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3 Ways To Help Remote Teams Collaborate More Effectively

One of the biggest challenges for remote teams is effective collaboration. Teams that were once able to simply walk over to each other’s desks to brainstorm and ask questions are now having to do that via email, Slack, or phone or video calls. Add in time zone differences to the mix, and collaboration becomes even more challenging.

With remote work here to stay, it’s important for teams to become more adept at collaborating remotely, and they need the right tools and knowledge to do so effectively.

Use remote access software for easier collaboration.

Remote teams collaborating on a project need to be able share and edit files both easily and efficiently. There are many digital tools available for this, such as using Google Docs or Microsoft Word co-edit, but these solutions are best suited for files like documents and spreadsheets. When it comes to projects with a large visual component, sharing across platforms can be more challenging due to file size upload limitations as well as slow download speeds depending on employees’ home internet.

One way to solve that challenge is to use remote access software which allows for files to be shared without needing to upload or download, such as AnyDesk. AnyDesk is a remote support solution designed for online collaboration, file sharing, and remote access control. Employees simply install the software and they’re able to view and share files remotely, without the need to upload them or send them via email.

As an added bonus, remote access software can also be used by the IT department to troubleshoot and fix employee’s computer issues. This frees employees up to focus on their work rather than computer issues that arise, reducing both time lost on work as well as stress and frustration.

Have regular debrief meetings.

Holding routine meetings for the sole purpose of allowing people to share updates, challenges, check on progress, and ask questions is imperative for remote team success. It brings remote teams together and allows them to interact with the entire team, something they don’t necessarily get many chances to do. As an added bonus, open style meetings such as this have been proven to boost morale and help reduce feelings of isolation.

To run an effective debrief meeting, everyone on the team must have a turn to speak, and firm rules around how long each person can speak for should be to keep the meeting focused and respect everyone’s time. By keeping the meetings focused and not allowing any one person to hog the microphone, employees stay engaged and view the meetings as something to look forward to.

These meetings should be held no less than twice a month, more frequently if there’s a troublesome project or impending deadline. The shorter the meeting the better, plan for about 5 minutes of talk time per team member. For larger teams, consider grouping employees by parts of a project and having one person from each group be the dedicated speaker for the meeting. This allows everyone to participate but doesn’t result in a three hour meeting, which would end up being counterproductive.

Set clear goals and expectations.

Managers need to set clearly defined goals and expectations for their remote teams. Having a collective goal helps team members who have never had the chance to interact in person feel a sense of connection with each other. Everyone knows that their work is part of a larger puzzle, even if they can’t see the other people or the pieces of the project they’re working on.

Clearly defined goals also help team members stay self-accountable. They’re able to measure their own progress and find ways to stay on track without needing constant supervision. This allows managers to be more hands-off and gives employees more autonomy.

These three solutions are by no means the only things that need to be done to help remote teams thrive, but they do provide a solid foundation that should be built upon.

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