Top 7 Secrets of Effective Collaboration Within a Remote team

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“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” -Henry Ford

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on every aspect of millions of lives, many of us have been left with no other option but to stay at home and work till the situation is thought to be under control.

We have learned to adapt to travel restrictions, practice social distancing, office closures, and the removal of work-life barriers — all at once. We’re getting to learn so much about being productive while working remotely, connecting and collaborating remotely amid the world’s largest work-from-home-shift.

Remote teams are now considered as the future of work. The Global Mobile Workforce Forecast Update estimates that over 40% of the world’s workforce will be mobile by 2022. According to the International Data Council, in highly developed nations like the United States, the figures could soon reach 75%.

Remote work brings with it new opportunities as well as unique challenges for team managers to negotiate. Some common remote work challenges that stand in the way of good collaboration are -

  • Lack of physical interaction among team members
  • Coordination across time zones
  • Feelings of isolation
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of accountability
  • Lack of direct supervision
  • Language & Cultural barriers

Managers need to double their efforts to promote collaboration within remote teams. Some people have never worked from a home office, and the team members can so easily get disconnected from each other, which is the last thing any business would want.

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Poor team collaboration can lead to the following problems:

  • Waste of time
  • Poor project management
  • Misunderstandings and misinterpretation
  • Poor quality of work
  • Low morale and productivity
  • Poor execution of strategies
  • Low profitability

With all the challenges of remote work and fallouts of poor collaboration, the good news is that smart team managers of many companies have been able to bridge the virtual gap by setting up the core working principles to work closely and cohesively.

Here are some useful tips that can work wonders for remote teams.

1. Have Regular “Live” Meetings

Traditional office environments offer so many chances for employees to interact with each other during lunch breaks, coffee breaks, or watercooler conversations. However, remote work eliminates any type of physical interaction, which can make some people feel isolated and cut-off from the rest of the team.

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Schedule daily “virtual” team meetings over video conferencing so team members can see each other, which is much better than traditional texts or voice calls. Team managers can also read the body language of others. The best time to have live meetings is usually at the start of the day when everyone’s fresh and gearing up for work.

2. Invest In Optimal Collaboration Tools

You see, being productive while working from home is easier said than done. So, investing in the right technology that drives collaboration is vital with remote teams. Working together entails more than just talking to each other; people need to share ideas, information, and work on different tasks and projects.

Using an all-in-one project management tool like ProofHub gives a single common feature-rich platform to unlimited users to plan, organize, and collaborate on projects of all sizes. Team managers, members, and clients can be on the same page to share feedback, keep track of the project progress while having a seamless user experience.

Facing team collaboration issues due to widely dispersed remote workers? Relax. Switch to ProofHub ASAP and bring all your team members under one roof for seamless collaboration.”

3. Consider Time-Zone Adjustments

More often than not, remote teams comprise members from different countries, which automatically means there will be time-zone adjustments to consider. You may be located in New York, but might have members from India, Australia, or even Ukraine in your existing team.

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Team leaders need to be aware of what time it is wherever your people are located. You can know what times overlap to schedule meetings that require people from widely dispersed teams to be in attendance. The default timezone should be attached to the location where the top management resides to ensure everyone’s connected on the deployment schedule.

4. Make Straightforward Instructions

Sometimes, what appears to be a clear brief message to you over a chat might appear unclear to your remote team members. Employees are not your friends and they may misinterpret it or waste time trying to decipher it. Worse still, they may get the impression that you are not paying attention to their words, which is a motivation-killer for them.

So, the best thing is to be upfront with your instructions so that every member of the team has no misconceptions. You can also put all your explanations in a writing form, with pictures, diagrams, or illustrations, to drive home your point.

5. Emphasize the Team’s Purpose

Team leaders should constantly reinforce the team’s purpose to ensure it is crystal-clear, ambitious, consequential, and widely understood. This can inspire your team to remain on the same page with you and work jointly with a great zeal to achieve organizational goals.

Image Source: Pexels

Team leaders should constantly reinforce the team’s purpose to ensure it is crystal-clear, ambitious, consequential, and widely understood. This can inspire your team to remain on the same page with you and work jointly with a great zeal to achieve organizational goals.

You also need to make every member of the team understand their role and responsibilities, and how every individual’s purpose fits into the master plan. They also need to be told their strengths (and weaknesses), and who they can turn to for support and resources.

More than 85,000 teams and businesses use ProofHub to ensure simplified and successful project planning, execution, and delivery. Why are you left behind? Jump on the wagon now!”

6. Socialize to Connect

Be it regular office environments or remote work, not all communication will be about work. Workers like to have a casual conversation about things outside the work. This type of communication also helps them to relax and divert their attention from the workload.

Image Source: Pexels

When it comes to managing remote teams, it’s always a good idea to schedule virtual events where all members can play games and have fun. You can also set aside a certain amount of time each day when workers can group chat or voice call. This will promote team bonding and further drive them to work at their efficient best.

7. Encourage Team Members to Speak Up

People have so many creative ideas, but they hold back from sharing them because they feel their inputs are not valued. A responsible team manager cannot afford to get it wrong on this front. By making every member feel comfortable and valued, you can instill a sense of confidence in them.

Encourage them to put forth their ideas, suggestions, and feedback without fearing the backlash. Appreciate good work, celebrate achievements, introspect when something’s gone wrong, and listen attentively to one another. The goal should be to encourage every member to confidently share their voice and contribute.

Image Source: Pexels

And The Bottom Line Is…

Good collaboration is the foundation stone of a strong team. When all members are constantly connected and bonded to each other, and understand clearly their roles and responsibilities, they are bound for success. Implementing these highly effective collaboration tips for your remote teams can help team managers to achieve desired results by keeping everyone on the same page.

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About Author:

Vartika Kashyap is the Marketing Manager at ProofHub and has been one of the LinkedIn Top Voices. Her articles are inspired by office situations and work-related events. She likes to write about productivity, team building, work culture, leadership, entrepreneurship among others, and contributing to a better workplace is what makes her click. Follow her on Linkedin.

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Chief Marketing Officer@ProofHub. Featured writer on LinkedIn. Contributor at Elearning Industry, Dzone, Your Story and Business.com.

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Vartika Kashyap

Vartika Kashyap

Chief Marketing Officer@ProofHub. Featured writer on LinkedIn. Contributor at Elearning Industry, Dzone, Your Story and Business.com.

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