By Kiersten Carr
As remote work becomes more and more widespread, businesses are faced with new challenges, especially when it comes to day-to-day operations. Fortunately, even when your workforce isn’t able to communicate face to face, it’s still possible to work together.
Take a look at seven strategies that will assist teamwork and collaboration across your organization.
1. Provide Equipment
If you’ve recently shifted to a remote business model or are planning to have more employees work remotely, you need to ensure that they have the right equipment. You may need to distribute computers, Wi-Fi cards, routers, webcams, cables, keyboards, and other hardware.
When you distribute equipment to your employees instead of having them rely on or purchase their own, you can ensure that everyone is on the same system and uses quality tools to do their job. This will increase the speed and quality of the work your employees produce and make it easier for collaboration to take place.
2. Use Remote Collaboration Tools
Once you’ve made sure that everyone has the necessary hardware, you’ll want to provide access to the right software, too. Remote collaboration tools enable workers to brainstorm, plan, and discuss new ideas while staying aligned with the same goals. Not only can these tools offer more accessibility to resources, but you’ll also be able to provide structure, enable communication, and invite creativity as you encourage your team to collaborate.
As part of your tech stack, consider adding software that helps teams visualize roles and responsibilities. This type of software can help employees recognize the impact of their work and how their contributions reflect the company’s overall success.
3. Keep Channels of Communication Open
As you manage remote workers, you’ll need to put effort into maintaining channels of communication. Whether you plan to keep everyone updated on the goings-on of the company with email newsletters, hold conference calls, make announcements in the group chat, or all of the above, communication needs to be consistent. The consistency will help keep your employees in the know and help them meet your organization’s needs.
You’ll also want to provide ways for your employees to communicate with you and with each other. Seek feedback from your workers on a regular basis and make sure that they can access managers or co-workers if they run into any problems.
4. Check In Frequently
Since working remotely can often feel isolating, make sure to have managers and supervisors check in with your workers on a regular basis. Arrange one-on-one video meetings or other means of communication with individual employees to see how projects are progressing and how employees are doing.
Checking in on a regular basis will help employees feel like they are truly part of your organization, which will help motivate them and enable them to collaborate. You’ll also be able to address questions or concerns and identify any additional support your remote workers may need.
5. Keep a Regular Schedule
Keeping to a regular schedule will help increase productivity and group cohesion. Aside from project deadlines and the regular workday, make sure you schedule regular events like trainings, company-wide meetings, and performance reviews.
You may have remote workers in different timezones, but even if everyone can’t get on a conference call or watch a livestream at the same time, providing consistent scheduled events will provide a sense of community and aid communication across your organization.
6. Make and Keep Track of Group Goals
Another great way to ensure that everyone stays on the same page is to set goals. Use your regular channels of communication to outline your expectations for individual and team performance, and update your employees on the group’s progress. This step will help employees see the bigger picture and focus their efforts accordingly.
7. Strengthen Team Culture
As you focus communication and collaboration on work-related matters, don’t forget to provide opportunities for your team to have fun and get to know each other better. Planning remote parties, providing chats for fun topics, and creating virtual hangouts or break rooms can go a long way towards helping your team feel more connected and at ease with their co-workers.
As you use these strategies to facilitate communication and organization, you’ll create an environment where everyone can contribute. As you strengthen your team’s ability to collaborate, you’ll see the benefits in your productivity, effectiveness, and bottom line.