4 Most Productive Ways to Communicate as a Remote Team

Remote teams are becoming commonplace as the workplace continues to evolve and new technologies make communication across time zones simpler and more effective. With cloud storage an increasingly convenient means of accessing information, it’s become possible to share the same information easily with people all over the world through various software applications. As easy as it is to use these tools, though, how easy is it to communicate with the people you’re sharing them with? Here are four tips to consider when communicating as a remote team: 1. Find a Collaborative Platform that Works There are a variety of collaborative software programmes available, from Slack to Teamwork, which all offer similar functionality. Essentially, a collaborative programme allows you to track the progress of tasks transparently, and to be able to keep track of all communication that happens within the team. While various applications will offer the same ability to send messages, assign tasks and create documents, some applications suit different kinds of teams better than others. For example, a team with structured, routine tasks might benefit from a more structured platform, while a team that is focused on creative tasks would benefit from a software programme that allows them more flexibility. 2. Weekly or Regular Check-Ins While it can be very convenient to be able to track the progress of tasks and follow threads of communication on collaborative software programmes, it’s important to make sure that team members still communicate their progress with regular check-ins. One of the ways to make sure that everyone is on top of their assigned tasks is to get all employees to post a...

5 Signs of A Truly Collaborative Team

Collaboration is a term that is often used in discussions about productivity and work environments, and can be an umbrella term for a number of ways of working in a team. In general, collaboration implies an innovative way of achieving results or reaching goals, but how do you know if your team is truly collaborating? 1. Your Team Has Strong Leadership In order to have a collaborative team, you need to have people within that team who can direct all members’ and motivate them to perform at their best. As discussed in an article on Forbes, leaders are accountable for getting people together, understanding their differences and connecting these for optimum results. Leaders also play an important role in fostering commitment from team members, and are the people with the courage and drive to pursue opportunities. 2. Your Team Values Relationships Even with the incredible digital technology available to facilitate various kinds of interaction, collaborative teams value face-to-face time and building a personal relationship with people. We all know that we can’t do it alone, but with all the tools available in our highly connected world, it can be tempting to believe that it might be possible. A truly collaborative team knows how to use these tools to complement the relationship building that will best support innovation and growth. 3. Your Team Has Their Finger on the Pulse A truly collaborative team knows their industry, and keeps up to date with everything that affects their business and the way they conduct it. With so many skills available, a collaborative team also makes the best of a variety of skills...

The Pitfalls of Working as a Remote Team

In the competitive business landscape of today, it is not often possible to have all company employees working in the same space. Due to financial or geographical limitations, it often make more sense to have team members work remotely. The nature of our globalized and interconnected world also means that often we connect and work well with people who don’t live anywhere near us, and due to certain responsibilities and economic considerations, it might not be feasible to travel constantly to engage with all of them face-to-face. However, as much as it might be beneficial to have a remote team, there are disadvantages to having team members working in different places around the world. Although we have technology to support remote teams, they are often difficult to manage without considering implications on communication and productivity. Disconnection As much as members of remote teams may try to communicate as best as possible across time zones and geographical divides, one of the pitfalls of working in a remote team is disconnection. This may be as simple as not having access to an internet connection, or it could be a case of not being able to communicate effectively across a range of online channels. Although we have become accustomed to email as a default form of communication between colleagues, so much can be lost when we rely solely on one form of communication to relay information and express what we need. Some people within a team also might prefer to have more communication than others, and this can lead to instances of disconnection, for example when team members feel like they cannot...

5 Characteristics of Effective Virtual Teams

Technology and access to various digital platforms has changed the way we work, and even where we work. Before, it was a non-negotiable to have to be in the office with all your colleagues, and to be able to report to your boss face-to-face. Now, with access to a wide variety of VoIP applications and accessible online platforms, it has become more feasible for businesses to have virtual teams, often with employees living in different parts of the world. The advent of start-ups also means that businesses are not often able to spend as much on a brick-and-mortar office space, and therefore rely on the fact that employees and managers can communicate via more affordable online and digital means. Managing a virtual team has it’s challenges though, and some teams are more effective than others when working remotely. To understand the reasons why some virtual teams work better than others, here are five characteristics of effective virtual teams: 1. Effective Virtual Teams are Connected Apart from a basic internet connection, effective virtual teams value interpersonal connection and communication. It can be easier to send an email than make the effort to set up a conference call, but members of an effective virtual team know that taking time out to communicate directly saves a lot of time in the long run, and also leads to fewer miscommunications. With busy schedules, differing time zones, and sometimes even different languages, it can be difficult to find the time to communicate, but effective virtual teams make the time to connect, whether it’s by arranging weekly check-ins, conference calls or quick VoIP calls. The success...

7 Elements of Connectivity in Teams

A connected workspace is a happy workspace. When a group of people can work together efficiently without being held back by communication delays and misunderstandings, true collaboration is possible. As much as technology has evolved to make communication easier, it hasn’t always made it more effective. We have various tools to help us communicate over long distances, and countless digital platforms that make it easier than ever to share information, but these are only really effective when a team is connected by elements that go beyond the digital interfaces they are using. Communication may be simplified with various software applications, but there are several underlying elements that need to be in place to ensure a connected and productive team. Here are seven elements that connect teams, and which are essential for the kind of connectivity needed for teams to work at their best: 1. Understanding Teams that work effectively make an effort to understand each other, and this goes further than being simply able to understand what the other person is saying. True understanding comes from being able to see the way people work, and to comprehend their thought processes. Understanding also comes from knowing how people communicate best, which can be challenging in a world where people often choose to communicate via email by default. Some people may be better at mapping out their thought processes and working at their own pace, while others might prefer to receive constant feedback on their tasks and be given specific direction on what to do next. Truly connected teams prioritise this kind of understanding, and value that everyone has a different role to...

3 Characteristics of Connected Teams

While everyone may have different preferences or work styles, being able to work efficiently in a team is all about being connected. However, in a society that often encourages individuality, it can be challenging to work effectively in a team. While some people might prefer to work alone and then report back to a team later, others might work best when they have constant feedback and direction. Being able to share and understand what everyone team member is doing in an accessible format is an important element of an effective workspace, and highly connected teams are always kept in the loop- with minimum margin for miscommunication. In a competitive work environment where collaboration is key to innovation, here are three characteristics of highly connected teams, and the reasons they are consistently able to work at their best: 1. Highly Connected Teams are Flexible In order to be efficient and able to adapt to changing circumstances, highly connected teams recognise that flexibility is key. While team members and managers should always plan and strategise their work processes and tasks, a highly connected team is able to adapt to a change in plan. When teams are connected, taking a different course to the one initially planned for is a follow on from the effective communication already in place. While unprecedented changes may strike a blow to a well-formulated plan, a team that values openness and communication will be able to manage any disruptions, by either working together to plan differently or implement contingency plans already discussed. A highly connected team is also able to adjust to new ideas being implemented to improve work...