How to Encourage Collaboration for a Remote Team

by Alex Schnee

Working remotely as a business can have some major benefits, but it can be much more difficult to make sure that your team members work together. With everyone working at home, it can require some thought and effort to make sure that people feel like they want to work together—especially if they have been isolated for a while. Great companies encourage collaboration, and this can be necessary for a remote team to succeed.

Here is how you can foster collaboration between team members even when you can’t meet in person.

Have a way to keep in touch besides email

While email can be ideal for communicating with clients, it might take a while for responses from team members. This latency doesn’t exactly encourage communication, which can lead to projects being turned in late or the quality being much worse than expected. Having a faster way for employees to keep in touch can make a big difference when it comes to having them work on deliverables together, as well as foster camaraderie in the digital workplace.

Offer open access to projects

Having your projects available for review by several members of your team can be a great way for them to provide feedback to one another. You can do this by having a deal room or cloud storage where they can offer comments, make changes, and share with those who might have important information that can improve the project. You’ll just want to make sure that it is difficult for those outside of your organization to have access to these files. Other than that, having a more “open door” policy can encourage creativity and fun.

Schedule video calls

Seeing other human faces can be much-needed after weeks of working from home. Whether you choose to have a weekly meeting or meet with employees one-on-one, these video calls can help workers when it comes to updates, as well as provide some human contact. You don’t need to have these calls all of the time—just either when you might feel that is it needed in order to increase morale or to explain aspects of a difficult project. Many times, you can do this through your messaging platform or through a free service.

Offer events outside work

It’s good to be distracted by things other than work, and collaboration between employees can often happen outside of designated work hours. Whether you choose to Zoom once a month or provide a book club for employees, you’re helping to foster relationships that can then translate to the workplace. You can get creative as you would like with these, and encourage employees to come up with their own ideas.

In summary

By putting a little extra work into creating a company culture for your virtual team, you’re likely to see some major benefits for your business. Make sure that communication is readily available and that your team has room to be creative when working on projects.

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