Do your team members communicate and work together through virtual platforms? Going virtual with your work has a lot of pros! Especially when it comes to cost-effectiveness and convenience. And while it’s great we now have the option to take our teams into the virtual space, one of the things that can get lost along the way is effective virtual team collaboration.
How can you ensure your remote team is working together in a way where everyone feels heard? And that it’s done in a way where your business goals get accomplished?
Virtual Team Collaboration Success Tips
The truth is organic collaboration is going to be next to impossible when your team is working remotely. You can’t pop into someone’s office or turn to the person next to you like you might in an office setting.
That means that putting a bit of effort into creating a collaborative environment can go a long way. Setting aside time that’s specifically designated to employee contributions on projects, ideas, and processes means that your collaboration never has to fall by the wayside.
Rather than looking at virtual team collaboration as something that’s far too unattainable to tackle, trying out a few tips can mean for a lot of success.
Here’s the breakdown of our best tips for virtual team collaboration!
Schedule Regular Meetings
It might seem like a nice thought to schedule regular virtual meetings, but actually following through with it is a whole different game!
Scheduled meetings can make a world of a difference when it comes to things like setting goals, checking in on projects, and making strategic decisions. They’re usually the most efficient way to get these types of tasks done, rather than trying to collaborate over email.
You might decide to try out a recurring meeting so everyone knows exactly when they will have a chance to bring up certain topics. Be sure to create an agenda ahead of time so your meeting stays on track and all your important points are addressed.
Work Side by Side – Virtually
When you think of an office setting you might think about working physically side by side with someone. This is great for stopping along the way as you’re working. You can talk about certain points or ask each other questions as you go.
The problem is this type of collaboration gets lost when things go virtual. Consider getting into the trend of virtual side by side working. All you need to do is set up a video call with your colleague and do your work together as you’re working on the same project. This way you can simply stop as you’re working along and get the feedback you’re looking for.
Use Messaging Platforms Effectively
We all know the popular messaging platforms that are great for helping us to communicate effectively. But it’s important to ensure we’re using these tools MOST effectively.
Set yourself time that’s dedicated just to engaging with your messaging channels. That might mean a few minutes a day for some, or multiple checks throughout the day for others. This helps you to take more control over your time and helps you to focus on the tasks you need to get done.
You shouldn’t necessarily always be available as it can make you unproductive. Scheduling your messaging checks is the best way to ensure you’re getting to questions while also getting your tasks completed.
Share Documents with the Team
One of the best ways to collaborate and get feedback is through shared documents. Shared documents help to ease communication and keep everything all in one easily accessible place.
Be sure to set deadlines around things like reviews, and specify how you would like feedback to be made. It’s likely that adding comments to the shared document will be most effective for your colleagues to share their thoughts.
What Technology to Use?
Some commonly known technologies for virtual collaboration include things like messaging platforms, email, and video chat platforms. There’s no denying these technologies make a big difference in our abilities to connect virtually. But how can these be taken even further?
Virtual collaboration goes to the next level when you can integrate things like live chat or live polling.
Live chat for example, improves efficiency by providing a simple way for employees to contribute ideas or ask questions during meetings. This integration can be great for making everyone feel included while also keeping your meetings moving forward.
Remember that not every online platform for group chat is going to be the same. Some allow the ability to navigate between different chat rooms and moderate conversations, like Swift Chat, while others don’t.
At Swift, we also offer live polling which is a great tool for collecting answers to questions in real-time. Regardless of the method you choose to support your virtual team collaboration, remember there are always tools available to help make the process a whole lot easier!