Despite the world opening up again, many businesses have stayed remote. Of course, learning how to collaborate effectively if your team is remote has been a big part of this. For many companies, remote team collaboration has been quite a learning curve.
So, if your company has decided to continue working from home, here are 7 ways to boost collaboration in remote teams. Following these will ensure your team is both happy and productive.
7 Ways to Boost the Effectiveness of Remote Team Collaboration
1. Flexible Working Hours
One of the most important parts of remote team collaboration is making it work for everyone. The best way to do this is to offer flexible working hours where needed. For example, some employees might need afternoons off to look after kids. Others might prefer to work late into the evening.
But to make sure remote communication is still possible, aim to get everyone to work at least part of the day together.
2. Video Meetings
Just as you’d have team meetings in person, it still makes sense to have remote team meetings. A key to collaborating effectively if your team is remote is to make sure everyone still communicates. Obviously, the easiest way to do this is in meetings.
While you might not need daily meetings, schedule 2-to 3 a week. Setting up automatic transcription software would help, too. It ensures there’s a record of the meeting, so employees can go back and check what was discussed.
3. Be Sure to Set Goals
This isn’t unique to remote working but is perhaps more important. If people are working alone at home, it can be difficult to remain focused on the bigger picture. To help with this, set short- and long-term goals for employees.
Of course, these will be specific to your business, and setting goals is something you should be doing already. The difference is to make sure everyone knows about your goals by communicating them directly. For example, setting up email chains or using project management software can help.
4. Invest in Virtual Phone Systems
If you haven’t already, make sure you set up virtual phone systems for collaboration in remote teams. In short, a virtual phone system involves redirecting calls from a virtual number to people’s actual phones.
The main benefit is that people don’t need to give out their personal phone numbers. Also, it means you don’t need to buy new phones or set up new numbers. A virtual phone system works entirely online using VoIP (voice over internet protocol).
Not only will this save on hardware, but it’ll also make collaboration more effective and much easier.
5. Set Up Training for Remote Working
While many of us have been working remotely for at least 2 years now, many companies don’t have specific training programs for it. Whether you’re training new hires or improving the knowledge of existing staff, a clear plan is vital.
When it comes to how to collaborate effectively if your team is remote, there are a few things worth considering:
- Ensure everyone knows how to use any remote systems (such as virtual phones, project management software, etc.)
- Confirm employees know where to find key documents. These include goal sheets, meeting transcriptions, and more.
- Consider adding your expectations into the training. For example, you might want to discuss productivity goals or communication protocols when working remotely.
It can help to set up a project leader for this training. Doing so means you have someone who’s accountable. Also, it gives employees a point of contact if they have questions or concerns about systems or procedures.
6. Continue with Performance Reviews
Again, performance reviews aren’t unique to remote working. But if you want effective remote team collaboration, reviews help people stay on track. Of course, you’ll want to adjust your review criteria to reflect the changes in working processes.
For example, you might want to change how you review productivity. If you think employees are being more productive at home, change your bottom level of productivity. This isn’t to make people work harder, but rather to reflect the fact that everyone is getting more work done.
Also, if collaboration is important, set that as a review metric. You could measure this through a person’s involvement in projects or their ability to meet goals related to collaboration. Changing your performance review goals can take some creative thinking, but it’s worth it for remote working.
7. Offer Plenty of Incentives
A lot of companies offer incentives in the workplace. These can be things like time off, longer breaks, or free food. Of course, some of these are harder to offer when people are remote and working flexible hours.
Time off is still a good incentive when people are working remotely. You could also offer gift cards or thank-you parcels delivered in the mail. Think about what works best with your company culture and goals.
But how does this relate to collaboration in remote teams? Simply put, incentives give people reasons to work harder and meet goals. If you’re clear with your needs and provide plenty of feedback, there will be a set path to success for all employees. In short, incentives give people motivation to collaborate in the way you want them to.
Using Transkriptor for Remote Communication
Following these 7 tips should improve your remote team collaboration. Offering people rewards for meeting your goals is always the easiest path to success. Of course, make sure you keep records of any remote meetings to make sure people know what was said.
The easiest way to do this is with Transkriptor’s automatic transcription software. You upload your file, and it’ll turn it into a text transcription, complete with timestamps. You have the option to try it for free, and you’ll find our paid transcription services are 98% cheaper than the competitors.
Give Transkriptor a go today to see how it can help with your remote team collaboration.