What are the Best Practices for Virtual Collaboration : A business can take advantage of remote work when it has a strong virtual collaboration environment. A business of any size can recruit remote talent and enhance the expertise and productivity of its inhouse team.
However, a business is destined to face serious collaboration challenges if it does not have the right online collaboration tools for business and well-established virtual collaboration practices in place. To enhance employee productivity and increase happiness, the manager has to make some adjustments in workflows and communication practices. It requires a stronger virtual collaboration strategy to achieve collaboration goals. The strategy should be easy to implement and sustain.
Virtual collaboration requires online collaboration tools for business and strategies to ideate and complete projects with colleagues. They may be working at different times from different locations. Appropriate tools and strategies are necessary for the successful implementation of virtual collaboration and to promote a culture of teamwork. Businesses have tools for sending instant messages and video conferencing. However, these tools do not provide a comprehensive virtual collaboration solution. You want to promote good, efficient workplace collaboration practices.
You not only have to find the right online business collaboration tools but also teach the best practices and processes to your distributed team. This ensures better virtual meetings, more efficient operations and faster project completion.
Best Virtual Collaboration Practices
It is not easy to find the best recipe for virtual collaboration. However, you can acknowledge the following few main principles to achieve your virtual collaboration goals.
Align Virtual Collaboration Expectations
Your inhouse team and remote employees may not have the same expectations. It is easy for your in-house team to have 1-on-1 and brainstorming sessions. However, your remote employees need online collaboration tools for 1-on-1 sessions, group brainstorming sessions and conference calls.
Team members can make their project timelines visible and make regular progress updates to promote virtual collaboration. Project management tools, shared tracking apps and online collaboration tools make virtual collaboration possible.
Virtual Collaboration with Cloud-based Tools
Effective communication and project tracking serve the purpose of a strong foundation required for virtual collaboration. For this, organizations use a wide range of cloud-based tools such as Office 365, G-Suite etc. These tools are extremely important for virtual collaboration. Therefore, look for online collaboration tools for businesses allowing you to integrate other tools you are using.
Team Building Activities
Even when you are using the best tools, you cannot achieve virtual collaboration if your remote team does not feel comfortable with your inhouse teams. They will share their ideas only when they feel comfortable. Otherwise, the virtual collaboration will fail. This is where team building activities can be of great help. These activities allow your team to know each other as individuals. They can learn about each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This leads to stronger collaborative efforts and better results.
To achieve virtual collaboration, first of all, you need to create a roadmap and project expectations. This is followed by execution. However, your employees need some space to work independently in virtual collaboration. Managers managing remote teams may not be comfortable with this idea in the beginning. Depending on their roles, each employee has to follow some established rules, practices and working schedules. However, you need to give them space and freedom they need to work independently.
Do not limit virtual collaboration to business-related subjects only. It is important to consider the mental health of employees, especially those who are working from remote locations. While it is true that there is less stress when you are working from the comfort of your home. Remote workers may also experience burnout. This is the reason why in-person interactions should be a part of your virtual collaboration.
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What are the Best Practices for Virtual Collaboration
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