5 Tips for Improving Collaboration While Working From Home

5 Tips for Improving Collaboration While Working From Home

Managing dispersed teams has never been easier. With a wide array of video conferencing apps and productivity tools to choose from, it is much easier for most of the global workforce to work from somewhere other than the office. However, as the extended COVID-19 induced stay at home orders have shown, communication gaps and less face-to-face collaboration are two issues that can slow down productively while working remotely. Below are 4 tips that you can use to help improve collaboration while a large portion of your staff works from home.

Provide One Effective Communication Solution

In the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, many businesses struggled to find the right communication tools, bouncing around from WebEx, to Slack, to Zoom, to Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams. While many businesses ultimately landed on Microsoft Teams as the best option, it was still difficult to enforce one application across the entire business. When a business has more than more communications tool for chat, messaging, calls, and video conferences, it is very easy to lose information, miss a message, or be late for a meeting.

Roughly 75% of employees regard collaboration and teamwork as important.

How often has this scenario happened to you? You remember seeing a file, but you aren’t exactly sure where you saw it. You check your email…nope. You look in Teams to no avail. Finally, you remember it was sent in a private chat during a Zoom conference with a client, which you can no longer access. By setting standards and providing easy to use tools, you can greatly reduce frustration and improve collaboration across the board.

Use Your Tools to Their Full Ability

Did you know Teams meetings automatically have a notes section? Or that Microsoft ToDo can send you automated reminders to Teams or your Email? Or that you can add a Power BI report or Planner Board to the primary file structure on any Teams Channel? By being bold and exploring the additional features of your collaboration tools, you can keep things simple and avoid using multiple tools, which in turn will make it easier to collaborate.

Best Online Communications Software of 2021

Set Boundaries…Using Technology

This was a big recommendation that we heard as people started to get burned out from too much screen time during the pandemic. Microsoft and other technology solutions have several features that can help employees take much needed mental health breaks. Microsoft’s new MyAnalytics feature can be used to set reminders to take breaks and track how often employees are working after hours. Also, encourage employees to set Teams to “Do No Disturb” when working on critical projects or taking a break.

Empower Employees to Roam Free Around Their Homes

Let’s face it, sitting in the same spot all day, alone, can be grueling. It is important to give employees a chance to stretch their legs and still be productive. This can be accomplished by encouraging employees to use Teams on their mobile device so they can work from another room or outside and ensuring that files can be accessed online from any device by using SharePoint or OneDrive. By allowing employees more flexibility, they will be able to increase productivity and stay happy while keeping business data secure and easy to find.

Make Sure Everything Works

Nothing is worse than losing connectivity or having an application crash in the middle of getting down to business. One of the best forms of IT is proactive IT that looks to have everything running smoothly, instead of a reactive break-fix approach, which can be frustrating for employees. Make sure that all of your system are fully patched and updated, and proactively scan for any security issues that could cause downtime down the road. Also, partnering with a good IT services provider is a great way to ensure that your IT infrastructure is monitored 24/7 and running smoothly.

Conclusion

74% of workers say that having the option to work remotely would make them less likely to leave a company.

Even as the world slowly gets back to normal, many employees will continue to work from home for the long term, and it is important for businesses to fully enable remote work. Remember, happy employees are productive employees.

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