Strategies (and Tools) for Remote Team Collaboration

Remote work is becoming common place for employees who want a better work life balance. Businesses need to find strategies and tools to accommodate a remote workforce of the future.

Tuesday, September 28th 2021 in Management by Emily Snell
Strategies (and Tools) for Remote Team Collaboration

You can boost the productivity of remote workers by leveraging the right strategies and tools.

Over the last decade, remote worker hiring has increased by nearly 160%, according to a recent FlexJobs survey. 85% of business respondents that hire remote workers say their companies have experienced increased productivity.

A growing number of business leaders recognize the benefits of hiring remote workers. You can maintain a cohesive corporate culture among remote staff members by making use of cost-effective innovations that keep off-site workers in the loop.

A Few Tools of the Trade

With the right tools, you can communicate with remote workers just as efficiently as you can with on-site personnel.

Maintaining Productivity with Goal Setting

Project management tools enable you to keep tasks and goals up-front and visible. They enable remote workers to report on their daily or weekly progress easily.

Many of them integrate with tools such as email and Slack to facilitate easy reporting. You can also use a project management platform to analyze the annual performance of all staff members.

Video Conferencing for Effective Communication

High-definition video conferencing tools enable you to host face-to-face meetings with remote workers. Participants can join a video conference using a web browser or any device that they desire.

Leading videoconferencing platforms integrate with popular calendars and allow meeting participants to use advanced enterprise security functions such as Single Sign-On directory. They also enable you to unify all enterprise messaging using a single smartphone or desktop application.

Efficient Document Sharing for Increased Productivity

Secure, efficient document sharing is an essential element of any remote work team. Document sharing applications enable remote workers to collaborate and store files easily.

A document sharing resource enables team members to work on files simultaneously and in real-time. The top offerings enable you to create custom file structures and manage access control to documents.

5 Practices That Boost Team Performance

It’s essential that remote workers feel like they're part of the team. In general, make sure that you support remote workers in the same way that you do on-site employees.

1. Give ownership to your team members

Leadership is the key to success in any business. Giving ownership to team members is nothing more than letting them make their own decisions and holding them responsible for their actions.

If you hold a member of your team accountable for their work, it creates a sense that he is responsible for his own work. He begins to see his work in a different way so that his decisions can have an impact on the performance of the whole team.

Giving ownership can be in many forms, such as leading a project or taking on the task of managing it. This shows that you trust him with a job and have confidence in his abilities. This will help you to realize how powerful it is to build self-esteem within your company.

2. Incorporate team-building exercises

The camaraderie among team members is a key factor in team productivity. The workplace will be happier if team members are able to get along and understand each other's strengths and weaknesses. The team productivity will increase if the team members feel happy inside.

There is a chance that different people will not like each other when they work together in a team. You can use team-building exercises to reduce animosity among team members.

3. Offer incentives

Employees are more productive when they have a reason to work, usually a financial one. Employees want to feel appreciated and they prefer to get a bit more than a virtual pat on the back from their bosses. Many employers implement incentive programs to keep their employees motivated.

A recent study found that 85% of employees feel more motivated to work hard when there is an incentive. This could be cash, vouchers, free lunches, extra time, or other incentives.

4. Applaud a job well done

Different things can work in for different employees, boosting their productivity as well as efficiency at work. For many, it's as easy as acknowledging their efforts. If an employee doesn't feel valued enough, nothing can improve productivity. Appreciating employees in front of the entire team can do wonders. This is a public gesture of appreciation that inspires the whole team to work hard. This will promote a positive work environment in the organization, which will help boost team productivity.

5. Get feedback from each other

The last but not least important item on this list is to implement a feedback system in your team. If employees don't recognize that they are inefficient, there is no way to improve employee productivity. It is important to have team productivity boosted by performance reviews and constructive feedback. Knowing the potential areas will encourage team members to change their work style.

After giving feedback, you can ask the person what they could do to improve. You might find that they need more help with certain tasks, or more creative freedom.

Create a Cohesive Work Environment

As with your on-site personnel, remote workers need your support to succeed. For instance, some companies provide remote workers with hardware and IT support.

If needed, you can also provide remote workers with monthly stipends for high-speed internet access and co-working space membership. Some companies go so far as to ship ergonomic office equipment to all remote workers.

The following are some ways to create cohesion within your workplace.

Define your goals

You will be more successful if everyone understands what they are working towards. Communicate the company's goals frequently and effectively. A lack of clarity and unclear instructions can lead to a negative working environment.

We take interviews very seriously

Take the time to get to know your applicants when interviewing candidates for your new job. You not only want to hire people who are skilled and experienced in technology, but also for them to fit into your workplace and be a team player.

Make sure everyone has everything they need to do their job effectively

To ensure your employees receive the tools and support they need to accomplish the tasks they have been assigned, take the time to meet with them. Some employees might be shy or reserved and may need to be encouraged to speak up. It shows you care by checking in with your employees and helps you get to know them better.

Remind Remote Workers That They're Part of a Team

Whether an employee works on- or off-site, they should know and understand the principles that drive your organization. To promote a sense of camaraderie among staff members, make sure that remote workers share your company’s values as well as benefits like veterans memorial benefits, health insurance and 401K. Just as you'd onboard and train on-site employees, you must develop company training for remote workers.

Also, a shared company language can help to promote cohesion between on-site and off-site team members, and whenever possible, you should arrange to bring remote team members together with on-site staff members for meetups.

In recent times, a surge in technological innovations designed to bring people together has created a more divisive society. The most successful companies know how to promote a sense of belonging.

Many people have replaced face-to-face interaction with their smartphones. Resultantly, a sense of belonging is a valued commodity. By promoting togetherness among staff members, you can give remote workers something that they crave.

Whether staff members work on-site or remotely, effective communication is essential. However, if your organization relies heavily on remote workers, practical communication tools and practices are a must for survival.

About the Author

Emily Snell

Emily is a contributing marketing author at ChamberofCommerce.com where she regularly consults on content strategy and overall topic focus. Emily has spent the last 12 years helping hyper growth startups and well-known brands create content that positions products and services as the solution to a customer's problem.

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