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Work from Home Diary: Tips for Effective Work from Home Collaboration

Written by

Hani Khan

editor

Published

April 3, 2020

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Day 14 – Thursday, April 2

The digital era has evolved the way we communicate and changed the way we speak with each other, oftentimes in short and direct messages. At Simpplr, we utilize our intranet, instant messages and emails but most of our communication tends to happen in person since a majority of the workforce is located in our two offices. With this shift to remote work, we’ve had to shift our collaboration strategy so that we can remain engaged and productive in accomplishing our goals. 

According to Gallup, 22% of American employees already work remotely while 50% of the workforce is involved in remote or virtual team work. 

What does remote collaboration mean?

No successful organization runs successfully without collaboration in the workplace. Collaboration in the workplace involves individuals working together to solve problems across departments, management levels, and functions. Remote collaboration adds the extra layer of working across locations. 

Remote collaboration solves the distance issues by utilizing tools that have features to help a team best succeed. Productivity suites, fire-sharing and project management tools are all examples of remote working tools

Why do remote teams need new collaboration skills?

While instant messaging, emails and conference calls are valuable methods of communication, oftentimes tone and formality can be overlooked or be open to interpretation. Misinterpretation can create anxiety which leads to a dip in engagement, productivity and can become costly in the long term. 

Remote communication changes the pace of our regular conversations since there is a delay in messages. Coworkers or managers can be in meetings, working on an urgent project or otherwise busy which we are not able to see from behind a screen yet expect immediate responses to instant messages, emails or phone calls. With the lack of response, employees can begin to second guess and misconstrue the note that they sent. 

How to help your team excel at remote collaboration

Set Communication Standards

Make sure to set ground rules when it comes to collaborating and communicating remotely. Effectively communicate how each communication channel is to be used like instant message for quick questions, video calls for brainstorms or emails for longer responses. Create a schedule to maintain a healthy work-life balance as you continue to work from home. Set chat status to away or block off time on your calendar when you wish to not be disturbed. 

Over-Communicate

Don’t let out of sight, out of mind become the norm for your organization. Instead, focus on overcommunicating and sharing information with your team as you would if you were in the office. By sharing status updates, mis-steps or wins – it gives an opportunity for the team to learn and grow. 

Set Daily Check-ins

Keep your team up-to-date with your work progress, where you’re stalled and what you need to help accomplish your task. By having a daily call, you’re not left wondering what work your team is doing. Having regular meetings with employees ensures that you’re doing everything you can to connect with them on a professional and personal level. 

How does effective communication affect collaboration? 

Remote collaboration is one thing but effective remote collaboration is another. As with usual collaboration, communication is vital and affects the productivity and engagement levels of collaboration. The good thing is, keeping remote employees engaged doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some creative ways to communicate with remote employees and keep them connected.

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