It's no secret that collaboration is fundamental to a business's success. However, collaboration can be difficult to achieve when team members are not in the same room. With more businesses implementing remote or hybrid work arrangements, it can be tough to manage and coordinate work between your on-site and off-site teams. If you’re looking for ways to improve collaboration among your multilocational workforce, follow these tips.
1. Create opportunities for team building and collaboration
Collaboration needs to be deliberate in remote or hybrid teams, so you need to create situations where employees have to communicate with each other. While this cannot be achieved overnight, you can get things moving by encouraging transparency and communication among team members. For starters, you can create a Slack channel where employees can ask questions and get help from their colleagues. You can also make a group chat where people can talk casually about non-work topics or bond over similar interests.
2. Schedule regular social interactions
It's important to foster regular social interactions among team members, especially if they are not working in the same location. You can do this by scheduling video calls or virtual happy hours on the same day of every month. You may also facilitate game or movie nights at the end of each work week to help relieve stress. Purposely including such activities in your routine can turn socializing with peers into a habit. It can also help teammates get to know one another on a personal level, which can make it easier to build trust and work together.
3. Nurture a collaborative environment
There are several ways you can create a culture of collaboration in your organization. For instance, you can use collaboration tools like video conferencing and online chat so team members can communicate no matter where they are. You can also set aside a few minutes before a virtual meeting to allow colleagues to chat, or you may use breakout rooms to divide the team into smaller groups to focus on specific tasks.
Another tip is to use project management software that allows everyone to see what tasks need to be completed and who is working on them. This enables employees to see the big picture of how everyone contributes to the company while making it easier to identify who to get in touch with regarding certain projects. For this effort to be successful, make sure that everyone has access to the same information and that they know who to go to if they have questions.
4. Invest in and leverage the use of the right technology
Quick stand-up meetings and occasional messages may not be enough to keep everyone informed and focused when your teams operate across several locations (or even time zones). That's why you have to make the most out of your tech resources.
Technology can be a great enabler of collaboration. By investing in the right tools, you can make it easier for team members to work together, no matter where they are. Fortunately, there are many apps and programs in the market that simplify processes and streamline communications. Microsoft 365, for one, combines multiple capabilities and features to let your distributed teams communicate with one another, establish goals and deadlines, and keep track of progress all in one place.
Whatever kind of tech works for your company, make sure you are maximizing all the features of these tools and that everyone knows how to use them. Also, let your employees understand that while the workplace is hybrid, the technologies you use help bring everyone together to a single virtual location where all members can communicate and interact.
5. Ask for feedback
Getting feedback about your hybrid or remote office setup is essential for improving collaboration because it allows you to understand what works well and what needs to be improved. One way to solicit feedback without putting employees on the spot is to brainstorm about their ideal collaborative workplace setup. You can also ask employees to anonymously answer a short questionnaire about collaboration, and then discuss the answers with the team. Whenever you ask for feedback, make sure that you create a safe environment where team members feel comfortable giving honest opinions.
By following these tips, you can improve collaboration among your employees no matter where they are working. If you need help creating a collaborative environment that will help your business succeed, reach out to our business technology experts at Cutting Edge today.