In-office or collaboration at work is not a new thing. The process of ideation or project implementation is often times achieved due to team collaborative efforts. Even without the advent of the present pandemic, there are a variety of reasons to connect teams remotely, namely distance and schedule. And while it may not be for everyone, connecting everyone via long-distance channels overcomes long-standing organizational problems in a number of ways.
With globalization, multinational corporations have become commonplace and remote collaboration has become more important as a result. In many cases, corporate offices are located in at least two continents. Even on a national level, it’s common to see multiple branches located in different regions of the same country. Since you will likely have to work with your counterparts who are located elsewhere, you will need to learn how to work together with remote collaboration.
What Is Remote Collaboration?
Simply put, remote collaboration is the ability to engage as a team from anywhere in the world. Gone are the days of needing to work in the same physical space as your co-workers and superiors – with remote collaboration, you can truly be anywhere! Remote collaboration remedies distance limitations by way of collaborative tools.
Tools meant for remote collaboration are based primarily on the features a team may require to best succeed. Shared word processing services, file-sharing hubs, video conferencing, and general project management interfaces are just a few examples of features that may be required as remote collaboration tools.
What Are the Main Factors of Remote Collaboration?
There are 3 major factors that are core enablers of remote collaboration. Universal Participation, Accessibility and Regularity. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to jump straight into the facilitation of remote collaboration without thinking a few things through first. The underlying factors that will aid in your ultimate success are well worth the discipline and consideration you’ll need to put into them.
Remote collaboration is meaningless when the team, or certain team members, do not actually engage in collaboration. Are certain team members contributing less than others in meetings? Is this a result of work output, or a side-effect of the remote work environment? Whether it be individual meetings or new effective meeting strategies, the key is to find a balance of what works. Especially when it comes to smaller teams, the more voices heard and opinions in the mix will only serve to strengthen collaboration and productivity.
Just as universal participation amongst team members is essential for the success of the remote collaboration, so too is access to and communication with the other members of the team. This is particularly important when you find yourself requiring a collaborator’s input, only to find that they’re away from their computers or offline. Ultimately, there is the need to have co-workers on specified ‘working hours’. During this time, all team members should ideally be accessible and able to communicate on a moment’s notice.
Regularity, or habitual routines and practices, is the primary factor that governs the efficiency and success of long-distance collaboration. Attendance at team meetings is essential for any team-based operation. In remote circumstances, which are typically more flexible than ordinary work environments, regularity ensures that attendance becomes second nature. Moreover, just as in the case of accessibility, regularity makes certain that collaboration occurs, even when team members are remote.
How to make Remote Collaboration productive
Like with most other types of project collaboration, poor lines of communication and a lack of internal standards are just a few symptoms of ineffective remote collaborations. Some of the reasons why effective remote collaboration is so important are; Clear and Efficient Communication, Internal Process Acceptance, and Unique Idea Generation.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Remote Collaboration?
Like anything else, remote collaboration has its benefits and its drawbacks. This is particularly the case when done in an ineffective and inefficient manner. However, when done well, remote collaboration can help team members transcend the sum of its parts and create final products that are nothing short of remarkable. With that in mind, the pros and cons of remote collaboration are as follows:
- All working styles can be accommodated
- Research shows remote employees are often more productive
- Employees can focus entirely on the job, instead of office politics
- Prospect of remote work/collaboration often attracts greater talent
- Can increase an employee’s communication skills
- Reduced need for corporate workspace
- Employees may feel isolated from the rest of the team and company
- Potentially limited accessibility, if working in multiple time zones
- Face-to-Face communication may be limited or nonexistent
- Relies on team members’ sense of self-motivation
- Largely reliant on 3rd party software that can experience glitches or downtime
Wowbii Interactive is Africa’s foremost manufacturer of interactive flat panel displays. With solutions for Corporates and Education, Wowbii is set to support education technology adoption that will leapfrog schools into 21st century learning spaces.
To take learning, business interaction, ideation and team collaboration to the next level using the best of interactive technology available, let us take a look at what you presently use, assess your needs and recommend what would best suit your home office or establishment to enhance productivity, ensure a sustained profitable business and expansion
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