In a survey of over 15,000 Americans, 43% indicated that they spent at least some of the time working away from the office. Meanwhile, the use of remote workforces is allowing companies of all sizes to access a wide talent pool and attract high-quality employees while lowering overhead such as office equipment and rent.
Remote workers are often more productive and autonomous while the additional flexibility is helping close the gender gap in the workplace. Organizations that embrace remote work also tend to experience higher employee retention rates, lower costs, and a reduction in absenteeism.
Whether you run a completely virtual company or have employees that work remotely part of the time, it's important to ensure that they can collaborate seamlessly. Here's how to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of remote collaboration:
Enhance Real-Time Communications With a Unified Communication Platform
Adequate and timely communication is the key to effective remote collaboration. A unified communication (UC) platform provides a variety of methods to enhance teamwork, such as voice calls, video conferencing, file sharing, screen sharing, instant messaging, and more.
A cloud-based UC application allows employees to communicate both internally and externally with colleagues, partners, and customers from anywhere in real-time cost-efficiently so they can optimize productivity and minimize errors due to miscommunication.
Leverage Video Calls To Increase Engagement
92% of remote workers find that video collaboration improves communication and teamwork by helping them foster relationships with their colleagues and pick up nonverbal communications to improve the effectiveness of their communications. The use of video conferencing equipment, such as the Logitech Room Solutions for Google Meet, has vastly improved the ease-of-use, reliability, and effectiveness of such technology.
In addition, video calls often make it easier to deal with thorny interpersonal situations while limiting distractions since the nature of the interactions is closer to that of a face-to-face meeting rather than a phone call.
Schedule Team-Building Activities
Strengthening trust and relationships among team members is the key to effective collaboration. Regular team-building activities help employees from diverse backgrounds align with the organization's vision so they can work together towards a common goal.
Team-building activities should focus on developing mutual respect and interpersonal skills. Employees should be encouraged to listen to each other and adhere to rules of conduct. Also, instill the concept that teamwork is an interactive process, which requires patience and constant communications to reach the optimal solution.
Improve Onboarding and Training
A well-designed employee onboarding process can help remote workers become more effective by establishing the organization's culture, setting expectations, and providing instructions on how to use the right tools to communicate and collaborate with each other.
Since the dynamic can be quite different when working with remote employees, you should offer managers the proper training so they feel confident about leading remote teams. For example, by using communication tools and project management software effectively to foster collaboration.
Implement Team Communication Rules
Establish team norms on how employees should communicate to set expectations and minimize errors or frustrations associated with delays and miscommunications.
Some of these rules include: which communication channels (e.g., email, messenger, phone) to use and the expected turnaround time for a reply, when team members should be available (e.g., to respond to chat or instant messages,) when team meetings are held, and when (if at all) employees should be in the office.
Store Files In a Centralized Location
Make sure that all remote workers can access the information they need to do their jobs from anywhere and at any time by storing data and files in a centralized location (e.g., Google Drive.) This will also ensure that everyone is working off the latest information to avoid errors and delays caused by version control issues.
Not to mention, many cloud storage solutions provide access control and cybersecurity measures to help safeguard sensitive information even when employees are logging into the system remotely.
Provide the Right Tools At the Right Cost
From video conferencing to accessing cloud computing platforms, employees need the right IT infrastructure and equipment so they can do their jobs efficiently.
For example, a laptop with a rugged and travel-friendly design, as well as LTE cellular capability (e.g., CTL Chromebook NL7 LTE) is great for employees that are often on the road so they can stay connected without having to look for WiFi connection or mobile hotspots.
The good news is that providing the right equipment doesn't have to break the bank! From Chromebook, tablets, and Chromebox workstation to touch display, Logitech Room Solutions for Google Meet, and Google Jamboard, our wide selection of Chrome for Enterprise products are designed for effective remote collaboration with a price tag that makes it more cost-effective than ever.