Virtual collaboration has been a common theme in the workplace over the last year. At the beginning of the pandemic, finding ways to work and stay connected remotely was a matter of keeping your head above water. Now that the “new-ness” has had some time to wear off, companies can take a step back and rethink how to make their virtual collaboration efforts more effective.
Let’s look at a few tips you can use for immediate and ongoing success.
1. Maintain Regular Meetings
Consistency is a big part of strong collaborations. To keep everyone on the same page, hold regular meetings so your teams can plan their work around them. This keeps them from being caught off guard and also gives them a forum to ask questions or share thoughts instead of bombarding your inbox.
2. Work Side by Side, Virtually
In the workplace, working alongside a teammate was a natural part of the day. Someone was within arm’s reach if you had an idea to share, a question to ask, or something to contribute. Now, with much of the workforce working from home, this same level of collaboration is in jeopardy.
Digital tools can shorten the distance. Have teams pair up and do virtual side-by-sides via Zoom or similar tools. You don’t have to talk the whole time and can simply carry on with your work as usual, just like you would in the office. But you also have something within hearing distance if you have questions, comments, or ideas to share.
3. Get to Know Your Tools
When you’re plowing through your workload, the last thing you want to do is to grind to a halt and figure out how to use one of your new virtual tools, especially if you need it at that exact moment. It’s best to review your tools as soon as they’re handed to you so you can start maximizing their benefits. This not only makes it easier to use them when you really need them but can also help you start working better virtually as soon as possible.
For example, if your company is using Slack or a similar messaging tool, bookmark the app in your browser, download it on your phone, upload a photo, and play around with it. The more you use it, the more naturally integrated it becomes in your workday.
4. Ask for Feedback
If you’re leading a virtual team, maintaining a virtual open door is a must. There are so many new things employees are contending with, both inside and outside the home office. Asking for feedback and demonstrating a willingness to help can maintain productivity, overcome hidden challenges, and keep morale high.
For more virtual insights, head back to our blog.