We've heard stories of highly successful companies that had humble origins working out of a garage. As these companies grew, the teams moved from a garage to a sprawling campus, but the way they worked remained largely the same. It's still widely accepted that the best collaboration happens when teams are co-located. However, businesses today are facing an inverted reality—remote work. The future seems to be shifting to a hybrid model, with a few teams reporting to work and others telecommuting. With teams scattered in multiple locations, how do we ensure that business productivity is not compromised?
The answer to this lies in adopting smart productivity solutions. In this article, we'd like to share a guide for managers to facilitate exceptional teamwork in a digital working environment:
Collaborating on documents
An online file storage system is the core of your productivity toolkit. The art of acing remote work lies not just in managing files on the cloud but also in effectively working on them with your team. Create folders based on teams and projects, and define roles and privileges so that your employees are aware of their responsibilities. Avoid hours spent on team calls. Instead, just jump in to work together on an RFP document or sales presentation virtually, as if your peers are sitting right next to you. File storage and content collaboration platforms like Zoho WorkDrive offer exciting and contextual ways to work together and stay productive.
Breaking communication barriers
When we need help, we are used to walking up to a coworker's cubicle or clarifying concerns over by the water cooler. In a digital workplace, the same communication is transformed into emails and online meetings. Therefore, as a manager, you can pass on email hygiene tips like setting up email filters, creating a common inbox, and following up on notifications so that your teammates don't get lost when trying to communicate with their peers. Tight integrations between your email and virtual meeting software allow you to quickly connect with remote colleagues to discuss anything that requires face-to-face interaction. Facilitating this kind of real-time, virtual collaboration helps break the distance barrier.
Helping your team stay ahead of deadlines
Activities like blocking rooms for weekly scrum calls or delegating quarterly targets could soon find their place in history books. Supervising and monitoring team KPIs is now done through project management and agility tools. You can find the day-to-day activities of your team members all in one place, no matter where they are working from. This helps you motivate individuals who may be struggling or send words of appreciation to those that are performing well. You can also assign new tasks and share relevant documents about business objectives to keep everyone focused and informed. Your team can then attach their completed work to the corresponding activity itself. This helps you reduce employee anxiety and panic, and it also motivates your workforce to remain driven.
Apart from the ideas discussed above, there are several other hacks for overcoming remote productivity obstacles using digital workplace tools. For instance, your field marketing staff can strengthen customer and channel partner relationships by using the external file sharing options featured in many file management solutions. Creating virtual groups with external stakeholders on email and chat apps also makes collaboration more meaningful for business-facing teams. The best approach to increase productivity in a hybrid work model lies not just in using technology effectively but also customizing and integrating these apps to provide better support and context for teams both inside and outside the office.