Remote Work Collaboration How to Get More Out of Your Dispersed Workforce featured image

Remote Work Collaboration: How to Get More Out of Your Dispersed Workforce

In this guest post, Anand Srinivasan of Hubbion shares practical tips for enhancing remote work collaboration. He offers thoughtful strategies and insightful approaches to help you get the most out of your dispersed workforce. These tips will ensuring your team stays connected, productive, and aligned with your company’s goals.

Remote working is now nothing new. While many of us were taken by surprise in 2020 when our organizations moved online, this is now a normal situation that many workers manage. In fact, this is now the preferred method of working according to employees. 98% of employees want to work remotely at least part-time.

Developing strategies to enhance remote work productivity and connect distributed employees is now more pressing than ever before. Understanding how to get the best from a remote team starts with having the right approach and strategies in place. In this article, we’ll explore remote work collaboration, offering four of the most effective strategies you can use to get more from their remote workforce.

1. Offer Various Communication Channels

Out of the various potential channels that businesses can leverage for remote work, email is typically the favorite. Everyone in the business world is already familiar with email, making it the natural choice for remote communication. However, supplementing email with other potential communication channels will help create a fluid connection between your remote employees. Organizations can employ the following communication channels in their business:

  • Email — All external communication will come through email. Businesses can use this for more formal emails or ones that need a more detailed paper trail. Any official documents or important messages should come through email.
  • Instant Messengers — Platforms like Slack or Teams help employees to rapidly get in contact with one another. This platform is great for everyday communication and any messages that are time sensitive.
  • Virtual Platform — Some businesses are even opting for virtual spaces where employees can exist in a digital office. Using characters, they can visit others with proximity voice chats, enabling swift office-like communication.

The specific balance between available communication streams will depend on your organization. However, ensuring that employees have different platforms to choose from will provide them with an efficient method of communication for all scenarios.

2. Personalize Where Possible

One downside of remote working is that team members may feel less close to their coworkers. To enhance workplace connections and forge more effective collaboration, management should encourage team members to use personal touches where possible.

A great example of this is to have an company-wide rule to use profile photos on communication platforms. For employees that have never met before, this will help build up a level of familiarity with coworkers. You could even extend this rule to a cameras-on style of meeting, although this may cause conflict and discourage employees. ‘Zoom fatigue’ is real, so if your company has a lot of meetings, that might not work for you.

An effective way of adding a personal touch to email communication is by including personal email sign offs and signatures. We’re all used to formal sign-offs, but this could be a great place to add a small gesture that shows the person’s personality. For example, you could have a handwritten sign off, or use your email signature to include additional information about you. Employees could update their internal email signature to include the TV show they’re currently watching, giving them something to talk about with others.

These small additions can help to facilitate collaboration as they build relationships between employees.

3. Utilize Asynchronous Meetings & Communication

One of the most powerful aspects of remote working is that it allows your business to move from an 8-hour-a-day style of working to an around-the-clock system. When you have employees that are distributed across the globe, their presence in other time zones expands your business hours. Trying to limit employees due to their time zones is the wrong approach to this. For example, if you require all U.S. employees to work on the same schedule, East Coasters and West Coasters will have different working hours. Over time, this can cause discomfort in the workplace. These effects only worsen if you have a distributed workforce that spans the entire globe.

Instead of trying to keep things the same way they were when you were in the office, company leadership should embrace asynchronous working. Asynchronous meetings, for example, allow people to record the aspects of the meeting that concern them, allowing other employees to tune in when they have a moment in their day.

This asynchronous method of working allows everyone to continue to collaborate in a way that directly complements remote working. While this can take some getting used to, asynchronous meetings are a fantastic way to keep things running smoothly. As one employee finishes for the day and records a meeting to the their team, other coworkers could just be getting started and will see the message come through.

Asynchronous meetings and collaboration avoid timezone clashes and help forge a more effective remote business.

4. Use Scheduling Reminder Systems

One of the problems that leaders face when managing a remote organization is that their employees can struggle with work-life balance. Over time, poor work-life balance could lead to burnout and additional stress.

One factor in remote organizations that causes this poor balance is time zones. One employee may message another during their working hours, but it could be late at night or early in the morning for the recipient. When you get an important work email after hours that urges you to take action, you may feel like you simply have to respond. If this happens repeatedly, you may be overworking your employees and impacting their performance.

In addition to asynchronous communication, management can alleviate this by using scheduling reminders. When someone sends a message to a coworker, these tools will remind the sender what time it is in the other’s time zone. These reminders come with recommendations to schedule emails for a more appropriate time instead of just hitting send.

Although a small change, implementing this into your business can create a big difference in remote work collaboration.

Achieving Success with Remote Work Collaboration

Now more than ever, managers and HR leaders are juggling a workforce that is dispersed across the globe. Instead of shying away from this challenge, businesses are looking toward remote working collaboration solutions. By incorporating these tips, businesses are able to create a more effective, streamlined, and healthy remote working culture. Armed with these strategies, companies can achieve improved levels of remote work collaboration, productivity and sustain employee satisfaction across their entire organization.

Author Bio

Anand Srinivasan is the founder of Hubbion, a business financing platform that connects mid-size and large business borrowers with the right financing advisors. 

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