Remote collaboration refers to the process that helps people to communicate and stay in touch from anywhere in the world. This allows people to work from their comfort and businesses to find the best talent no matter where they live. Your team could also be in several cities, states, or maybe countries but remote communication is straightforward with remote tools such as actual hardware like laptops and an internet connection. More commonly used software includes collaborative document editors like Google Docs, and Microsoft 365, different managing applications, video conferencing apps, instant messengers, and email.
Importance of Remote Collaboration Post COVID-19
COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown restrictions resulted in the worldwide population engaging from home almost overnight. To confirm that productivity wasn’t affected, companies rushed to implement software that might help people still work together.
Collaboration is vital for any company. With the increasing move towards work from home, working in unprecedented situations isn’t compromised when making the foremost of the opposite benefits functioning from home can provide. Moreover, effective teamwork not only allows individuals to require responsibility for or their part of any project but also allows them to focus on that area.
Challenges with Remote Collaboration
- No clear boundaries – Without clear boundaries and routines during the workday, people can end up answering emails all the time, and feel like they’re working around the clock. This makes them less productive and eventually leads to burnout.
- Asynchronous communication
- Unfamiliarity — Async may not be familiar to many people who are used to real-time chat and engaging with colleagues and superiors.
- Change Management — Async requires more data gathering upfront with effort placed on the earliest request
- Speed — Since there is less direct interaction, there is less opportunity to measure and get real-time feedback
- Decision-making struggles – When people can’t come together physically, it becomes a lot harder for brainstorming and debate ideas. Teams often rely on video conferencing tools like Zoom to stay connected, but these tools can complicate ideas.
- Culture breakdown – Creating a positive culture of trust isn’t easy- it takes a lot of effort to promote and maintain it, even in an office environment. When a team is physically isolated from one another, the struggle to maintain a strong culture becomes 10x greater. People can easily feel left out, undervalued, or ignored, which can lead them to psychological tests or take a step back from their team and work.
Challenges with Hybrid workforce
- Misalignment between in-office and remote employees
- Balance during meetings
- Office space and rent
- Overhead and labor costs
- Management and collaboration
6 Reasons Why Remote Teams Need Agile Project Management Tool
Agile project management tools focus on delivering maximum value against business priorities within the given time and budget, especially when the will to deliver outweighs the risk. The Agile methodology is used by project managers and clients in project management companies. This iterative system is also known to be a priority when the project management team works remotely.
1. Effective Planning
Agile methodology helps in project planning by using the number of tasks in previous sprints to estimate the workload that a team can carry in future sprints. Also, Agile encourages effective planning by enabling the proper scheduling of tasks that helps the project manager to analyze and assign tasks that suits their strengths and abilities by undertaking how the team performed in previous sprints.
2. Teamwork and Collaboration
Project team members in Agile should relay information about progress and barriers. In the long run, they become familiar and share a common sense of identity, which positively affects the project. However, in Agile, tasks are shared after the sprint, i.e. the performance of one task depends on the performance of another. Therefore, teamwork among members is very important for the production of a large project.
3. Regular Meetings and Reports
Regular meetings and reports help to review progress and decode the way forward. These meetings are referred to as scrum meetings and sometimes it is also called standup. Scrum meetings help to trace progress and to track important data and metrics. Budgets, deadlines, and timelines need to be communicated at the scrum meeting to hold everyone along. Specific data displaying the activities of the various project management professionals and the way they contribute to the whole process is sometimes shared and analyzed at scrum meetings.
Agile project management tools are built on flexibility. The objective of a project in the initial stage and final stage often does not match. The freedom to make frequent changes is a plus for Agile.
5. Risk Management
The agile method has a great risk management device, especially for remote teams. This device works in four important steps; risk identification, risk assessment, risk response, and risk review.
- Risk identification – Project risk can be identified by any member of the team. However, project managers identify the risks usually. In many cases, the customer/business owner also discovers the risk. Additionally, scrum meetings force project team members to look inward and ask questions that can identify risks.
- Risk assessment – Risk assessment is measured by examining the likelihood that the risk materializes and the damage it can cause. Most risk managers use risk management software and calculations to approach risk.
- Risk response – Risk response is essentially the solution to risk. It involves using different methods to deal with the effects of risk on an ongoing project.
- Risk review – Risk review involves the application of risk assessment and risk response. Risk review prevents the reappearance of risks and early detection of risks.
Milestones track progress to complete a portion of work. Measuring progress using milestones encompasses a great deal of what Agile methodology is about and the information found from regular sprints enable the team to move forward and plan for future sprints.
Remote Team Collaboration Tools
Remote communication and collaboration tools help businesses and companies work with internal and remote teams. These web-based tools have become increasingly popular among professionals who communicate and collaborate daily with internal and external teams.
1. G Suite
Google’s G Suite is a collection of communication and collaboration apps capable of taking your business to the next level. It’s the only service through which people streamline the way of communication and collaboration on important tasks and projects.
- Sending and receiving emails through Gmail
- Working on a workspace like Docs, Sheets, and Slides
- Save copies of important documents and files in the Drive and easily share the documents
- Connecting, and arranging meetings with team members from different sources of mediums like laptops, computers, and mobiles
2. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams helps to keep communication in internal and external meetings organized, easy to follow up on and improves the effectiveness of collaborative work.
- Create a shared space for the team
- Integrates with all Microsoft’s Suite products
- Compatible with iOS and Android platforms
- Encrypted communication with external and internal teams
3. Cloudways Team Feature
The Cloudways Team Feature helps to distribute workload among team members. With this feature, adding team members is as easy as adding their email addresses and granting permissions from the platform.
- You can easily add, update, and delete team members using the Cloudways Team feature
- You can permit the team member(s) to access Billing, connect with the Support team, and give business access to the Cloudways Platform
Slack is a popular remote communication and messaging platform built for interdepartmental and cross-functional teams. Rather than browsing multiple threads of emails and finding out email clutter, Slack makes it easy to attach, share relevant files, and create groups in line with specific channels.
- Simple interface
- Makes searching out groups easier
- Compatible with Android and iOS platforms
Zoom overcomes this obstacle by allowing meetings with a maximum of 1000 participants. At the basic level, team meetings can continue for 40 minutes. However, the number of visits is unlimited.
- Integrate Zoom meetings into your Calendar
- Creating a Waiting Room so that specific participants can join the meeting
- Interactive backgrounds to hide clattered rooms
Hubstaff helps identify gaps by monitoring and analyzing team activities like clocking, assigning team members to specific tasks, and assessing the general contribution of team members towards a particular task/project.
- Receive project alerts and notifications
- Monitoring team members to ensure team efficiency and productivity
- Tracking billing for team members working on contracts, including freelancers and external teams
Trello is a very versatile and easy-to-use project management tool based on the Kanban system. It allows admins to create cards and follow a streamlined process that is customizable as per requirement.
- Easily organize and manage tasks and projects
- Customizable cards
- Easy to include internal and external teams in project cards
In 2020, the remote work revolution accelerated hugely. This paved the road for the work-from-home lifestyle. The irrefutable benefits that remote work provides for employees, employers, and customers mean that it’s not likely to be going anywhere soon. Businesses need to leverage their remote workforce potential by demonstrating best practices for remote working, equipping teams with the right tools, and fostering an open and honest environment among remote workers.
Want to know how Engagedly can help you in remote collaboration? Book a live demo with us.