Virtual collaboration has been somewhat forced on teams over the past year; due to Covid-19 restrictions. Although restrictions have been lifted, it is likely flexible working will carry on and the need to collaborate virtually and effectively will be necessary.
If you have a clear strategy with your team on how you communicate, and how your time is spent, the chances of collaborating well virtually are much higher. Team collaboration is one of the most important fundamentals towards success; aligning talented and like-minded individuals to achieve a common goal.
It’s much easier to communicate, plan and strategize when all the necessary personnel is in the same environment, however, when separated, the challenges of effective communication arise. Although difficulties arise from collaborating remotely, in order to be successful, teammates must be clear about how they will communicate. Read on to gather some tips that will help your virtual collaboration process.
Are you a visual thinker? If so, the considering visual thinking tools could be beneficial when it comes to workflow and collaboration. Just like Trello, where participants can view project progress, a virtual whiteboard where authorised participants can scribble, edit and share ideas online will be a convenient way to collaborate.
This is one you’ve probably become familiar with over the last 12-14 months. Video communication has been the go-to for many of us and it can be effective! Video meetings and conferences have allowed hosts to communicate with up to 50 people at the same time.
Over 80% of workers also say that remote work, with web conferencing software and video conferencing solutions for real-time communication, has increased their job satisfaction. (Velocity Global). Besides communicating via video and speech, there are also instant messaging options, so you can always type across a query or question. Project leaders can also share their screen with participants and show progress on platforms such as Trello and Slack.
This can often be one of the main reasons why virtual collaborations fail. “where’s this file?”, “can you send me this folder?”. These questions can be cut short if all the content is centralised. This way, those who need it can simply log into an internal drive and access what they need. Some of the remote tools you may find helpful include:
You may find yourself collaborating with team members who are not based in the UK; this is where time management becomes necessary. As the time zone may differ, it’s important to keep on top of time zone’s and the schedule. Whether it’s brainstorming sessions, presentations or casual meetings, it’s important to respect everyone’s time.
There are also other ways you can ensure the process of collaborating virtually goes smoothly. These include managing data privacy and having easy to share boards. Virtual collaboration works best when you have the right tools and processes in place. This will involve research and analysing colleagues’ skills and strengths, whilst working out which apps are best for the team. So when employees are working remotely, you can be confident the right tools are in place.