Building The Future of Freelance Software / slashdev.io
Mastering Collaborative Strategies for Effective Remote Teamwork/
Remote collaboration has become increasingly important in today’s digital world. With many people working from home, it’s essential to find new ways to stay productive and connected with your colleagues. In this article, we’ll explore five essential tips for improving your remote collaboration.
Use Video Chat for Hostile or Difficult Clients or Colleagues
Video chat can be better than text, voice, or even in-person meetings because it’s not about seeing the other person at all; it’s about the other person seeing him/herself. Bars have mirrors behind the bartenders for the same reason: people act differently when they can see themselves—even drunk and rowdy people. In most cases, they are a lot more self-aware, professional, and patient.
If you’re ever talking to someone and can tell they aren’t really paying attention or if you’re ever talking to someone who’s being aggressive or is just plain upset, consider switching to video. You may be surprised at how much easier the conversation becomes.
Reduce Scheduling Volleys with Remote Teams
One of the major benefits of having an office is that you can walk over to someone’s door and ask if they have a minute. A minute later, you’ve successfully collaborated. No minutes, hours, or even days wasted.
Now, there are countless tools, from Skype to Slack to HipChat, that make instant collaboration even easier than a walk to the cooler. Even if your team is 100% distributed, you rarely need to email someone to schedule a call or meeting to go over something. Just double check your time zones and knock virtually.
Or better yet, don’t even ask. Just call the person. While call etiquette isn’t well-established on Skype, GChat, etc., using the voice capabilities of these chat platforms is key. If people are busy, they’ll ignore you. No harm done. They can call you back, or you can try again later.
Stop Inline Email Conversations
Writing a tactful email response can be time-consuming, but that’s no excuse for tying your colleagues’ brains in knots. The next time you catch yourself writing “See below in bold/red/underline/whatever,” stop. If you don’t have time to write the thoughtful response you want, pick up the phone and call the person or knock on their door virtually. If you need documentation of the discussion, follow up with bullet points and action items. This will save you, and everyone you work with, a lot of time and confusion.
Use a VPN to Make Your Internet “Faster”
Your ISP might be throttling your connection. This happens all the time. For example, you may be at conferences in foreign countries and have to grapple with carriers like T-Mobile, who throttle Skype calls on their 3G networks to try to force customers to either pay for a more expensive subscription, or to make old-fashioned long-distance calls for high rates.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts all of your internet traffic, so your ISP can’t tell what kind of traffic it is and therefore can’t throttle it based on that information. When you travel, download a VPN client like Buffered on your phone and computer. The next time you have an issue like this, fire it up, and you might be amazed at how your connection speed improves.
As a bonus, if you’re working with sensitive data, you’ll get a nice boost in security.
Use Screen Sharing for Better Collaboration Screen sharing
This technology has been around for a while, but with the advent of high-speed internet, it’s become a lot more practical. There are now countless solutions out there, ranging from Skype to GoToMeeting, that allow you to share your screen with colleagues or clients anywhere in the world.
Not only is screen sharing great for collaboration, it’s also great for providing technical support. Rather than trying to explain a problem over the phone or via email, you can simply share your screen and demonstrate the issue in real time.
Use Chat for Quick Communications
There are many chat apps available, including Slack, HipChat, and Skype. These apps allow you to create groups and channels for different projects, making it easy to communicate with specific team members.
Chat is also great for quick questions or updates. Rather than sending an email or making a phone call, you can simply send a message and get a quick response.
Set Clear Goals and Expectations
Make sure that everyone knows what their role is, what they’re responsible for, and what the overall goal is. Set deadlines and make sure that everyone understands them.
It’s also important to communicate regularly to make sure that everyone is on track. This can be done through regular check-ins, progress reports, or even daily stand-up meetings.
Don’t Forget to Socialize When working remotely, it’s easy to feel isolated and disconnected from your colleagues. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and even depression.
To combat this, it’s important to make an effort to socialize with your colleagues. This can be done through virtual team-building activities, such as online games or trivia contests. You can also schedule regular video chats or phone calls to catch up with colleagues.
In-person meetups are also a great way to build relationships with your colleagues. These can be done on a regular basis, such as quarterly or annually, and can help to build trust and rapport between team members.
Working remotely has many benefits, including flexibility, increased productivity, and reduced commute times. However, it also comes with its own set of challenges.
By following these tips, you can overcome these challenges and become a successful remote worker. From using video chat to setting clear goals and expectations, these tips will help you to stay productive and connected with your team, no matter where you’re working from.