When it comes to remote working, there are a few things that are fundamental for achieving success. At the top of this list, is good collaboration. The collaboration practices that your remote team follows are going to make or break it.
Illustration by Scale
Collaboration among the employees that are working together towards a certain goal should be top notch at all times. This isn’t always easy. From understanding the team culture to collaborating across different time zones, your distributed team is bound to face some challenges. Get a good and clear picture of what these could be and accordingly tackle them.
The thing with challenges is, you will inevitably face quite a few while collaborating on any project with your team, even if you feel you have solved for these. At the more personal level, some challenges you could face are keeping yourself motivated, dealing with isolation and burnout. This often leads to stress and can have harmful effects on the health of an individual. Find ways to decompress that work for you and practice them daily.
At the not so personal level, these challenges could be those such as problems caused due to troublesome clients. Careful and planned solving of these problems, and having high delivery standards on your commitments is a must to make sure that they are eradicated early on and do not become the cause of bigger problems at a later stage.
When it comes to cross team collaboration and communication, there may be issues such as time zone battles and people being left out of important decisions. These will require well made plans to improve it right from the structuring of the team. You might have to put people who live in a comparable time-zone on one aspect of the project, whereas you could take the bet of working on a not so critical component that does not require synchronous communication with people who can not match the work hours.
There is no one way in which you can ace your collaboration game. However, there are a certain set of norms you can follow to get to your goal. As with any role involving working together, you will have to collaborate on multiple aspects of the project. Depending on the role that you are assigned, it will involve steps such as brainstorming, design, documentation, etc. and these can be enhanced by making use of the right tools. Also, understanding how collaboration works in your remote team can help. Whether your team is better at collaborating through verbal communication or written, or if they have any particular preference that can be implemented with ease. Given the nature of remote teams, it is best to follow a set of proven norms and try out new things from time to time.
A common notion across any type of collaboration, is the need for good and efficient communication. Figuring the right practices for communication and implementing them is vital. Just like collaboration is at the top when it comes to successful teamwork, communication is at the top when it comes to successful collaboration. When collaborating with your remote team on any sort of a project, over communicating every little detail is going to make a huge difference in the speed with which things are done. Given that the individual level of understanding is different, make this such that every point is broken down and you are always open for clearing any doubts.
On a side note, collaboration is often confused with cooperation. Cooperation and collaboration vary in the aspect of the goal. While collaboration implies that the team works together towards a common goal, cooperation simply means that the people in the team use common resources to achieve their separate goals. There are a number of similarities and differences between the two. It is good to know what these are so that you cam focus on what is more important to your team.
The above are a few pointers on the benefits of good collaboration when working with your team on any given project. Good collaboration practices will give not only these, but quite a few other benefits such as having multiple minds working on the same thing is resulting in more creative ideas, faster output and better interpersonal relations.
Some amazing tools you could try for the above are:
- For improving on the shortcomings - FunRetro
- For braisntorming efficiently - Ayoa, Conceptboard
- For having things planned and sorted - Infolio
Do you feel that we left out on some points about collaboration and how to get it right? Are there any specifics you notice in your team or any particulars that are followed for more efficient collaboration? Do write about it in the comments below :))