What was considered to be the new normal when it comes to working and running businesses, has now become the only normal. As people have realised how working remotely saves so much time, energy and money, one can say that remote working is not a trend anymore. A challenge faced by many when it comes to working remotely, is effective collaboration. Since it is a considerably new concept, some people are still struggling with how to make something as essential as collaboration more effective.
Here’s how we would approach collaborating remotely with our team members:
Know Where to Collaborate On
Choosing the right type of platform or tool on which collaboration will take place, will shape your entire collaboration experience. It is essential to realise if the team is geared up and comfortable with collaboration tools, because these tools are not very intuitive or user friendly, which may cause a lot of problems. The right way to approach it would be to select a tool which the least tech inclined person from the team is comfortable with. By doing that, the learning curve will be less steep and the rate of value adding outputs will increase at a much faster speed.
Let's understand this in this way, if the group size is around 15 members, it makes more sense for the team to collaborate on a tool like Notion, which caters specifically to small group sizes. But if the group size is more than 100 people, Notion won't cut it. Here the preference should be an Enterprise tool like Jira, which is specially made for large group sizes.
Communication is the Key
An effective collaboration is not possible without proper communication. Communication is one of the most important elements of collaboration, and if ideas, responses, feedback lacks proper communication, the collaboration will definitely suffer. Therefore, it is important to maintain a transparent, two way communication between all team members working towards achieving a single objective. Communicating effectively is as important as knowing where to communicate on, to prevent and minimise information loss.
For example, if important tasks related to the project are alloted on a phone call, and the receiver does not note them down, there are high chances of miscommunication. The sender also has little to no control on tracking those tasks. Whereas if you use Butter for the same, the sender can just create a task for the person responsible to execute it. Not just that, they can also track if the task has been completed yet or not.
It is equally important to have well defined agendas and proper task distribution, otherwise it won't be collaboration anymore. It will become aimless communication between a team. Another important element related to this is proper tracking of the allotted tasks, and ensuring they are completed on time.
Clear communication related to the importance of the task, what effects it has, and dependency of other activities on this task should be properly communicated to the employees. If the task is important enough, it should be conveyed on a platform where information loss and miscommunication is almost impossible.
The person responsible for task tracking should always have an idea as to what the current progress of the task is, how long will the team member take to complete the task, if the task is getting delayed, then what is the reason. These things should be taken note of, so that proactive decisions can be taken.
Team Building Beyond the Work
Another way to collaborate effectively, is conducting different virtual team building exercises and activities that may encourage a better flow between team members. When it comes to working remotely, it may be the case that you have never met the person with whom you're working in the same team. To establish comfort and harmony between the team, such activities can be organized, on different communication tools where the team can lighten up, get to know each other and become better teammates.
All these tips mean very less unless implemented properly. Take a step towards establishing more effective collaboration and make your company proud. Happy hustling!