Both businesses and colleagues, students and teachers, are catching on to the benefits of remote work, learning and collaboration. Being able to communicate, exchange information and plan wherever and whenever needed has influenced productivity and empowered everyone around the globe. There are even many successful examples of fully-remote companies and university programs.
However, it can be hard to collaborate remotely. Different time zones, technical challenges, misunderstandings and unexpected problems can always arise. (Not that they don’t arise in the traditional environment either.) But there are some tips and tricks that can help you get the most out of remote collaboration. Here are the essential ones.
Establish Some Communication (& Collaboration) Norms
For a remote team to collaborate effectively, there has to be a good basic foundation and norms that enable clarity in communication. For instance, having labels for messages where you need an urgent response, a response in four hours or no need for a response at all. The status that shows if you’re on leave, vacationing, in a meeting etc. Tools that you use, and how do you use it.
Be Aware of Shortcomings of Written communication…
Always try to be clear in written communication, try not to bombard your fellow team members, students or clients with messages, don’t write essays on everything and anything, but also don’t leave out information where it is needed.
…But Try and Seize the Opportunities in Written Communication!
There are many hidden possibilities that come with the written communication. For instance, it makes space for more introvert people who might not speak out in a group environment. There is no bias regarding physical appearance, and you have a written overview of everything that is agreed on (which is not the case if there was just a verbal discussion).
Intentionally Create Space and Time for Celebration
Birthday cakes, candies and those nicer office moments everyone likes are still important for remote teams. That’s why you will need virtual spaces for collaboration and socializing. Find new ways to celebrate different milestones and events.
Choose the Right Tools for Your Situation
Remember that you should see what works best for you and the people you collaborate with, regardless of if they are colleagues, employees, clients, students, teachers…
Don’t just go for something because it’s “standard”, “everyone uses it”, “it’s modern” etc. Some tools might work amazingly for one team, but not for the other. Even in the same industry. That’s why you should be open to trying out different possibilities and then sticking to what works best for you.
CollaboraZon could be a great fit for you when it comes to collaboration. It is simple, easy-to-use, and gives you all the necessary functionalities like file-sharing, commenting, creating events and exchanging messages. By the way, when you try it out for the first time, you’ll get a free month, so you see if it works for you.