It’s been a few months since companies that have the capabilities to adapt to COVID-19 forced safety measures began implementing work-from-home strategies. While most were able to streamline remote collaborations for their teams quickly and effortlessly, some may still be struggling to maximize their full potential.
Truth is, it does look like remote collaborations are here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. In fact, an astonishing 98% of employees would like to have the option to work from home for the rest of their careers. Top reasons for this include freedom of working remotely where they want, no more long commutes and flexible schedules.
If this is the trend more and more companies are adopting, we believe it’s important to discuss some important points on how to streamline remote collaborations for you and your team.
Find the right communication channel
Finding the right communication channel that works for your team can help boost remote collaborations with your team dramatically.
The first step is to find what your team’s needs are. Do you need to share documents? What is the preferred method of communicating? How complex is your team hierarchy or chain of command?
The right communication tool to help streamline remote collaborations will provide the following for your team:
- Enable you and your team to easily communicate on a daily basis.
- Give you the ability to create tasks and assign them to your team members. Team members should be able to easily create updates and checkpoints.
- Keep things simple. Your remote team members already have to deal with figuring out how to use digital meeting software and other software your company might have had to implement to make this work. Less is better in most cases.
Some software products such as Microsoft Teams, Slack and Google Suite can offer great flexibility for you and your company.
One last thing to mention about the product you eventually choose to communicate with your team. It’s important to keep privacy issues at the very top of your priority. Make sure you are in compliance with privacy laws.
You can contact us if you have any questions about what communication channel might be best for you and your team.
Does it have to be a meeting?
A lot of times meetings don’t have to be meetings. Ask yourself, can this be taken care of through an email? Be mindful of your team working from home. Interruptions can often hinder the flow of productivity. You may think having a meeting via Zoom can have the same impact of in person office meetings but they often don’t.
According to a study done by Twingate, 2 out of 5 employees identified as having video meeting fatigue when averaging 3 or meetings a day and said they would prefer 2 or less.
Other factors can lead to miscommunication of important information that can often be redacted in an email. Background noises, temporary home schooled children and notification alerts on other devices are the most common types of distracting noises. Poor wifi, audio and video hardware on some of your teammate’s end will also hinder the communication process.
All virtual meetings should be short, concise and to the point and should be made readily available to your team for later replay.
Focus on productivity not time
It’s no secret the old school method of managers being able to pop their heads out of their office and see a body in front of a pc is a difficult change to overcome for some. You have to ask yourself, how did you measure their productivity then? Was it jut based on a clock in and clock out time?
To streamline remote collaboration between you and your team, it’s important that managers learn to understand how to measure productivity. Are you assignments and tasks getting done? If you answered yes, then you are getting closer to optimizing your team’s remote workflow.
Be mindful of struggling team members
You can’t expect your entire team to seamlessly transition to remote collaboration. Some will struggle. Whether they struggle with the technology, the isolation or other factors, keeping this in mind will help your team adapt.
On the other hand, there will be team members who will thrive. How do you keep a good balance? Create a buddy system!
You can carefully assign time in your daily schedule for simple casual interaction between a team member who is adapting without a problem to remote collaborations and one who isn’t doing too hot.
We’re well into the new way of how businesses do business. This may be temporary or permanent. Nobody can really say for sure at the moment, but what we do know is that businesses have had to come up with ways to streamline remote collaborations for their teams. We hope these tips can help yours if you’ve been struggling.