It’s no surprise that the rise of remote working has led to feelings of disconnect between team members across many industries. Despite the highly advanced technological world, humans still thrive when working together in person. There are also plenty of reasons that working in separate locations with the aid of digital communication is beneficial in other ways, such as improving the balance between work and leisure. Whether you are a fan of remote working or not, these four solutions will help you keep your team functional and successful even when collaborating from a distance.
Foster a Culture of Communication
The biggest barrier to efficient teamwork online is the stilted communication that occurs when face-to-face interaction isn’t an option. Combat this by generating a culture of replying to instant messages and making quick video calls without excess formality or planning. This will help to replicate the ease of communication that comes with simply stepping into your coworker’s office to ask a question or have a chat.
Keeping a shared online file for storing documents that could be useful to the rest of the team is a great way to prevent a buildup of unnecessary extra documents on each individual’s hard drive. Your team may already have a shared file system, but it is important that it’s reliable and protected from external threats. Set up a secure method of transferring sensitive digital data between you and your teammates to reduce the chances of a breach. Another benefit to sharing resources with your team unprompted is that some members may not know that they need a particular document until they notice it on the shared file. You can save lots of potentially wasted time and effort by pooling your knowledge in an easily-accessible place.
Connect Your Timings
It is easier to fall out of sync with your teammates when working apart from each other. Unaligned timetables and project plans can lead to confusion and disruption to your work. Once you start using scheduling software across the team, you will find it much easier to connect ideas in a timely manner. Without the simplicity of in-person communication, this type of software can be game-changing.
Don’t Forget the Human Touch
You may find that your team is fairly efficient and competent as separate entities and able to combine their efforts through the internet, but this is ignoring the high value of simply getting to know each other as people. Building a strong team is not just about finding people who can collaborate efficiently. It is also about inspiring rapport and trust that allows for greater creativity and problem-solving among skilled team members. Make time for conversations with colleagues that are unrelated to work. You can do this face-to-face or online since the main point is to relax together.
When not all members of a team share the same physical space, there are naturally going to be obstacles. However, these four points should highlight to you how it is possible to continue producing effective results as a team even when working separately.
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