Working remotely is an integral feature of many of today’s workplaces. Whether workers choose to telecommute and work from home or businesses operate across different geographic locations, remote working is far-reaching and employing the right tactics to ensure collaboration stays central is vital to the success of employees and employers alike.
Tip 1: Have a Plan
When working remotely or across different office locations, having a plan in place to stay connected is a key to keep lines of communication open and goals aligned across the team. Having a plan and standard procedure in place will help all team members, regardless of location, stay on the same page. This plan can help team members collaborate effectively, with the scheduling of recurring meetings and also enable each member of the team to know and understand ownership of tasks and deliverables. This will allow for more flexibility within the team when projects and unexpected tasks arise.
Tip 2: Leverage Available Technology
Simply because team members are not physically in the same office does not mean they aren’t able to operate as if they were all working from the same location. Technologies, such as digital collaboration tools are available to help businesses stay in touch at the click of a finger. These types of tools allow for real-time communications that are secure and private. From real-time messaging chats, to video conferences, these technologies allow for instantaneous collaboration on the team. Each team is different, but scheduling time for quick check-ins via their technological tools can prove an effective way to stay on-task. With the right tools, teams will be able to communicate, share ideas, hold meetings and work together to be successful regardless of location.
Tip 3: Understand Your Team’s Goal
Being on the same page and knowing what goals the team is working toward achieving will ultimately help everyone work efficiently and effectively. While each team member will work on their own tasks and projects, a common understanding of the team’s shared goal will keep everyone on-task. Understanding the common goal will also help team members determine how and when team meetings are necessary and what questions they need answered directly during a video conferencing session.
Tip 4: Stay Connected
It is convenient to be able to walk over to a colleague’s desk to ask a question, but isn’t it just as convenient to click on a chat and ask that same question when face-to-face isn’t an option? With the right technologies, teams can have access to instant messaging, screen sharing, and face-to-face video conferences, all but erasing the fact that they aren’t in the same office. These tools provide teams with an avenue to collaborate seamlessly, with the confidence that communications, whether via instant messaging or virtual meetings, are private, safe, and secure. The ability to connect with team members allows for relationship building and for more collaboration, as ideas, thoughts, and opinions can be shared whenever and wherever.
Tip 5: Lean on Support Teams
Much like the way in which technology enables teams and individuals to work remotely, support teams can also alleviate any issues that may arise when telecommuting. Real-time remote access allows for more effective workflows. As soon as an issue arises, support teams can jump in remotely to find a resolution to the problem, regardless of the employee’s location. This not only allows non-IT employees to work remotely, but it also gives the IT team the opportunity to telecommute. With remote support access, teams and individuals can focus on the work at hand, rather than worrying about the status of their devices.
As remote working becomes more and more commonplace in the workforce, ensuring that team members remain as collaborative remotely as they would in-person is vital to the team’s success. From identifying team goals and a common plan to utilizing collaboration tools, planning ahead for remote working will make the process seamless and simple.