Our relationship with work has been changing very quickly over the past few years. Remote work, which for many people used to be a sporadic benefit, has become a reality. Like we said in another article, in the USA, it is estimated that 33 percent of the American labour force is currently working from home full-time in 2020.
But not everything went as expected and the challenges of having crystal clear communication between teams have increased. Most people in remote work have experienced some difficulty connecting with their team because they don’t have a centralized space to communicate amongst each other.
And everything indicates that a hybrid model of work will continue in the future. For this reason, we have listed the five best team collaboration practices for remote work in order to bring you closer to your work team.
1) Make your team have a well-defined schedule
Keeping your team together is a big challenge. When there is a significant physical distance, this challenge becomes even bigger. Even though flexibility is one of the benefits of working remotely, it is important that the team has availability and a well-defined schedule. For this to work, it is necessary to know each team member's timezone and how long it takes them to perform their tasks.
In addition, it is necessary to ensure everyone has the right tools, including project management tools, so each person can perform their tasks in a simplified manner. This will help you better understand your team's process and allow employees to have moments to work together, as well as periods of time with no distractions, such as messages or last-minute requests.
2) Keep your remote team engaged
Just like keeping your team engaged, working collaboratively is a process that needs to happen naturally and needs to be aligned with the company's culture. In order to absorb the company's purposes, employees need to feel like they are a part of the process and are genuinely involved.
Engagement is the emotional commitment we all have with the organization. Engage your employees in conversations that are not work-related and bring everyone together to talk about various subjects whenever possible. Celebrate achievements and show everyone good results your team has achieved. Beyond that, be honest about the changes in the communication you are experiencing and always be open to talking about them.
Feel free to adapt the process to your own way because by doing this, your team will feel comfortable to bring up questions they might have. Respect the challenges that your team may face. Being understanding of everyone’s needs can create an environment with more confidence.
3) Set clear rules
Standards can be difficult to follow but are necessary for better team collaboration. They will define how team members will communicate in an ideal way. Setting standards for remote team collaboration is crucial to improve communication and make communication crystal clear.
Here are some tips:
- Set the tools that will be used to communicate;
- Define internal relationship rules and when it is necessary to call your co-worker for a conversation;
- Establish a calendar for routine meetings;
- Define best practices related to asynchronous and synchronous work, so people can make the most of their working hours.
4) Prioritize video calls when possible
Asynchronous communication increases team productivity and performance because it reduces interruptions during work. For situations in which perfect concentration is needed, emails and messages are a way to make the workday easier.
However, for more sensitive topics, exchanging messages or emails can often not be as enlightening as video chats. Video helps to improve team collaboration because face-to-face interaction allows you to capture non-verbal communication cues that can be lost in text messages. Sometimes, a 5-minute video call is quicker and much more clarifying than exchanging messages for half an hour.
Another positive aspect of video calls is the interaction between people. For employees who have been isolated for a long time or who do not have much personal contact with the rest of the team, participating in video chats can help them feel like they’re a part of the team and, consequently, more comfortable to deliver their demands.
5) Centralize your communication in a single place
This is the most important point to consider. Centralizing your team's communication in a single platform should be one of the first steps taken to keep your squad always aligned. And this should not just be a space to talk about work, but a free space to share opinions, experiences and, of course, collaborate effectively on issues that are relevant to the team. Team members should be encouraged to express their thoughts collectively, sharing problems and solutions so that everyone can always be on the same page.
Using a team collaboration platform can concentrate all of the communication tools your team uses to one place, allowing your company to reduce the time spent to complete tasks and optimize results.
It also means gaining more visibility into the needs of the employees and having their demands solved quickly, so you can always keep them satisfied and well-informed about their work. Research shows that companies can recover more than $10,000 per employee in a year by using more efficient communications. According to the study, employees lose up to 15% of their working time with inefficient communication. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twilio, Live Chat, SMS and many other integrations are at your disposal and you can simply direct all your messages to one place: Rocket.Chat.
Why you should try an all-in-one platform for remote collaboration...
...and potentially increase your productivity by 30%
It is always important to think about how to make your team's day easier. Keeping your team with a healthy and aligned communication strategy can be decisive for the results of your business. Productive remote teams are directly linked to an efficient team collaboration platform like Rocket.Chat.
The platform allows users to have:
- Unlimited calls as well as an endless conversation history;
- Manage conversations with stakeholders from a single place;
- Automate processes;
- Speed up service and improve customer experience.
Rocket.Chat is fully customizable since it is an open source platform. It allows your company to have a channel completely adapted according to the needs of the team. Try Rocket.Chat now and simplify communication in your company.