasm are often attributed to a lack of transparency. Therefore, establish and prioritize staying transparent even during the earlier phase of the project.
All kinds of information should be available and accessible for your members, as long as you practice sturdy cybersecurity measures to protect crucial company and customer data. Employees respond more enthusiastically and passionately to their jobs when they feel involved. Trust and unity should be built in your work culture, and transparency will follow suit.
Even little actions of transparency can make a huge difference for all project members. For instance, sharing crucial project information and details with all the staff makes them feel how much you value and trust them. This boosts employee morale, which also enhances work performance.
Celebrate Occasions And Small Wins
Remote work shouldn't be entirely all about work and no fun. As you know more details about project members, record their birthdates and other significant events and milestones. Celebrate these important dates together and send virtual greetings or ship some simple company gift to the birthday celebrant. Socializing and celebrating in virtual spaces can strengthen relationships and pave the way for future collaboration.
In the same way, celebrate victories and small wins. Acknowledge the people who have worked hard to achieve optimal project results. Mention their names and congratulate them during regular meetings. This helps boost their confidence and makes them feel more motivated with their remote work. These small actions can do so much to improve team collaboration.
There are many advantages of work-from-home for employees, and it's the same for companies today. If you're a project manager, you know how challenging it is to manage yourself and support your remote project team.
Thankfully, the guide above can help you apply the best practices to make remote work collaboration more successful. Working remotely can become more cohesive and connected with these team collaboration tips.