The Earth is battling with the pandemic COVID-19. And the daily routine of each individual has got hay-wired! Amidst all the mess, most organizations turned remote due to the coronavirus crisis without any preparation.
Therefore, creating a great work environment has become a major concern for every business organisation. And, amidst that, they also want to have high work satisfaction, build community and keep their people around.In a traditional office environment, it is easy to share information and have meetings that generally breed teamwork. Whereas, in a remote environment, proper collaborating strategies need to be followed if you want to enjoy the benefits that come along with flexible working.
Remote Work Schedules
When working remotely from home, scheduling and organising even a minor task is necessary. Effective scheduling translates to successful collaboration. If done right, all the employees will be on the same page when it comes to work and deadlines.
Scheduling meeting can be (or what people usually assume) a challenging task. You need to follow a set process that can make it smooth and effective. While scheduling a meeting remotely, these things should be taken care of-
- Purpose of the meetings - The objective of the scheduled meeting should be clear to every member of the team for quick discussions and decisions. This small habit saves a lot of time.
- Taking every member's input - Any employee working remotely from home during the stressful situation of coronavirus outbreak can feel a disconnect from the team. Taking every employee’s input and suggestions during virtual meetings is necessary. This makes everybody feel more included and connected to the team and enhances collaboration.
- People working in different time zones - Do take care that meetings are scheduled at a time that is convenient for every team member; whether it’s a team member in China or in Spain. Tools like every timezone can be used by individuals to keep up with time zones.
- Use of tools - Use of cloud-based collaborative tools while working remotely is not a choice but a need. Video conferencing tools like Zoom, Skype etc. are very effective for the team as well as one-on-one meetings. Use Calendar for scheduling meetings and communicating with the team members.
Cloud-based tools are not only used as a collaboration tool for work but as a tool to bridge the social disconnect that the employees might feel while working in a remote environment. These tools can be creatively used for group building activities that increase employee interaction.
For instance, something like charades can be played. You just need a good camera (for video conferencing). If you’re motivated enough there are endless games you can adapt.
Employing the Right Tools
With so many tools available it can be a bit daunting to find the right tool to manage your team. Using the right project management tools like Trello can help in effective collaboration between you and your team. These tools can help in keeping the company’s growth and goals on track. Other touchpoints include
- Team visibility - There should be complete transparency between you and the rest of your team. A manager should not micromanage the employees. Complete transparency helps the manager in keeping a track of the employee’s workflow.
- Cloud-based collaborative tools - Make your team use tools for anything and everything. Instil the importance of these tools in all the team members so that they are all aligned.
- Member management - There is no limit to the number of members you can have in your team. While managing your members using Trello, one should add everyone that is going to be collaborating. It makes it simpler to communicate goals, whether personal or collective. It also keeps everyone in the loop and shares a clear-cut picture of the objectives and goals.
- Creating virtual water-cooler moments - Setting up virtual ‘water-cooler’ moments for the employees working remotely from home is important. By creating an online space (a chat room, blog, Facebook group, etc.) for sharing non-work-related and ‘just-for-fun’ content can be helpful
Ensuring collaboration while working remotely is not easy, especially, when everyone is dealing with the stressful situation of COVID-19. One has to maintain both personal and professional relationships amongst the entire team.
Want to learn more? Read- Remote Work Tools You All Will Be Needing in COVID-19 situation.