Around three decades ago, the workspace was a pretty consistent environment as no employee had the freedom to work from the workspace of their choice. They used to work in cubicles or cabins under fluorescent lights. People came into the office to work, and the idea of a ‘flexible’ work environment was unheard of.
With the inception of Remote Work culture, many companies have transformed their work culture to a flexible one. Since now, many of you are working remotely; you know how it takes to sustain collaboration in a remote team. But today we have Barbra Gago Chief Marketing Officer - Miro, who has brought us into the insights of how they manage collaboration in their remote teams.
1. Collaborating Through a Virtual Whiteboard
Whiteboards are an essential part of any team. And for virtual teams, it becomes more important to have a virtual set up that engages them and keeps them in the loop. And that’s how Miro was incepted.At its core, it creates an intimate virtual whiteboard that helps the team collaborate virtually. It has been proved highly significant, especially for product teams, for developing product strategies virtually.
2. Collaboration Needs in a Remote Team Vs. in a Co-located Team
Barbra Gago the Chief Marketing Officer, Miro says -
“It’s not about how much work one gets done; it’s about how team members work together.”
There is a trend of hiring distributed workforce among organizations today, but they fail at efficiently engaging remote teams. This leads to a feeling of isolation and dissatisfaction among the team members, especially in co-located teams. Most organizations want to keep their way of working simple but is critical for remote (and co-located teams) to have a structure and process for their way of working.
3. [Lack of Processes] Its Impact on Distributed Teams
If you don’t have the right processes in place, you might take twice the time to get something done in a virtual environment.
For instance, if it takes three months to onboard a new hire in a traditional office without a defined structure, the same process could take up to 6 months in a virtual environment. It’s an invisible cost that organizations fail to address and overlook it.
4. Miro’s Built-in Structure that Helps Enhance Collaboration
They have all their processes defined on their tool Miro. For instance, when they onboard new hires, they have various Google Docs (checklists, information, templates, resources) saved on the Miro board to make onboarding smoother for employees.
The best part is that you can also integrate Google Docs, Sheets, Slides in Miro that helps design processes and build them in a single place for convenience.
They also have all their assets, reports, WIP, active group discussions, meetings, individual boards, and all processes saved on Miro that can be accessed by the entire team.
5. Can Anyone Access These Boards and Processes?
Barbra says that they have most of them saved in their templates library on the website. Anyone can sign-up for a free trial and access them for free there. Well, that sounds quite easy, no?
6. Cross-functional team collaboration on Miro
Cross-functional teams collaboration on the Miro tool is possible as cross-functional teams can create frames and organize content so that each department can navigate through it quickly. You can also embed various tools like Sketch, InVision, and more as well as integrate tools like Jira and Google Docs to enhance collaboration among teams.
It is highly effective for keeping everyone on the same page for every product and project. The tool has been highly valuable for us for bringing our design, product, marketing, and other teams on the same ‘whiteboard.’
7. Overcoming Collaborating Challenges in a Remote Team
In Miro, they’ve got several ways to help their distributed teams in overcoming the challenges that they’ve faced in the collaboration process.
The biggest collaboration challenge for distributed teams has been disengagement, and when there is negligible engagement, things don’t really work for a long time, and they collapse.
With Miro, teams can experience being in the same room through our whiteboards, frames, etc. This ensures that team members feel valued and can voice their insights and inputs during meetings and brainstorming sessions. It allows distributed teams to ‘work together’ via asynchronous and synchronous collaboration in a more ‘human’ way.
8. The Biggest Benefit of Virtual Whiteboards for Remote Teams
While the digital whiteboards were considered a helpful prop in a remote work environment, the most significant benefit of using digital boards for collaboration is the feeling of being connected to the remote team on a more personal level.
Furthermore, virtual whiteboards can be as versatile as you want it to be. Miro is used by product teams, marketing teams, and even by individuals for personal projects (even wedding planning).
9. One Tip for HR Managers
Barbra shares one golden tip to all the Remote HR Managers, and that is “Structure, structure and lots of structure - You need to take time and build structure and processes if you want to scale the company.”
Well, no wonder, this tip would help them out!
Since the future of work is foreseen as remote and many new startups and existing companies will go remote. From hiring to operations, everything will be a part of the virtual world.
As we are moving forward towards that phase, it is a prerequisite for us to get to the roots of the remote work environment not just as an organization but also as employees seeking flexible opportunities. To get the perfect insights into remote work, join The Remote Work Summit and become a Remote Work expert today. Also, gain insights into Microsoft’s Remote culture.