How to virtually collaborate with your team
In some companies, not all employees work in the same workplace. They may work from a different state or country for the company. There is a great advantage to being dispersed. Team growth is not limited by the cost of office space and local challenges like a hurricane or power outage do not create a problem in our work entirely. But this also means that we need to be very deliberate about how we work, as we rely on virtual collaboration.
Today, more and more workplaces bring talented people together in flexible and virtual work environments. If you are part of it or want to try it, here are 4 strategies for virtual collaboration:
Videoconference: Video conferencing is a great teleconferencing partner and has created a custom iPad app for our meeting rooms that allows staff to dial quickly. We had regularly conducted surveys to understand people’s pain points in and out of the office. Although it is a work in progress and there is always room for improvement, structural support is one of the most important factors in achieving reliable virtual collaboration.
Check your tool: Good communication always starts with great tools. Like many other virtual teams, we use GitHub to collaborate on code, Dropbox to store all the assets we use, and Google Docs to get notes on groupthink and work in progress. Another important tool is very good headphones. During video conferences, this tool makes an incredible difference in call quality and prevents irritating echoes.
You must have items from a normal office: What are the little office things that a virtual team misses? Here we are thinking about how to institute virtual replacements. For example: we use chat for 1: 1 conversations and Flowdock for team chats. This helps facilitate transparency in our conversations and achieve that serendipity that occurs in the office when you hear two teammates talking about a project and you have something to offer.
A room for everyone: Great talent can come from anywhere. But we have a rule for remote team members and that is that they must have access to a room of their own with a door. If employees have this in their home and prefer to work there, that’s fine. On the other hand, if they don’t, we need to help them find a convenient co-working space to use. It is essential because the ability to control your environment and keep your head down is very important for development work. Plus, it helps team members join virtual meetings without distractions.
So these were the four tips you can use for virtual collaboration. Are you using these tips? Do you have any other tips in mind? Share with us in the comment section.