Remote Collaboration Tips to Ace Professional Communication

With Remote Collaboration being a necessity, it is important to evaluate the pros and cons of a Remote workplace and come up with the perfect remote collaboration tips to strengthen the overall communication among team members of a particular department.

Remote Collaboration Tips and Communication Strategy

While the whole world is adjusting to the new normal, some are still doubtful regarding the remote work culture. The basic idea that remote collaboration might be a backburner to the overall organizational productivity and accountability roots back to our in-office days when meeting the Team members regularly used to be a part of our usual schedule. While remote work has been alluring to the employees since long back, the current COVID19 situation has made this transition a reality. A concern that virtual meets and collaborative steps might not be that effective may turn out to be true up to some extent as well. But what we can do can change the entire scenario. Concerns regarding remote work range from miscommunication, productivity. alienation etc. Employees too might have their own set of issues while getting used to the work from home treand.Remote Collaboration Tips to Ace Professional Communication3

Microsoft Teams: The Best Remote Work Companion

With the current necessity of remote collaboration and communication,  all this being said, there are ways to work around these obstacles. With the right tools and a positive attitude, remote work shouldn’t be an issue for any business. Switching to appropriate tools like an intranet or migrating to Microsoft Teams can help establish a great collaborative environment across physical distances. While implementation might take time, having the right tools and policies in place can make the introduction of a remote work policy smooth and easy.  

Here are a few ways to make Remote Collaboration as Effective as Possible

A comprehensive remote work policy is key

A formal remote work policy helps make sure everybody is on the same page about how work should proceed and how employees are expected to communicate and collaborate. Once everybody is out of the office, there’s no visibility on who’s doing what and who needs help. As such, there’s a few things to keep in mind when creating your policy:
  • What are your business hours? Will workers need to work specific hours, or can they work at any time?
  • What do employees need to set up an appropriate home office?
  • Do you have any compliance requirements? Will any employees need a VPN to access critical tools (e.g. CRM, confidential databases, etc.).
  • What are your general security requirements?
  • What are your rules and guidelines for managing family during work hours?
  • With regards to remote IT support, how should employees reach out when they have a problem that needs resolving?

Empower your team with the right tools

Many cloud-based tools function with remote work in mind and they will certainly make the transition easier. Office 365 and Microsoft 365 are at the top of the list when it comes to remote productivity. With all the Office suite apps we know and love, along with collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams and OneDrive for cloud storage, employees can still work, communicate and collaborate seamlessly from separate locations. Learn how Microsoft Teams will help your organization transition to remote work

Facilitate teamwork

Collaboration and productivity tools aren’t the only things you need to create a good working environment for remote teams. You also have to make sure you have a good communications strategy, and that you enable your staff to work together despite not being in the same room. Also, there are lots of cloud-based applications out there to help you keep track of various projects your team is working on. Find one that works well for your team, and be disciplined with its use by following all Remote Collaboration Tips.

Make online meetings count

Meetings should be about purpose and people. Make sure the purpose of your meeting is clear and the invitees are the right ones. Also, make sure no one schedules a meeting at a very short notice unless urgent.
  • Use the right tools that make remote meetings easy, such as Microsoft Teams.
  • Use the chat features of your communication tools to share relevant documents for the meeting.
  • Record the meeting for anyone who missed it or just for the purpose of future references.
  • Let everyone’s opinion count
  • Make sure everyone has their fair share of opportunities to present their inputs

Use Video, Shreenshare and Whiteboard

Seeing everybody’s faces during a meeting helps get messages across. This ensures everybody understands what’s being discussed and in a way, you can build up team equations as well. Apart from that, use the screen share and whiteboard features to get the basics cleared out well. And be patient with your colleagues with families, who might find it impossible to eradicate background noise completely.

Take notes and follow up

Record the meetings or else, make sure there’s a designated note-taker for the meeting who will share it with each of the members of that team. If using Microsoft Teams, you can share notes directly in the meeting channel afterward to make sure everyone is on the same page. Plan short follow-up meetings to track action items. It’s good to create a dedicated space to discuss progress and issues regarding each work.

Exercise work discipline

Respect other coworkers’ availability as you did on office premises. Just because they are a click away doesn’t mean you can call or message them anytime without prior notice. The active status indicators in collaboration apps that tell about a user’s availability can be put to great use. If you need complete concentration on your present work, put yourself on Do Not Disturb. If someone else is in a Do Not Disturb mode, refrain from texting or calling until very urgent. Set up meetings in advance just as we do in our offices.

Use GIFs and Stickers

Most communication apps including Microsoft Teams let you use GIFs and stickers within the chats. Use them to keep the atmosphere light and fun and to bring in a bit of informality that you used to enjoy in the office premises with your colleges.

Work on continuous remote collaboration improvement

Be it a forced remote work requirement due to quarantine or a health crisis, your closed office premises or you’re a regular remote worker, little remote collaboration tips can bring in a lot of positive effect on your work and work environment alike. Make good use of technology to bridge the gap between the co-workers and thus, stay productive throughout your work from home tenure. With patience, perseverance and the aid of the best remote collaboration tools, remote work can be just as productive and powerful as working together in the same room. These were some of our Remote Collaboration Tips. Let us know your strategies as well.
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