April 9, 2020 Best Practices For Remote Collaboration

As organizations face shutdowns and movement restrictions in the midst of a global pandemic, they are realizing the need to create and sustain remote work environments, and to foster collaboration between remote workers.

Remote workers often miss out on the immediate opportunities for collaboration, important nonverbal cues, and shared environment that an office or other workplace can provide. Since engagement is critical for collaboration, organizations should do all they can to keep remote workers actively involved, and in the loop.

In this article, we’ll be looking at some best practices for remote collaboration, to assist organizations in coping with these difficult times.

 

Create A Central Pool For Shared Information

To give workers ready access to the data and resources they need, it’s essential to centralize information in a single location. Ideally, this should be a single cloud storage solution.

Cloud storage is digital, but there will likely be vital information contained on paper, as well. You can work around this dilemma by using a conversion tool or platform to transform your files into searchable PDF documents.

Centralize Your Communications

Cloud-based resources provide a central avenue of contact — the internet — by their very nature.  And a Unified Communications (UC) solution delivered as a Service (UCaaS) can provide a centralized platform for your business communications.

UCaaS platforms provide several options for collaboration, including video calls, chat, and text. These tools use Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP technology as their voice handling component, and enable remote workers to interact with their colleagues on a more personal and real-time basis.

Set Clear And Understandable Goals

To make sure that everyone is on the same page, it’s essential to set clear and understandable objectives that every team member is aware of. Use your business communications platform to check in frequently with remote workers, and to provide updates when required. This will enable your workers to allow for any adjustments or corrections to their work, in a timely manner.

Set Reasonable Deadlines

Your workforce may be dispersed over a number of different time zones — both national and international. Workers may also be operating in difficult local conditions, or working to a flexible timetable.

Being aware of different time zones and circumstances will enable you to show respect and understanding for other members of your team. This knowledge will also assist you in setting time-frames and deadlines that your remote workers can realistically be expected to achieve.

Use A Project Management Tool

Collaboration platforms and project management tools like Microsoft Teams promote accountability, while providing an avenue for remote workers to keep track of their progress and interact with their colleagues in the absence of physical contact. They also provide a common medium that doesn’t duplicate the number of tools that your workers have to use.

Keep Your Workers In The Loop

Projects and assignments are just one aspect of the total life of your organization. There will be company developments, business objectives, events, and other information that are relevant to your remote workers. For these people especially, it’s important to communicate the broader vision, and their own contribution and role within it. This has the added benefit of increasing worker engagement.

Social interaction is also a part of this process. Video conferencing provides an ideal medium for communicating all of these things, and for bringing remote workers together to share ideas, and experience interaction with their colleagues.

Get Your Technology Right

When operating from the virtual office space necessary for remote collaboration, it’s essential to have the right tools for communicating and sharing information. Otherwise, important exchanges, updates, or notifications can be missed.

In choosing your technology, you should focus on finding a platform that matches the needs of your team, and satisfies the requirements of your business. Features to consider might include voice, video, online collaboration tools, and file-sharing software.

A reliable, secure, and fully-featured communications infrastructure is the foundation for seamless collaboration and effective remote work. UCaaS solutions provide a consistent set of tools and functionality that’s far more cost-effective than putting together a mix of disparate software from multiple vendors.

 

 

net2phone now offers cloud communications services to businesses throughout North America – the U.S., Canada, and Mexico – and in the three largest South American markets – Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia.  Using the web calling WebRTC platform or mobile app, businesses can continue to use voice services just as they would from the office.

You can now integrate Microsoft Teams with net2phone’s cloud PBX application to support remote employees. The net2phone integrated solution leverages the power of the cloud to embed its voice applications into the Microsoft Teams environment, without added equipment or infrastructure. The installation and integration processes are automated and fully managed.

If you’d like to know more about how net2phone’s business communications solutions can facilitate your remote collaboration efforts, contact one of the net2phone experts..