Working from home has become the norm for so many in recent months but not being in the same room as colleagues can have an impact on collaboration. After all, it’s far easier to work with another member of staff when you can communicate in person. However, successful teamwork can certainly be accomplished virtually. In this article, we share some top tips for how to improve teamwork even when remote working.
Maintain face-to-face interactions
The ability to communicate face to face is key for successful teamwork. This can be lost, however, when teams begin working remotely. To avoid this, it’s important that your team maintain face-to-face interactions via video calls. Instead of just relying on emails or traditional phone calls, use a video chat platform that allows you to all see each other. The ability to look someone in the face not only reduces feelings of isolation but improves team cohesion, creating a more unified and engaged work environment.
Ensure staff can communicate informally
Communication is vital for any successful team, but it doesn’t always have to be formal. Now that you are out of the office, those casual encounters between colleagues at the water cooler simply disappear. But these types of conversations are important for team spirit. So, make sure that staff have the ability to talk casually from time to time. This can be done through an instant messaging service like Microsoft Teams and by managers starting meetings with informal questions. Whatever you decide, it’s important that managers lead the way.
Utilise technology that allows collaboration
Collaborating remotely is difficult if you only rely on traditional tools such as local Word documents, emails, and phone calls. But by utilising software and technology made for collaboration, you can make things much easier. Google docs that allow multiple people to edit a document at once, screen sharing services, and video conferencing apps are just some of the important tools available. If your team can all work on the same task at once and see what each other are doing, you can prevent a disjointed project.
Have easily contactable IT support
IT issues seem so much easier to sort out at the office and technology failures can be crippling to a team’s productivity when working remotely. Therefore, it’s vital that your business has a competent and easily contactable IT support team. The ability to fire across a quick message to IT when an internal server is down or share a screen with them when a programme stops working will make a big difference. You can’t stop technology failures, but you can improve the ease and speed in which they get fixed.
Keep a schedule that permits teamwork
Working from home often brings with it a new work schedule that is less conducive to teamwork. Flexible working hours and varying availability are common for remote workers and not as reliable for a team with set hours in the office. Therefore, it’s important that you maintain a regular schedule for employees that allows for teamwork. Something as simple as knowing that your colleagues are working when you are makes a big difference and means that collaborating on projects is that much easier to organise.
Tips for improved teamwork when working from home
- Maintain face to face interactions
- Ensure staff can communicate informally
- Utilise technology that allows collaboration
- Have easily contactable IT support
- Keep a schedule that permits teamwork
We hope that the above tips have demonstrated how a team of remote workers can collaborate harmoniously together. By using the right tools and taking the correct approaches, completing team projects is certainly possible and the quality your company has come to expect from employees doesn’t have to diminish.
Phase 3 understands the importance of group projects and a smooth-running team. Our HR technology consulting services are at your disposal if you would like us to help your team with the integration of new HR technology.
For more tips and advice, make sure to visit our blog.