Managing virtual teams is a top concern for today’s businesses. It is considered smart when companies can find ways to decrease costs and provide better employee experiences. Today’s workers are widely dispersed. Your team might work at home due to flexible scheduling or maybe they are located across time zones. It is important to have the right tools to foster collaboration and ensure remote working doesn’t feel so…well, remote. 🙂
Today’s remote collaboration applications recognize that teams need a higher degree of personalization features. Simple touches, like uploading team photographs, providing access to short bios, and showing who is online, can help build relationships and create the sense your workers are part of a bigger team.
Investing in the right hardware is a key component of managing virtual teams. Remote workers often fare better when they have access to laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Mobility is a key value of today’s remote work culture, where staff provides critical support to your business anytime and anywhere. Equipping them with the right hardware enables them to focus on collaborating and creating value.
Who doesn’t love a to-do list! These lists help keep individual members of your team organized, while also enforcing proactive management. Managers can check to see what an individual worker is spending their time on daily. Try Hubstaff.com to help monitor your team! A program like this helps teams get a sense of how everyone’s contributing to the broader effort, which helps identify new opportunities for collaboration.
Unified communication software enables a business to create a secure, virtualized collaboration environment. While your team members can’t walk across the aisle to talk with a colleague, this solution is the next best thing. From easy file sharing and document collaboration to texting and product status updates, collaboration between team members becomes seamless. Try Slack as a team communication tool!
Nearly every app your business uses is available in cloud format, from communication applications to customer relationship management software. Strategically investing in cloud-based applications, allows you to enable teams to access the information they need, wherever they are.
The ability to share files and work on them together is an important part of collaboration. Papyrus or Confluence are great examples.Your finance team may need to review a spreadsheet and update it in real-time, for example, or a sales team might need to work together to refine a presentation. With virtualized collaboration environments, colleagues can share the same screen, edit documents together, and track all the changes in real time, resulting in whiteboard session-quality collaboration.
Communicate with video chatting, texting, and voice calls.Collaboration tools make meetings and one-on-one conversations easy. Remote workers can have multi-person video chats, allowing them to see each other and build deeper engagement, similar to face-to-face meetings. Texting allows colleagues to easily ask a question. Breaking down barriers to basic communication is an essential part of managing virtual teams.
Project Status Updates and Software
On a larger scale, transparency and visibility into project progress is essential. With remote teams, project management applications are frequently updated as tasks are completed. Managers can identify challenges before they become roadblocks. When remote workers see how their efforts contribute to the bigger picture, it helps them feel more connected.
Train Remote Workers on How to Collaborate
The most talented and innovative employees may not intuitively understand how to be part of a remote team. Invest in training your team on how to stay productive on their own, on your company’s mission and values, and how to make the most of the collaboration tools provided. A well-trained remote worker generates better results.
Keep Updated on New Collaboration Tools
New tools are always being developed to make it easier for remote teams to stay connected and productive. Look for needs within your team and watch for tools that help solve those problems. Continue to evaluate new tools in the collaboration space to see if they’re offering new features that can help your team connect effectively.
Remote work has a ton of benefits for businesses, from decreasing costs to increasing productivity. Businesses that invest in collaboration tools are poised to capture the full benefits of this work arrangement, maximizing productivity and business results.