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With a hard focus on social distancing and prioritizing the safety of team members, businesses have had to pivot to working remotely. This concept isn’t new to some, but to many, it poses a new challenge: how can team members stay connected working in different environments without physical supervision?
Staying connected and maintaining a relationship with your team doesn’t have to be complicated. In the digital age of advanced technology, it is easy to create new systems that allow communication and collaboration to flow just as it would in the office.
Utilize Video Communication Tools
The good news is that just because you can’t interact in-person doesn’t mean communication has to be stopped. With tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts, you can easily recreate the same community from home.
These digital platforms and ones that are similar have upgraded many features to be remote-work-friendly. For example, Zoom now has a waiting room where attendees must be granted access into the video chat room preventing unwanted guests from randomly popping into meetings. Utilizing these tools allow team members to interact with each other throughout the day similar to how they would at their cubicles or other office settings.
Upgrade At-Home Work Technology
This is one of the most important factors in effective communication. Provide the means for your team members to upgrade any old equipment they might have. This could be webcams, headsets, desktop monitors, etc. Think about it, a very pixelated video chat with a microphone that picks up background noises can be distracting and unclear.
Depending on whether you’re working remotely full-time or just part-time, your technology needs may be different. We advise at least having these:
Laptop or PC
One study found that video conferencing is 30 percent better for communication than audio-only setups. So, set your team up for success with the proper communication tools.
For eWN members, don’t forget about your exclusive discount with our partner Dell for all your technology needs.
Utilize Digital Management Applications
For those wary about managing their team from a distance, management applications may be your new best friend. Research into which one suits your team's needs as some like Asana and Monday have similarities when it comes to scheduling tasks, but offer different features within the platform.
Some features that stood out to us among management applications were the ability to color coordinate the status of tasks for easy analysis, organizing incoming leads in detail with estimated pricing deals, infographics detailing progress, and the option of video chatting so everything happens on one platform.
Make sure to familiarize yourself with whichever app you choose, and then communicate that with your team members, and consider hosting a video call to walk through the app with them. Implementing these tools will ensure your team stays on track with your organization’s goals and it stands as another avenue of communication.
Get Innovative with Collaboration
It’s important to remember that we are all social and emotional beings ready to share our ideas with others. Collaboration is the root of many entrepreneur’s success and working remotely shouldn't have to hinder that. The best collaborations are born from interpersonal connections, which can be made through video chatting and other streamlines of digital communication.
A great initiative to get your team motivated to collaborate online would be hosting creative brainstorming sessions via Zoom or starting a chat room where members can post their ideas with supplemental attachments. Many companies have incorporated the application Slack into their means of communication as it allows them to create interest-based channels for those who share common interests. In these channels, members can share ideas, pose questions, and so much more.
Another great way to collaborate on a more personal level would be live-streaming workout sessions or happy hours that creates a space for connections to be made outside of work tasks.
For virtual team outing ideas, check out eWN’s upcoming online events that you could attend together.
Maintain a Regular Meeting Schedule
Creating new ways of communicating is a great start, but being consistent with it can lead to progress. Establish a meeting schedule to be a part of your team member’s routine. By regularly scheduling virtual team meetings you’ll guarantee remote work productivity and add a necessary layer of structure to working from home.
This doesn’t have to take place every day or every week, you could even consider one-on-ones to make sure each person is on track and clear up any gray areas. Keep in mind that the more you communicate with your team while being apart, the more structured you and your members will feel. When everyone is feeling confident with a clear focus on what must be done, more productive work comes out of it.
Now that you’re ready to be remotely connected with your team, check out how to tailor your at-home office space to thrive.