How to Build Trust and Collaboration Among Remote Teams

It often feels like the only face-to-face time you have with your coworkers is during scheduled meetings, where the topics of conversation are determined by the agenda. Remote workers miss out on visual clues that help us identify when it’s a good (or bad) time to reach out to a teammate. Codifying a few best practices for remote communication will help your team collaborate more efficiently and minimize workflow disruptions. Slack is yet another tool that you can deploy for business communication and collaboration, regardless of where your teams are located. Teams of every shape and size around the world that are working remotely have made it their staple collaboration software.

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. Use robust communication tools, such as business phone systems or team collaboration apps for seamless communication. 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. It helps your team be more organized and agile by bringing together traditional files and cloud content into one place.

How remote work impacts culture

It’s important to note that overcommunication in this context does not mean communicating overly frequently. Excessive micromanaging of your virtual team through frequent check-ins and messaging can be distracting to your team members. It also shows a lack of trust in the capabilities of your team to finish their work to spec and on time, which can be destructive to your remote collaboration environment. The biggest difference between remote and real-world collaboration is, of course, in the way your team communicates. This doesn’t just mean moving from face-to-face conversations to chat rooms and video meetings, it also means changing up the way you structure instructions and communicate ideas.

  • When you hire the right people and trust them with such a high level of autonomy, teams will feel more invested in their work.
  • It’s also not really a process until it’s organized, presented, and updated regularly.
  • Collaborating in these digital workspaces is made easy with document toolkits.
  • Xtensio, a creative collaboration platform, lets you develop living documents, collaborate with internal & external teams, and share your work in different formats.

If you’re new to remote work, it can be a big shift from working in an office. Here are a few remote working tips to make the transition successful for you and your team. And organizations benefit from happier employees who are more productive, engaged, and excited to work with the company. Being able to function remotely is also vital for weathering the storms of changing circumstances. If your entire headquarters needs to relocate nearer to your warehouse in Bangkok, for instance, transitioning to remote working allows you to retain your employees without requiring them to move.

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Often, explaining something in detail over chat can make for a long-winded, unwieldy text that’s as tiring to read as it is to write. A recorded video can turn a 10-minute long back-and-forth in chat into a quick 30-second tutorial. You can use Mural for mind mapping, meeting agendas, retrospectives and feedback, brainstorming, and much more.

Anthony Powell’s passion for psychology can be traced back to studying at San Diego State University, where he spent significant time working on studying behavior therapy. Now working as an in-house psychologist, he is especially passionate about helping individuals and teams in overcoming the challenges of the digital era. Even though the team is working remotely, forcing your team to discuss only specifically segmented, work-related topics isn’t conducive to a friendly, collaborative work environment. Though each individual will have different reactions to being contacted outside of regular work hours, it’s still important to lay down a set of ground rules and boundaries. Make sure that your team members have an understanding of do’s and dont’s of outside-work-hours communication.

Cloud productivity software for virtual collaboration

For distributed teams spread out across different time zones, find focus times that work for all (or most) of your team. If you find that there’s no way to make one time work across your team, host co-working at varying times, so if someone misses a session, they can make it to the next one. Share meeting agendas in advance, so all team members are aware of what the meeting is about and how they can contribute if they have questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions. Also, you should use visual collaboration tactics in team meetings to ensure that you get broad engagement and participation. It can even sync your existing calendar with your personal work calendar so that no meeting falls through the cracks.

Plan out regular meetings ahead of time on the calendar so everyone knows when they need to be available. And choose and use your communication tools wisely—remember that sometimes simple is better, and not all shiny features are necessary for leading a productive, focused meeting. These are the building blocks of engaged and productive employees no matter where they do their work.

What are the best online collaboration tools for remote teams?

We all know the benefits of remote work, but to be successful, it’s key to implement a strong virtual collaboration environment. Use chat to collaborate on your tasks, but don’t feel the need to respond immediately to all communication. Workers have autonomy and freedom to create a schedule maximizing productivity, but the downside is they can often feel isolated.

How do you bring people together remotely?

  1. Put a voice (and face) to a name. When onboarding remote hires, encourage team members to schedule brief phone or video calls to introduce themselves.
  2. Create a digital space for celebration.
  3. Start each virtual meeting with a personal check-in.

When collaborating as a remote work team, setting goals and milestones is essential to your continued success. Milestones are simply targeted dates on which a project is expected to be completed. Creating a clear and honest environment for your remote workplace is always the best policy. Clarity is important to any team, whether they’re working remotely or on-site. Even a meeting as short as 15 to 20 minutes can make a world of difference in the average employee’s workweek. You can plan for the week ahead, go over your goals and milestones, check on everyone’s progress, and address any suggestions or concerns the team might have.

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