13 Remote Team Collaboration Ideas for Next-Level SuccessThe Flow TeamLast Updated: July 14, 2020
It’s not always easy working from home or even in a coworking space where you have your own desk. For some reason, the usual interruptions—like deliveries and loud conversations—are harder to ignore than they might be in a traditional office setting. Managing distractions isn’t the only problem. Feelings of disconnection and low motivation can also take root—as collaboration breaks down.
Highly motivated and cooperative teams can overcome whatever obstacles come along—no matter how far apart team members are physically. When you can boost feelings of belonging, inspiration also gains a foothold. The remote team collaboration ideas listed below address these issues and more.
Winning Remote Team Collaboration Ideas
Teams that enjoy participating in growing a successful company also realize greater, more fulfilling individual achievements than those who don’t. It creates a positive feedback loop that’s healthy to cultivate. And it all begins with how well you foster collaboration.
The following strategies are designed to help with this process. And if you manage or work as a part of a distributed team, these practices will also benefit you and your team members.
1. Enable streamlined workflows.
With streamlined workflows, getting from point A to point B on projects is obvious and easy. Teams spend less time and energy putting out unnecessary fires. A task management app can help teammates prioritize responsibilities and smooth out the day-to-day. This level of organization frees space on the calendar and in the mind.
2. Establish a single location for sharing resources.
Establishing a central location for shared resources makes tasks and their related files quickly accessible. A single hub for information also improves overall workflow. Plus, when your team members aren’t fumbling around looking for resources, they’re less frustrated and more prepared for active collaboration.
3. Allow transparency of high-level actions.
By allowing transparency, especially of high-level actions, teams are kept up-to-date in real-time. And following tasks or pinning projects enables newsfeeds that are relevant and immediately visible. This lets teammates adjust their level of involvement as needed.
4. Encourage autonomy, not micro-management.
Kanban boards, Gantt charts, calendars, and timelines also aid in transparency—and encourage autonomy. With access to project and task information, people are empowered to do good work. It’s important that they feel entrusted with their work, too. With a diminished need to micromanage, give your team space, respect, and trust.
5. Promote direct and frequent communication.
Not seeing team members face-to-face doesn’t mean communication has to fall apart. With a remote work tool that facilitates different types of conversations, communication won’t fall apart. In addition to direct messages (DMs) and chats within tasks, encourage your team to use video calls through a tool like Zoom.
6. Reduce online noise by shortening your reach.
Unless an issue is pressing, take care not to abuse all the ways you can reach someone. Frantic emails and calls followed by messaging within a chat channel can serve to alienate coworkers rather than promote collaboration. If you need a response fast, consider creating a separate chat channel called “urgent” or create a task and set it as high priority, instead. Creating too much online noise is counterproductive.
7. Make time for socializing as well as work.
People shouldn’t feel that they have to socialize with team members. But it’s important to carve time out for social activities on the calendar. Given the opportunity, most people want to connect with coworkers on a deeper level. So, scheduling virtual water cooler chats, team coffee breaks, and Happy Hours are helpful. Greater connections equal stronger collaboration overall.
8. Plan activities that build team rapport.
In addition to putting social events on the calendar, add rapport-building activities into both meetings and onboarding of new team members. Offer different people the opportunity to lead from time to time. Include messy desk pictures or pet photos in agendas. Use icebreakers to welcome new teammates or relieve stress when times are tense.
9. Speed up connections for team members.
Workflows, file sharing, chats, and team meetings won’t run smoothly without a strong internet connection. And some providers still throttle speeds for customers. If you have the budget, set up team members with fast connections at home and a reliable VPN. This will help prevent communication—and collaboration—from needlessly slowing down.
10. Support diverse work styles with customization.
Supporting diversity in the workplace includes respecting how people work. That’s as important to facilitate in remote teams as anywhere else. One way to do this is to use project management software that lets team members customize views, filters, tags, and notifications. A personalized workspace helps team members to feel valued.
11. Demonstrate cooperation by using restraint.
It’s easy to misconstrue intention when communicating mostly through email and DMs. For example, short, abrupt responses can be interpreted as rude instead of hurried. This makes it tempting to be curt in response. Instead of jumping to conclusions, pause. Demonstrating cooperation includes not taking things personally.
12. Assume team members are doing their best.
You also exhibit cooperation when you assume that people are doing their best. If a deadline is missed or someone misses a meeting, they may be overwhelmed, putting out a fire, or feeling ill. Make it a practice to ask how teammates are doing and offer help if it’s needed.
13. Provide a comprehensive suite of tools and a supportive culture.
The final—and best—remote team collaboration idea we have is that your overall approach to success should be a complementary one. A comprehensive suite of project management tools designed to foster collaboration will work only if your management techniques and company culture also support working harmoniously together.
A Modern Workspace for Today’s Remote Teams
Achieving success isn’t defined solely by meeting project deadlines and making clients happy. Revenue generation isn’t all that matters, either. How people feel about the work they do is another marker of success. In fact, that’s often a key differentiator in determining whether a business is successful—or not.
That’s why, when modern companies across all industries set out to take success to the next level, they strive to create a space where people love to work—even if teammates are scattered across the globe. Implementing these remote team collaboration ideas will get your team there. Using an all-in-one platform will make moving forward together easy.
Flow provides a modern workspace that helps today’s remote teams maintain their edge by keeping projects organized and team members in touch. To see how collaboration naturally supports success, test drive Flow for free today.
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