Book free demo

5 Tips For Improving Remote Collaboration

5 Tips For Improving Remote Collaboration

Use Asana for task transparency, schedule weekly video meetings for cohesion, create shared documents on Google Docs, and support team mental health.

Always Start with a Shared Goal and Vision

It is important to start any remote work cooperation by establishing a clear and collectively defined goal. As the Project Management Institute’s survey revealed, projects with defined goals and project managers who secure the vision are 50% more likely to arrive at the planned developmental path and business objectives . Below are steps on how to accomplish this:

Make a Point to Draft a Brief Meeting Agenda

Designing a well-detailed agenda beforehand will ensure that every team member is on the same page at the meeting’s very start. It should explain the purpose of this particular encounter, points to be raised, and desired outcomes. For instance, if the goal is to develop a product feature, the plan might address engaging in a brainstorm, discussing the requirements for the feature, and determining who does what.

Share the Vision at Every Opportunity Open communication about the shared vision at every meeting or other messaging instance is an essential part of the process. Every weekly email, group meeting, and one-on-one conversation should discuss how the team has progressed towards the agreed-upon final goal. For example, at group meetings, the manager can start discussions by reiterating the product program goal and providing a brief status update.

Use Graphical Aids for Constant Vision Reminder

Having an understanding of tools like Gantt charts or simply project timelines, or Kanban boards can be very beneficial. A clear visual chart should be employed to represent what has already been completed in the project and what therefore is supposed to be and when. For example, a Kanban board can be used to see what still needs to be done and in what specific order, from “To do”, through “Doing” to “Done”.

Dedicated time to Goal Check

Use every meeting’s end to ensure the goals determined at the beginning were achieved and that they are up to discussion . This serves both to effectively utilize meeting time and ensure the team is constantly focused on the goal. For example, if the weekly goal was to prevent designing a new feature of the product, the follow-up could reflect on why and what was the reason for failing to do so.

performance management

Strengthen Support and Open Mind

To create a strong and open-minded remote collaboration environment, being proactive about supportive interactions and diverse thinking is crucial. These strategies can turn a remote team into a more dynamic and innovative one. To do it, one may follow several steps and examples.

Use Regular and Structured Feedback

A feedback culture of routine sharing of thoughts and feelings on what is happening on the project and the team is essential. It is worth using purpose-designed tools for this, such as Officevibe or TinyPulse, where you can leave anonymous feedback and take regular temperature-check surveys. This way, one will not only be able to speak up, but also follow the development dynamics of morale and comfort.

Practice Active Listening

To show support during video calls or online meetings, one should practice active listening. One must focus and understand the speaker’s message, remember and answer thoughtfully. For example, after the team member expressed the idea, one should take a minute to summarize what was said before giving their answers.

Encourage Diverse Thinking with Structured Activities

One may introduce “brainwriting” activities in the form of structured brainstorming. The idea is that every participant in the discussion first needs to write down and think about the ideas without pressure. Opportunities are ultimately provided to also present ideas to those who are uncomfortable speaking in live discussion. Miro or Google Jamboard can be used online to post, discuss, and vote on everyone’s ideas.

Cultural Competence Training

One can further enhance open-mindedness by introducing the open-mindness training focused on cultural competences. It will help perception and respect for other cultural backgrounds and reduce biases and assumptions. Semi-situational trainings with real-life situations can be recommended, where participants act as representatives of other cultures with which it can be difficult to be open-minded.

No Stupid Questions Policy

It is crucial to ensure that all questions are acceptable. Leaders should personally not be ashamed of asking a question and showing that they are not omnipotent. One can practice starting the meeting with a quick reminder that all questions are welcomed, and it is always better to ask than to remain silent. If participants are still uncomfortable, one can use an online tool for submitting questions anonymously.

Help Build Trust Among Teammates

It always was and will be crucial to build trust within a team. In specifically for a remote team touch case is as relevant as never. Although it might be incredibly difficult to do since the lack of face-to-face communication caused by remote status amounts to many misunderstandings. Here are some of the steps that could be taken to build trust among remote teammates, supported by real-life practices and methodologies.

Implement transparent communication practices

It is essential for trust-building to keep things clear and transparent. To do that it would be wise to implement tools and practices that cover all the basis of essential information. It is a good idea to put together a confluence space or Trello board, updated regularly and easily accessible by all the teammates. Additionally, hold a weekly all-hands meeting, used by the leadership team as a chance to report on company affairs and tell about the progress made on various projects. That way, everyone would feel comfortable and informed about what is happening.

Foster personal connections with virtual coffee chats

Getting to know each other at the workplace is always beneficial for the effectiveness of communication. To overcome the crucial lack of face-to-face contact, it would be wise to introduce personal connections via “virtual coffee chats” – a program in which teammates are randomly paired and given a task of spending half an hour speaking about non-professional matters. It also allows building stronger relationships with other team members and learning more about their backgrounds and personalities. Tools like Donut on Slack would enable to automate such process.

Regularly celebrate team achievements

Celebrating team achievements is crucial in building a positive work culture, especially in remote settings where team members can often feel isolated. Recognizing successes not only boosts morale but also fosters a sense of accomplishment and belonging among team members.Here are a couple of examples illustrating how you might regularly celebrate team achievements in a remote work environment:

  • Virtual award ceremonies. In the end of each quarter, organize a digital awarding ceremony. Each of the teams or departments nominates people or a group of people that has achieved something important. Award categories may be different, such as ‘Innovator of the Quarter’, ‘Best Team Player’, ‘Outstanding Project Leadership’. The ceremony as for itself should include keynote speeches from the company’s leadership as well as from the people being distinguished, and a detailed, with multimedia being supported, presentation of the achievements. As for the rewards, different symbols may be presented and then delivered by mail, such as virtual trophies or printable certificates. The ceremony may be streamed using various platforms, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, so that all people in a remote office can take part in the celebration.
  • Collages or videos dedicated to the achievements. For each successive milestone of a project, or a goal of an organization being put in place, ask each of the people in the team to provide a photo, a short piece of video or a testimonial. They are to be emphasizing the thing that has been accomplished and how they were doing that, as well as a part of the project that they were enjoying the most. Put all of them in a Slack channel or show the video during a meeting with a team. It is a good way to make memories and look back at the accomplishments.

Conduct trust-building activities

The best way to build trust is by building trust. Organize some multiplayer online quests such as an online escape room for teamwork in which teammates would get the task to escape the room in a single hour. Let other team members lead one if they desire – leading the game and caring about the others would build trust across the whole team. Such experience would hopefully have an impact on how teammates would see team projects.

Offer and encourage professional development

Increased skill of a team member means a greater value to a team in general. Therefore it is a wise move to invest in the professional growth of a team and offer various training programs as a part of benefit package. Some of the available options include giving a subscription-based access to online courses on Linkedin Learning, Coursera . A(nother) benefit of that is a higher level of team engagement due to encouragement of team members by managers to share their experience.

Improve Your Team Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence promotes communication, stress management, and conflict resolution among remote teams. Building emotional intelligence across your team in remote settings makes interactions more empathetic, creating a supportive work environment. Here’s what you can do to build emotional intelligence systematically among your remote team:

Time formal training

Formal training must begin with a comprehensive understanding of emotional intelligence that it consists of five main components: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. These training programs can be conducted in an interactional workshop format and can be led by an expert in emotional intelligence or a practicing psychologist. You can use a platform like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Role-playing exercises can be organized to simulate conditions of high stress or other emotionally important situations.

Use EI assessments

In order to understand the current level of emotional intelligence among your team more formally, you can use a standardized assessment. There are several options available on the market: the Emotional Quotient Inventory and the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test . Get the results of the tests, provide feedback to your team members in privatization or separate communication, and involve them in the development of individual emotional intelligence success plans.

Mandate open communication about emotions and feelings

Encourage open discussion of feelings and emotional states and make sure that all challenges are shared and discussed. To make sure that everyone on the team has an opportunity to voice themselves, get in touch with your team members one-on-one or in groups to discuss not only their work performance and professional knowledge but also their emotional well-being. Use options like Officevibe that allows employees to provide feedback anonymously and freely.

Lead by example

One of the key conditions to building an emotionally intelligent team is leading by example. Demonstrate emotional intelligence competencies in all your interactions. Be empathetic and active listening to your team, manage your responses to stress. By setting the standard in your responses to pressure, you create a blue print for your team to follow.

Encourage mindfulness

Make sure that your team is provided with a possibility of becoming more in touch with their emotional selves. Organize daily ten-minute meditation, yoga, or breathing exercise sessions in live format or provide a video that they can use when they are not under time pressure using a common virtual office. There are multiple applications that can help your team practice mindfulness.

Address Potential Biases That Are Holding Your Team Back

Biases in remote teams are rarely overt, but they may still have a significant impact on teamwork and decision-making. Therefore, it is crucial to identifying and addressing them to ensure a welcoming and inclusive environment for all team members that would allow for a wide variety of approaches and perspectives. Below are the most effective steps to avoid biases in remote teams, supported by examples from real life and helpful methodologies.

Step 1: Gain a Comprehensive Understanding of Biases

First and foremost, each member of the team should be educated on various biases, both conscious and unconscious, that may affect decisions. This goal could be achieved by hosting training sessions administered by diversity and inclusion professionals and providing relevant case studies. For example, a training session could explain the concept of confirmation bias and its impact on reviews of projects by peers.

Step 2: Use Structured Decision-Making Approaches

To prevent biases in decision-making, it is recommended to use structured frameworks. Scoring systems for peer reviews of projects, performance reviews, and assignment to a new project may be introduced, and their criteria should be designated and weighted beforehand. As a result, the process would be less influenced by the preferences or preconceptions of each team member and be more fair and objective.

Step 3: Create a Culture of Open Discussions

It is important to allocate time for talking about diversity and inclusion and creating an environment for open dialogue. That might be facilitated by monthly or weekly meetings, a separate platform, or a forum. In addition, a virtual suggestion box may be introduced to facilitate anonymous reports on the biases that are perceived. An ongoing conversation is crucial for ensuring that the issue is discussed continuously and that the effect is lasting.

Step 4: Regular Audit of Biases

Regular audits to detect biases in the activity of the team, communication, or decision-making should be administered. They should be preceded by similar professional training to be efficient. Since it may be problematic to remain unbiased in internal audits, an external one could be a better idea in some cases. The conclusions and observations should be used to introduce changes in the hiring process or policies on communication or other issues.

Step 5: Celebrate Cultural Diversity

Cultural diversity or the differences in national origin, gender, age, etc. should be celebrated by the team. Various cultural events and holidays may be observed, and that may be a source of fun and education for the entire team. For example, Diwali or Juneteenth may be treated as opportunities for virtual team-building, while Lunar New Year should also be noted.

Table of Contents

Fast AI Transcription

Transcription conversation to text & and get real-time insights