We are living in unprecedented times with much of the world working from home. However, this isn’t a new trend. Over the past several years, we’ve seen more offices are embracing remote work and looking for establishing and maintaining remote team collaboration practices.
Teams find themselves going from a traditional office setting to working from home, and it’s important that you take steps to boost your team’s collaboration efforts. Previously, 80 to 90 percent of employees said they would like to work remotely at least some of the time. Whether or not they still feel the same, the home working situation is likely to become more commonplace in the future as we now have plenty of technological tools to make it easier.
However, managing remote projects can present a whole new set of challenges for managers who have never previously been in charge of remote teams. But it doesn’t need to be stressful if you have the right systems and procedures in place. Here is our guide to how to manage a team remotely, as well as some of the benefits of remote collaboration.
Five Tips to Boost Your Remote Teams’ Collaboration Efforts
Tip 1: Be Available
Remote workers can easily feel cut off or distanced from the organization, especially if they have suddenly been thrown into remote working when they are used to coming to the office every day. This feeling of distance can cause demotivation and lower levels of job satisfaction, affecting every aspect of their work performance. It is really important to be available to your remote team members in order to keep them feeling connected to the organization and give them a continued sense of purpose and direction.
If a team member calls you, always answer wherever possible. If they email or message you on social media, respond as quickly as you can. Being a successful remote project manager is about still being present, even when you can’t physically be in the same space as your team.
Tip 2: Set Clear Goals
Remote collaboration can be a challenge when team members aren’t sure of what they’re supposed to be doing and when. Some workers will adapt easily, managing their time well and being able to use their own initiative when it comes to prioritizing different tasks. However, others will struggle with being away from the office as they won’t have the feedback that lets them know what is expected of them every day.
This is why setting clear goals for every team member is absolutely key to a successful remote collaboration. It is essential to let your employees know details such as:
- The hours you expect everyone to work
- The different methods of communication you intend to use
- Sharing calendars so everyone has access to the availability of others
- When meetings are scheduled
- The tasks and responsibilities of each team member when it comes to collaborating on specific projects
These are just some examples of where clear goal-setting is needed. As every organization is different, it is highly likely that you will come across your own examples on a daily basis. As long as you are communicating with all your team members every day, and letting them know exactly what is expected of them, your remote project manager skills will develop and grow. And, your team will feel more confident in remote working as they will have some structure to guide them.
Tip 3: Hold Regular Virtual Meetings
You should try to hold a phone or video meeting with each employee at some point every day. If your work is very collaborative in nature, it is fine to include all relevant team members in the same video meeting. This is a great chance for everyone to keep each other updated, as well as simply to remind your team that their colleagues are still out there and to encourage them all to communicate. Remote working can get extremely lonely. It is important to remember this and offer as many opportunities as possible for communication between remote team members to reduce the risks to their mental health.
Time is extremely valuable, especially when it comes to working from home. Any time you spend in virtual meetings and communicating is time spent pulled away from projects. Since you’re not having face-to-face conversations, make your messages and meetings short, concise and to the point. Ensure your employees have all of the information they need to complete their tasks, and minimize the amount of vague messages you send back and forth.
Tip 4: Keep Everyone on the Same Page
One big challenge of working remotely is keeping everyone on the same page and streamlining tasks. It’s so easy for things to fall behind or to the side, or for your workers to get mixed messages on what they’re trying to do. The more relaxed work environment can make it more difficult to stay on task too.
Kontentino works to streamline everyday tasks by making collaboration for remote marketing teams very easy. Your clients and team members can be based all around the world. Kontentino makes it easy for team members to work on post creation together. It’s also easy to send your work for client’s approval.
Your entire team can communicate directly in Kontentino, and this can prevent any misunderstandings. In turn, you’ll have the confidence that comes with knowing that your team is able to pull together, finish their social media content creation and approval tasks and keep the work up to the same standards you have for in-office work.
Tip 5: Have the Right Remote Working Tools
It is difficult to be a successful remote project manager if you don’t equip your team with the tools and technology that make their lives easier. Explore different software and make sure everyone has the capacity to use the packages you choose. Apps like Zoom have become extremely popular overnight for enabling video conferencing between remote teams.
It is important to have a range of communication methods open to your team. Email, video calling and social media are all extremely important, as is the ability to share calendars and information regarding specific remote projects. Also, take time to get a set schedule for communicating with your team. You could take a vote and see which times work best for the majority of your workers and stick to it.
The Benefits of Remote Team Collaboration
Remote team collaboration can take some getting used to at first. However, it does get easier as everyone becomes more accustomed to it. It can also offer some surprising benefits for remote project managers. These include:
- Many people who work from home are able to be more productive, achieving more in a shorter period of time, as they do not have the distractions around them that go with office life.
- A very high percentage of remote workers report that they experience lower levels of stress than when working outside the home. This has a positive impact on the quality and quantity of their work.
- You and your remote team are all able to work more flexibly. This can be a great help when it comes to creating a healthy work/life balance. It gives you more opportunity to take regular exercise between tasks in a way that simply isn’t practical in an office setting, as well as to practice mindfulness to benefit your mental well-being.
Remote work is quickly becoming the new normal for hundreds of thousands of people throughout the country as businesses realize how much this form of work empowers their employees. Harnessing technology and collaboration tools like Kontentino helps to ensure that everything runs smoothly and every employee knows their tasks. In turn, you end up with satisfied customers and a streamlined business process.