How to Streamline Collaboration on Virtual Teams

In this era of remote work, the ability to adapt to virtual communication is crucial for any company’s productivity. Overcomplicated communication and workflows can have a major impact on productivity, causing employees to miss 26% of their deadlines per week. With the right tools and strategy, however, virtual teamwork can actually be more productive than working in person, saving hours of meeting time while allowing team members to work asynchronously, but still stay up to date on their projects.

Put Systems in Place

Remote work has ushered in a system of more flexible working. Hours don’t have to be 9-5, employees don’t have to be in the same place, and the lack of structure can make it feel much harder to stay on top of what everyone is doing.

In order to make up for the natural structure of 9-5 office work, it’s essential to put systems in place to ensure that work can be done as efficiently as possible. One way to do this is to start by thinking of all the projects that your team needs to complete. This can be anything from daily tasks to more long-term projects.

Once you have a list of all the projects that need to get done, think about the processes you have used up to this point for each of those things. How can these be adapted to the virtual space? How can they be improved? Does anything feel like it’s moving too slowly or taking up too much time?

Revamping your workflows can be a great opportunity to streamline the way you do work, taking some of the burden off yourself and your team by reducing unnecessary tasks, communication, and meeting time. 77% of remote workers reported that working outside of the traditional office environment increases their productivity, showing that remote work can be an advantage if handled properly.

Use Virtual Tools to Streamline Productivity

One of the many benefits of remote work is that it has introduced many workplaces to the benefits of virtual productivity tools. These tools harness the power of technology to solve problems that can hold back productivity at various stages in a team’s workflow. Need to store those random thoughts you have while working on other projects? There’s an app for that. Scheduling meetings across different time zones? That too.

Once you dive into the universe of new productivity tools, things can start to get overwhelming. This can be especially true for teams not used to using various digital platforms throughout their workflows.

If you’re at a loss for where to start, think of key processes that your team needs to keep track of. For many teams, these may be communication, task management, and scheduling. Once you pinpoint these key areas, you can find digital tools that will streamline these processes. Do be careful of using too many productivity tools—it’s often best to find one tool that fits your company’s needs and use it to keep everything in one place.

Get Everyone on the Same Page

Remote work has grown quickly, increasing 91% in the past ten years, so some employees may still be used to the way that things work in an office. Especially if you’re implementing new software, it can be a good idea to have a workshop for your team on how to use the software in general, and how you as a team will be using it.

It is often difficult for people to adapt to new ways of doing things, so as a team leader it’s a good idea to be the expert on your new systems. Make sure you are always using them, modeling the behavior you’d like your team to join in on. In addition, it may be helpful to remind your team to use the new tools and processes you’re implementing, and be flexible with them as they learn their way around.

Always Stay Adaptable

There is no one strategy for facilitating teamwork that works for everyone. Finding the best ones for your team will naturally be a process of trial and error, so make sure to look out for what’s working, what’s not, and what you may be able to improve on. This will help you to further streamline your productivity systems, and harness the power of technology to make work simpler and more productive than ever.

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