As the world continues to evolve, more and more companies are opting for remote work arrangements. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend and has made remote work the new normal. While remote work has its advantages, it can also present challenges when it comes to keeping remote teams engaged and collaborative.
Remote teams lack the physical interaction and face-to-face communication that is present in traditional office environments. This can lead to feelings of isolation, decreased online collaboration and decreased productivity. In this blog post, we will explore various ways to keep remote teams engaged and collaborative.
- Establish regular communication
One of the biggest challenges in remote work is the lack of face-to-face communication. To overcome this challenge, it is important to establish regular business communication with your remote team. This could be in the form of regular video calls, weekly check-ins or even just a daily stand-up call where each team member can share what they accomplished the day before and what they plan to do today.
Having regular communication not only helps with keeping everyone on the same page but also helps to build a sense of community and promotes online collaboration. Regular communication helps to create a sense of accountability and ensures that everyone is on the same page when it comes to project timelines, goals and objectives.
- Use online collaboration tools
There are many collaborative tools available that can help remote teams work together effectively. Some of the popular tools include Clariti, Trello, Slack and Google Drive. These tools allow remote teams to share files, collaborate on projects and communicate with each other in real-time.
It is important to choose the right collaborative tools that best fit the needs of your team. For example, if you have a team of designers, then you may want to choose a tool that has design collaboration features. On the other hand, if you have a team that needs to collaborate on spreadsheets and documents, then you may want to choose Clariti with its built-in secure cloud storage.
- Encourage social interaction
Social interaction is an important aspect of work, as it helps to build relationships and foster a sense of community. In a remote work setting, it is important to encourage social interaction to help mitigate feelings of isolation.
One way to encourage social interaction is to have virtual social events such as virtual happy hours or virtual team building activities. These events help to build relationships and foster a sense of community among remote team members.
- Provide opportunities for professional development
Providing opportunities for professional development is an important way to keep remote teams engaged and motivated. This could be in the form of online training, attending conferences or even just reading industry-related books and articles.
By providing opportunities for professional development, you are showing your team that you value their growth and that you are committed to their success. This will help to keep your team motivated and engaged, even when they are working remotely.
- Recognize and reward success
Recognizing and rewarding success is an important aspect of keeping remote teams engaged and motivated. This could be in the form of bonuses, promotions, or just a simple “thank you” for a job well done.
When remote team members feel that their efforts are being recognized and appreciated, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged in their work. This can lead to increased productivity and collaboration among the team.
- Create a positive work culture
Creating a positive work culture is essential for keeping remote teams engaged and collaborative. This includes promoting a positive attitude, encouraging open communication, and fostering a sense of community.
A positive work culture helps to promote a sense of belonging among team members and encourages them to work together to achieve common goals
- Set clear goals and expectations
Setting clear goals and expectations helps to increase accountability and focus among remote team members. Setting clear goals and expectations can definitely help maintain engagement and online collaboration within a remote team. When everyone has a clear understanding of what is expected of them and what they are working towards, it can increase motivation and accountability. It also helps to align everyone’s efforts and ensure that everyone is working towards the same objective.
- Encourage flexibility
Allowing remote team members to have flexible schedules can help to increase motivation and reduce stress. Encouraging flexibility can certainly contribute to keeping a remote team engaged and collaborative. Remote work can often provide greater flexibility in terms of when and where work is done, and this can have a positive impact on employee engagement and well-being.
For example, by allowing team members to adjust their schedules to
accommodate personal responsibilities or work during their most productive
hours, you can help them achieve a better work-life balance. This can result in
increased job satisfaction and motivation, which can in turn positively impact
their engagement and online collaboration with the team.
- Foster collaboration
Encourage remote team members to work together and collaborate on projects. This can be achieved through regular team meetings, online collaboration tools, or assigning group projects. Fostering online collaboration is crucial for keeping a remote team engaged and productive. When team members feel connected to each other and have opportunities to work together, it can increase their sense of belonging and engagement with the team.
It’s important to note that fostering collaboration is an ongoing process and requires ongoing effort. Regularly evaluating and adjusting your strategies for fostering collaboration can help ensure that your remote team remains engaged and productive.
- Provide regular feedback
Providing regular feedback, both positive and constructive, can help remote team members understand their strengths and areas for improvement, and ultimately improve their performance. Providing regular feedback can help to keep your remote team engaged and collaborative.
Provide feedback as soon as possible after an event or task has been completed. This helps the team members to understand how they are performing and what they need to do differently if necessary. Provide specific examples of what the team member did well and what they could improve on. This makes the feedback more meaningful and actionable.
- Create a company handbook
A company handbook can help to establish guidelines, protocols, and expectations for remote work. A company handbook can certainly be a useful tool for keeping your remote team engaged and collaborative. By establishing clear business communication guidelines, you can ensure that all team members are on the same page with regard to how they should communicate with each other, both formally and informally. This can help to promote team collaboration and avoid misunderstandings. By outlining the expectations and responsibilities of each team member, a handbook can help to promote accountability and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals.
A handbook can also provide a central resource for important policies and procedures, such as time off, expenses, and conflict resolution. This can help to ensure consistency and fairness across the team.
- Invest in technology
Investing in technology, such as high-quality laptops and ergonomic desks, can help remote team members be more productive and comfortable. Investing in technology can certainly help keep your remote team engaged and collaborative. There are many online tools and platforms that can help you facilitate virtual team-building activities, such as games, quizzes, or social events. These activities can help to strengthen bonds between team members and promote collaboration.
Messaging apps, chatbots, and other forms of business communication can help remote teams stay connected and respond quickly to one another. Investing in technology can play a key role in keeping remote teams engaged and productive, but it’s important to ensure that the technology you choose is well-suited to the needs of your team and integrates well with your existing systems.
- Encourage breaks
Encouraging remote team members to take breaks and step away from their screens can help to reduce burnout and increase motivation. Encouraging breaks can definitely be one way to keep your remote team engaged and collaborative. Taking regular breaks can help employees recharge, reducing fatigue and increasing their focus, leading to improved productivity. Taking breaks can also help with stress management, reducing burnout and promoting mental wellness. Encouraging breaks can also foster collaboration and teamwork, especially if you provide opportunities for virtual socialization, such as coffee breaks or virtual game sessions.
- Promote work-life balance
Promoting a healthy work-life balance can help remote team members feel more fulfilled and engaged in their work. Promoting work-life balance is another important aspect of keeping your remote team engaged and collaborative. A good work-life balance can lead to several benefits for both employees and the organization. When employees have a healthy work-life balance, they are less stressed and more focused, which can lead to improved productivity.
- Stay connected
Regularly connecting with remote team members, even if it’s just for a casual chat, can help to strengthen relationships and foster a sense of community. Helping employees stay connected can be an effective way to keep your remote team engaged and collaborative. By helping employees stay connected, you can create a supportive work environment that promotes engagement and collaboration, even in a remote setting. Regular virtual check-ins, team meetings, and one-on-ones can help employees stay connected and engaged with each other and the organization.
How does Clariti help remote teams engaged and collaborative
Besides management, awareness of employee needs whether onsite or remote, technology plays a big role in the success of remote teams. Due to the rapid proliferation of online collaboration tools, employees use multiple tools to do their jobs even though the context of the communication is the same. For example, they use one tool for email, another for chat and yet another for calendar. This creates information silos and constant app-swapping. By using cloud-based tools like Clariti where all communications are in one place and related conversations automatically linked by context, employee frustrations can be reduced, and productivity increased.
Keeping a remote team engaged and collaborative is essential for ensuring the success of your business. By encouraging breaks, promoting work-life balance, and helping employees stay connected, you can create a supportive work environment that fosters engagement, productivity, and team collaboration.
However, it’s important to remember that engagement and collaboration are ongoing processes that require effort from both management and employees. It’s essential to continuously assess and adapt your approach to meet the changing needs of your remote team. By taking a proactive approach to engagement and team collaboration, you can help ensure the success of your remote team and achieve your business goals.