One of the biggest challenges that businesses face today is maintaining collaboration within a remote workforce in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While remote working allows for better productivity and flexibility, it can be tough to encourage collaboration when people are miles apart.
Because employees are away from each other, this makes it harder for them to work together efficiently. But by employing the appropriate tools and strategies, you can improve workplace collaboration and keep everyone productive.
Here are some tips you can follow:
#1. Implement the right tools
Your employees may be working away from each other, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use technology to bring them together. There are many tools that can supercharge remote collaboration, such as:
- Project management tools – These can help you organize and designate tasks, track progress, and see what needs your attention. Trello and Asana, for instance, organize tasks on a board and allow you to drag and drop tasks into columns. Employees assigned to a certain task can easily see what they need to do and who to work with.
- Time-tracking tools – These allow you to measure how many hours employees are spending on projects. Not only will this help you understand how productive your employees are, it also helps them work with others more efficiently by learning to prioritize tasks.
- Instant messaging and video conferencing tools – Apps such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom can help your employees connect with each other instantly. They have high-quality audio and video calling capabilities, which can be used for better team collaboration. Instant messaging tools also allow you to sort teams into different channels, making it easy to sync up on group projects.
#2. Hold non-work-related virtual meetings
Non-work-related meetings give employees an opportunity to build personal relationships with their teammates. For example, after a work meeting, set aside time to chat about things that are keeping them busy, like a book, game, or hobby. This will take their mind off the tasks they need to do and is a great way for improving camaraderie.
#3. Prioritize balance with your employees
Since your employees are home, they have to work with their teammates while dealing with their personal responsibilities at the same time. That’s why you need to encourage a healthy work-life balance.
Allowing them to work their preferred shifts is a good idea because it frees them up to do their personal errands and schedule a time where they can work without any interruptions. As long as they can meet deadlines and work seamlessly with their colleagues, this should not be a problem.
#4. Manage employee expectations
While remote work for an extended period of time can be overwhelming for teams, setting clear expectations is crucial. Having realistic expectations for your team means understanding that they are going through difficult times and setting a bar for how much work each team should get done in a week.
#5. Ask for feedback
You will encounter some issues with your remote work setup, so it’s important to gather employee feedback. This gives your staff a platform to tell you what works and what doesn’t, and how you can possibly improve their situation.
You can talk to your employees individually to ask how they are doing, or send out an online survey to get feedback. Listening to employees’ concerns makes them feel heard and may expose you to new ideas to better improve your team’s workflow.
Want to learn more about implementing a successful remote work policy for your Seattle or Oregon business? Fidelis has you covered. Our guidelines will address any vulnerabilities associated with remote working staff to provide a safe, secure, and functional work environment. Download our FREE remote work guidelines document today.