In light of current events, working from home has become the new norm for many businesses. This reality comes with new challenges, including how to help employees collaborate with their co-workers in the same ways that they were comfortable with in a traditional work environment.
Even though work trends are changing, there is still opportunity for remote team collaboration and unity amongst co-workers. It’s important that this opportunity not go to waste.
On average, 39% of workers think their team members at work do not collaborate enough and 97% of failed work-place projects can be traced back to a lack of collaboration, making the art of connecting with team members more essential than ever.
Unfortunately, with the new reality of working from home, collaboration may feel like more of a challenge than ever. That’s why we put together 5 unique remote team collaboration ideas to help you bridge the gap between employees and avoid a decrease in production levels.
1. Video Conferencing Platforms
Even though this seems like the classic response for how to stay in touch during work from home, there is still opportunity to connect with co-workers at the next level on these platforms.
Holding meetings and discussing projects via video conferencing is a great way to keep productivity and accountability in check. But don’t be afraid to have a little fun.
Hold a video lunch hour where employees can just catch up. Host theme days, like Crazy Hat Day or Bring Your Pet to Work Day (all virtual of course). Working from home can be isolating and taking the time to put a bit more excitement into typically mundane video calls can make all the difference.
2. Progress Check Points
This remote team collaboration idea might not work for every industry. But if you have team members working towards similar goals, consider adding check points with rewards.
For example, if you have a team working towards putting together a new marketing campaign, set up milestones ahead of time. As the team completes them, surprise them with small rewards. Send out ice cream coupons or, if you’re on schedule, give them the next sunny afternoon off.
Working from home can cause employees to lose motivation. Simple rewards boost motivation and make team members feel appreciated, especially when they’re juggling additional home responsibilities with work.
3. Handwritten Letters
It may sound a bit old fashioned, but handwritten letters can go a long way when team members are working from home. As an employer, you can simply send out thoughts of well wishes to your team members for a mental boost, along with a working agenda for the next week or so.
Or, if your team is oversized, consider starting an optional pen pal program. This may be especially beneficial to team workers who live alone and are looking for an additional outlet to connect with others.
Even though writing letters or sending cards can be a time consuming task, a deeper connection can be made, whether you’re discussing work-related topics or not.
4. Start a Facebook Group
Chances are, you’re letting your team work on individual schedules best suited for their unique situations. For example, if you have employees who are suddenly working from home while also having to homeschool several children, asking them to stay on a traditional schedule may be next to impossible.
A great way to share information that employees can access on their own time is through social media. There are a few options to consider but starting a Facebook Group will likely give you the options you’re looking for while connecting as many team members as possible (not everyone uses social media, despite its popularity – avoid making it a requirement).
Share updates in the group (send out in email form as well) and get the conversation going. Let employees have a little more fun in a relaxed virtual environment without losing focus of company policies and project goals.
5. Make Decisions Together
The decisions you make as a business owner will affect employees more than ever if they’re working from home. Without the comforts, both physical and mental, a traditional office provides, employees can quickly lose their connection with their fellow employees and career path.
Now, more than ever, involve your employees in decision making, whether it’s what video conferencing tool to choose from, what types of rewards they would love to earn, or how they want to share files safely while working on their own devices.
Many of us found ourselves working from home with little time to prepare. Let your employees know you want to navigate these uncharted waters together.
Remote Team Collaboration for the Win
Working from home presents new challenges to workers, as some may struggle from feeling disconnected from both their career and their co-workers.
Even though collaborating virtually presents new challenges, there are many ways to establish rapport with team-members in unique and engaging ways, including remote team collaboration. Whether it is a handwritten note or a pajama-themed morning video conference, finding ways to stay connected is the best way to keep productivity and morale in check.
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