12 Collaboration Tips for Remote Teams

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Everyone knows how essential collaboration is for businesses. Everything seems to run much more smoothly when everyone's on the same track. General work processes move much faster, creativity blossoms, and teams reach goals much quicker. That's because everyone's goals are aligned and up to date with each other. Instead of working alone to their rhythm, each member of the team stays in touch with the others, ensuring higher productivity levels.


What is Remote Hiring?

Remote hiring is the process of hiring teams to work from home. Instead of working in the office, they set up their workstations at home and connect to the group online. In many cases, it helps reduce costs and increases productivity and flexibility. However, some feel that it comes at the expense of easy collaboration. Many fear that the teams can't collaborate successfully without everyone sitting in the same room, leading to lowered productivity levels. That does not have to be the way it works, though. With these twelve tips, your business can enjoy excellent collaboration while still hiring remote teams.


1: Use Video Calls

Emails have their place when managing remote teams, as you can use them to check in and send important information. However, they aren't enough for teams to collaborate. That's where video conferencing comes in handy. Use video calls to get the team together; you'll find collaborating on projects much more straightforward. It's not just useful for the whole team; it also lets small group projects work together over video chat.

Video calls work well, but pay attention to their frequency and how much they help. Boosting collaboration doesn't mean hosting a meeting every hour of the working day. Instead, it means hosting meetings at set times so everyone can jump on, share ideas, and ask questions. Make them productive by not overdoing them. That way, people are more likely to spend time productively between video calls without worrying about being called for an impromptu one!


2: Make Sharing Files Easy

When managing a remote team, you require seamless communication, including file sharing. Your team will have tons of files to share over their time, including word docs, PDF files, images, and more. Allow them to do this with a secure file-sharing system that works seamlessly. SFTP is excellent for this, as it provides both security and ease of use. Plus, SFTP server allows partners to securely exchange files with your organization. Allow your remote teams to use this, and they will have no trouble exchanging files no matter where they are in the world.


3: Rotate the Teams for Group Projects

Remote teams still take part in group projects despite working from home. To improve this form of collaboration, rotate the teams on occasion. For example, if you often have the same five people working together, put them with other groups for particular projects and see the results. By doing this, you'll see who works best together remotely, meaning you'll make better decisions when it comes to planning group projects going forward. You might even discover that one team produces more work than ever before! Plus, the change itself will likely boost productivity levels. 


4: Avoid Over Communicating

You might think that keeping up to date with remote teams ensures better collaboration, especially when checking in with group projects. The truth is that most remote teams collaborate better when left to their own devices. That's because they have the time and space to come up with interesting ideas and develop them. However, if they constantly receive messages from management asking for an update, they may lose their flow.


5: Use the Right Collaboration Tools

Luckily for remote teams, there are plenty of excellent collaboration tools to use for boosting communication between teams. The trick is finding the best one. To find the best one for your team, write down a list of necessities. Do you want a centralized hub that the whole team can access? Do you need quick, secure file transferring that won't interrupt the day? Or, perhaps you are looking for a budget-friendly platform? You'll find better collaboration tools for your remote teams by knowing your terms.


6: Set Plain, Direct Goals

To ensure that your teams work well together, set clear, direct goals that push them in the right direction. From there, your remote teams can work in whatever way they like to reach those goals. That's the beauty of working remotely – it's not about micromanaging each step; it's about allowing employees to achieve goals on their own terms. As long as they reach the same result, it doesn't matter. As a bonus benefit, your team will feel more respected and trusted in their roles.


7: Encourage Questions

Misunderstandings kill productivity. Unfortunately, misunderstandings happen often with virtual teams, often due to miscommunication. One way to reduce the chance of this happening is by encouraging your team to ask questions. Do this by making time for questions throughout and at the end of meetings. Encourage people to ask questions through one-on-one meetings, email, and phone calls, too. It's better to clarify early rather than discover a significant error later on!


8: Use Team Bonding Exercises

Hiring remote teams can mean your staff members don't know each other well, hindering collaboration. That's why team bonding exercises matter. There are plenty of ways to bond the team online, including virtual quizzes, break rooms, and celebrations. It all matters! If your remote team lives nearby, you could even set up in-person meetings from time to time to encourage people to get to know each other better.


9: Celebrate the Wins

When a team works particularly well with one another and produces excellent results, it makes sense to celebrate that. Plus, it encourages them to carry on working well together, so celebrate the wins each time they happen. Do this as an entire team. On a virtual video call, you can host a celebration by shouting out the stand-out team players, giving virtual trophies, or even hosting a virtual party (don't forget to send some cupcakes over!). Doing this makes teams feel more collaborative and as though they are part of something special.


10: Consider a Hybrid Model

Have you considered a hybrid model rather than a fully remote one? If you have remote teams, you likely know what hybrid working means: a mix of working at home and in the office. Some companies prefer this model over a fully remote one as it allows employees to come into the office from time to time. It can make meetings and checking in easier when you physically see the teams. Plus, those teams can meet each other, resulting in better collaboration from home.

Of course, hybrid working doesn't work for all businesses. That might be because you do not have the office space, employees might live too far, and you may have already hired employees remotely, and changing the way they work isn't viable. That's why you should consider this option before hiring remote teams. That way, you don't have to worry about changing the model down the road. Instead, you can be transparent and hire hybrid teams from the get-go.


11: Plan Meetings

Too many ongoing meetings will only harm productivity levels. To ensure the team can go off and collaborate without interruption, keep discussions swift by planning them thoroughly. Know what you're going to say and the points you plan on going over. That way, the meetings won't take up too much of the day without sacrificing time for communication. You can always speak to individual team members separately if they have specific needs, questions, or ideas.


12: Get into a Routine of Communication

Remote teams require some routine to maintain high productivity levels. That's why a routine of communication is essential. Not only does it keep everyone on a similar schedule, but it also means that collaboration happens naturally. When everyone expects a Monday morning meeting or a Friday afternoon catch-up, they can prepare to share their fresh ideas. It might even become a time that people look forward to!


Is Hiring Remote Teams Worth it?

You might wonder, is hiring remote teams worth it? Most people receive a different answer depending on who they ask. For many businesses, though, the answer is yes. By hiring a remote team instead of an in-office one, your business saves time and money. On top of that, hiring remotely allows employees to enjoy more flexible working, which works far better for some people. In fact, certain employees are more productive when working on their own terms, and hiring remotely allows you to get the best work out of them.


Remote Teams can Collaborate Effectively

It should be easy for remote teams to collaborate. As long as you have the right collaboration tools, management techniques, and productive meetings, your remote teams will collaborate just as productively as they would if they were physically in the office. That means, as a business, you can enjoy all the perks that come with hiring remote employees (such as cost-effectiveness and more space) without having to sacrifice productivity levels.

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