Remote working is rapidly becoming the wave of the future. Being able to work from home or any location greatly entices individuals looking for employment because it provides them with flexible working hours, while simultaneously allowing them to enjoy their personal lives. Here are some tips to collaborate better in a project team.
Another reason work-from-home is increasingly embraced by many businesses is because it is cost effective. It grants employers better access to a wider talent pool as candidates’ location is no more an issue.
However, managing remote teams can be very frustrating at times, if proper communication channels are not utilized. Fortunately, these challenges can be overcome by employing the right cloud solutions and every project manager should, hence, adopt a digital toolset that includes cloud-based tools for sharing files and project management.
Here are our five favourite tools that can aid project managers in overcoming communication challenges and collaborating with their remote teams to enhance creativity and efficiency;
Slack is the most effective communication tool for remote teams as it centralizes all communication in one place. It is a lot like an online office space, which allows team members to work in partnership with one another, regardless of where they are located.
Besides enabling employees to stay connected on a personal level via direct conversations, Slack lets team conversations be organized into channels. ‘Channels’ can be created for just about anything from projects to departments or even for different teams working on a single project.
All team channels are open so that they can be viewed by everyone. This maintains transparency allowing all team members to be aware of what is going on and no one gets left out of the loop. Additionally, private channels with specific members can also be created, in case any confidential information is to be shared.
One-on-one or group voice and video calls can also be made using Slack so that you don’t have to waste your time on other apps. Moreover, it lets you share files, documents and images with a simple drag and drop! All messages, files and notifications are automatically archived and can be accessed and retrieved with a simple search.
Another exciting feature of Slack allows integrations of the different apps you use, which saves you the trouble of having to switch between apps. Therefore, this tool can be extremely helpful for project managers as they can keep tabs on their workers and also boost collaboration within their remote teams.
Dropbox is the simplest yet most efficient cloud storage and file synching tool. Since it is cloud based, the files saved onto it can be accessed from any device and from anywhere in the world.
Perhaps, one of the best features of Dropbox is that shared folders can be created for teams and that makes the shared data available to all members with ease. When a document is edited by one user, it is automatically updated in real time so all the users can see the changes. Team members can also leave their comments and feedback regarding the progress of their project on the shared files.
Another interesting feature of Dropbox is that a deleted file is not automatically discarded and can be restored within a thirty-day period. Hence, Dropbox is a great choice for businesses that employ remote workers as it offers an array of features that can make cooperation and collaboration between the managers and their teams more efficient and streamlined. Thus, it’s definitely worth a shot!
A useful management tool with a user friendly interface, Trello makes tracking tasks easier and less time consuming. Basically, a Trello board is like a list of things-to-do. Each list contains cards that are created to assign tasks to different team members.
Members that have access to the board can move the cards across the different lists and even to different boards. Once a card is created, comments, labels, due dates and attachments can be added on to it to inform the employee, to whom the task has been assigned, about what the project entails and what is required of them.
It is a great way to keep track of the assigned, pending, in progress and completed tasks. After a required task has been completed, discussions and feedback in the form of comments can be left on the card.
Users receive notifications almost instantaneously and, hence, they don’t have to open or refresh the application repeatedly. It can be accessed from all devices which makes it a handy tool for team collaboration.
The mental exertion, effort and time that goes into completing a project must be appreciated and the successes celebrated to keep the team spirit alive and the productivity levels high.
Every project manager must make this a top priority to ensure project progress. This is because a team, especially if it comprises people who are geographically dispersed, must be made to feel a part of something bigger. Therefore, celebrating accomplishments as a team is essential and with iDoneThis, this goal is now much easier to achieve.
iDoneThis is an email-based productivity log which documents the accomplishments of each team member by collecting information from them through email every night. It then sends out a digest highlighting the achievements of the entire team the following morning. This way, not only does this application keep track of the progress of the entire team but also inculcates a sense of belonging for each individual which can go a long way in augmenting productivity.
Face-to-face meetings are essential in business. Discussing agendas, brainstorming new ideas and laying down a general roadmap for the future all gets done during meetings.
With remote teams, this can be quite difficult due to the geographical locations of the workers. However, with the increasing number of tools that enable team members to video conference, this problem can be surmounted.
GoToMeeting is a great video conferencing tool that lets you interact with your globally located team members and also broadcast webinars to thousands of viewers. After having a scheduled meeting, you can simply use your GoToMeeting application to join calls and even for screen sharing. It also allows users to record calls so that they can review the discussions later. Thus, this is yet another tool that aids in ensuring smooth development of a project.
Remote collaboration can be very demanding and challenging. Implementation of appropriate web-based tools is the back bone of efficient project management, especially when working with remote teams. Hence, the tools mentioned above are essential for establishing effective communication between distributed companies and their teams and should definitely be employed to yield maximum productivity.