Team collaboration is tricky in a traditional office environment. And when you add location flexibility to it, it becomes even more complicated.
But it is essential to the success of your remote team.
When team members do not meet face to face, not only does communication suffer, but also working together is challenged by the different dynamics between team members.
For instance, if multiple people are working on the same project but do not communicate often, there are going to be gaps in the end result. If you want results that are aligned with your goals, you need to ensure that your team works together towards it and not as individuals.
Let’s dig deeper into these challenges.
Team Collaboration Challenges in Remote Work (And their Solutions)
Communication is one of the key elements to effective team collaboration. For any team to succeed in a virtual environment, accurate flow of information is primary. You also need to set the right communication guidelines that your team can rely on and carry out in their day-to-day operations.
- Inculcate communication guidelines in team members during onboarding.
- Foster a ‘talking’ culture by using the right tools.
- Encourage team members to ask more and more questions.
Smooth collaboration requires team members to have a lot of trust in each other. It is what ensures a secure and positive space for teams to work together.
In a traditional office, team members can build trust by interacting face to face or getting coffee during their quick breaks. But when working remotely, you need to ensure that you provide these opportunities to team members that will help them to freely interact with each other.
- Create opportunities for team members to get to know each other well.
- Encourage team members to speak their mind.
- Provide constructive feedback to team members.
You might think individual productivity has very little to do with overall team collaboration. But individual productivity can also be hampered if there is lack of collaboration among team members.
When team members work together, they are able to solve more problems and get things done faster. But in an environment where team members are not comfortable with each other, this behaviour cannot be fostered.
Without effective collaboration, teams are more likely to deal with work related stress as they do not find the help that they need.
- Ensure ownership in each task.
- Develop processes to provide help and support to team members.
- Implement tools to help team members manage time and work.
Task tracking isn’t something that can be solved by maintaining a simple to-do list. Because teams do not just need a list of tasks but also need a real-time update on the status and progress of each task.
Yes, even your team needs to have access to the status of each task. It is one of the key factors that help in building transparency. But when team members are spread across the globe, it is not easy to have real-time updates on everything whenever needed.
- Provide higher transparency to team members.
- Implement tools for tracking tasks and build a collaborative digital platform.
Project management needs to be highly organised for remote teams. When multiple people are working on the same project at different times, you need to ensure that they have the required means to stay updated with everything going on with the project.
The only foolproof way to ensure smooth project management is by adapting tools that will enable your team to access project overviews.
- Adapt project management softwares and tools
- Define goals, tasks, and deadlines clearly
Remote Team Collaboration
It is tough for any team to work on multiple projects together when they are spread out across multiple locations. But it isn’t achievable.
Once you’ve built an efficient process that enables your team to collaborate well remotely, ensure that you also focus on developing and refining these processes.
To do so, keep track of and measure your team’s performance regularly. Do not forget to make the most of analytics to narrow down what works best for your team.