emote work is a fast-growing trend. Industry leaders and Human resource experts vouch for it. They say that remote work helps improve productivity and gives employees a sense of freedom. They can employ talented personnel without worrying about physical boundaries, and of course, there are substantial savings on fixed overheads.
Managers, however, are constantly looking at ways to improve collaboration between remote teams. Collaboration, as the word says, is getting people to work together irrespective of their location or zone.
So, what is the need to collaborate? We can list a few:
- Increasing the idea pool
- Accommodating different working styles yet achieving results
- Better communication between team members
- Reducing the feeling of isolation in employees
How to collaborate within remote teams
There are many best practices that exist for increasing collaboration between remote teams. Listed below are a few of them:
- Use the right tool: When your team cannot communicate or interact, collaboration is impossible. Give your team the right tool, so they can connect with each other. You may have to look beyond emails and chats for the same. The market has some platforms that fulfil this requirement. One such tried and tested platform is Airmeet.
This online virtual event hosting platform gives its users an authentic real-time feel of connecting with each other. You can host conferences, seminars, individual meet-ups, meetings, get feedback, take polls, conduct surveys and much more. Airmeet is the perfect tool for collaboration between teams and will help them work better.
(Read: Airmeet vs Hopin)
(Read: Airmeet vs Zoom)
- Have work schedules: One of the hurdles with remote working is that you will have people located across different time zones. As a manager of a remote team, you will have to make a daily/weekly schedule for the team along with scheduling time where team members are available together for a stipulated duration.
This need not be a top-down approach! You can speak to team members and based on everyone’s convenience and time create a work schedule. By creating these schedules, you are ensuring that interaction occurs between teams regularly. And where there is interaction results are always achieved.
- Communicate clearly: Both collaboration and communication are interpersonal skills. Even when you have other tools or platforms of communication one cannot overlook the traditional forms! Yes, we mean the good old email. It is important that when you are using this written form of communication you follow certain rules.
Stick to standard lengths for your mail and abstain from writing long emails unless imperative. Managers need to learn the art of communicating to suit needs. Also, do not bombard your team with mails. Ensure that everything you want to say is captured well in one single mail rather than sending out multiple emails. Excel at the art of email writing and use it to your advantage.
- Ensure transparency: Enhanced collaboration should yield results. A key to achieving results is by ensuring transparency. Lack of transparency results in delayed or bad decisions, it reduces innovation and can result in other issues such as duplication of work.
With a remote working team, one cannot afford to have these bottlenecks. Hence ensure transparency at all levels to achieve great collaborative results.
"None of us is as smart as all of us. So, collaborate and achieve great results "
- Leadership support: Supportive and caring leadership has a positive effect on collaboration. When you have remote teams the need to feel connected with leaders is even more.
As a leader, consider walking that extra mile to connect with your remote teams, interact with them and give them more support than expected. This makes remote team members feel connected and more aligned with the organisation.
- Set responsibilities: Set clear responsibilities for all team members. This ensures that work is not duplicated and each team member knows what is expected out of him/her. Also, make this responsibility chart accessible to all. This helps remote team members to know who is working on what.
How does this help? Many-a-times team members need to collaborate with each other to reach the desired results. When the responsibility/task chart is visible to all, they know who they need to connect with to achieve their goals.
- Stocktaking and feedback: Yes, this tried and tested technique goes a long way to ensure effective collaboration. Schedule a time every week or as needed for taking stock and checking on the progress made by everyone in the team. This will help in making changes and course corrections as and when needed
Feedback helps both individuals and the organisation grow. Have feedback mechanisms that will help you get feedback from all your team members. The frequency and purpose of feedback can be tailored as per the organisation’s need. But remember that employee opinions, criticisms and observations should be acted upon. Only then will your team continue giving you honest feedback.
Similarly, managers should also give their remote team members regular feedback on their performance. This is crucial in remote teams and helps the employee understand his strengths, weaknesses and areas that need improvement.
- Meet beyond work: Yes, we are suggesting that your remote team meets and interacts beyond meetings and con-calls. This is possible on virtual platforms. Yet again, Airmeet is the platform that you should consider for the same. This online platform can be used for team events as well as social interactions.
Airmeet requires no download, has robust security, offers HD quality video and audio. This makes Airmeet a safe platform for official meetings and unofficial greetings as well!
None of us is as smart as all of us. So, implement these collaboration tips and achieve better results in your remote teams!