Once upon a time, almost every employee came into the office daily, making it easy to pull staff members together quickly to work on a project. As more employees work outside the office, however, finding ways to foster remote team collaboration is absolutely critical. Encourage your staff to make teamwork a top priority with these online team collaboration tips.
When a new employee joins the team, they often tour the office and meet their coworkers face-to-face. This creates an opportunity to learn team members’ company roles and personal information, like family life or their favorite place to get lunch.
Encourage online introductions by having new and current employees complete a questionnaire about their work and day-to-day life. Then share the information with your team so everyone can learn about their coworkers. Or have new team members schedule one-on-one meetings with their new colleagues so they can learn a little more about one another.
Host virtual team gatherings
Hosting a once-a-month team gathering allows staff members to catch up with one another. Foster discussion by asking them to:
- Name one thing that’s going well right now
- Share something that can be improved
- Talk about something that’s going on with them personally
If you offer remote staff the flexibility to schedule work when they’re most productive, it can create a challenge if some team members prefer to work at night while others work first thing in the morning.
While flexibility is a perk, it’s equally important to set expectations that staff members be available to answer questions and participate in meetings while still respecting their office hours.
Gamification—making a game out of teamwork—can be a great way to encourage remote team collaboration in your company. You may want to gamify brainstorming sessions or even wellness challenges. Assign points or small prizes—like tumblers, T-shirts or charging cables—to encourage staff to work in teams to meet a goal.
Hold video meetings
More than 9 out of 10 remote workers feel that collaborating via video improves online team collaboration. Speaking “face-to-face” allows the team to pick up on nonverbal cues and avoid distractions, like work emails or other messages, that come in during a meeting.
Simple processes—like asking a quick question, sharing a file or project planning—can become more complicated when the collaborators can’t easily get together for a meeting. Tools like Slack®, Microsoft® Teams or Basecamp® allow you to have planning documentation, communication and file-sharing in one place, which can make virtual office collaboration run more smoothly.
Fostering remote team collaboration encourages staff members to work hand-in-hand, even if they’re miles away from one another. And finding ways to bring your team together will help you build a stronger company.