Today’s workplace is both global and virtual and these new demands require innovative approaches to communication, team building, and collaboration. Unlike static documents, which can be stored wherever a team member prefers, collaborative apps are fluid and live in the cloud. Remote working tools are designed specifically for remote collaboration in teams of remote workers. This article discusses some of the barriers to remote team collaboration and provides remote working tools which address them.
What are some of the potential barriers to remote team collaboration?
Distributed teams sometimes operate in different time zones which can make communication more challenging. Time zones which are too far a part can make it difficult for the whole team to jump on a call which is why asynchronous communication will be the dominant form of communication. Whilst not everything needs to be done in real-time, in person or in a call, remote working can appear transactional and team building can be harder in a fully remote environment. Colleagues can't just catch up over a coffee or brainstorm spontaneously over a whiteboard in a remote environment. Luckily, with the right framework and remote collaboration tools, organisations can overcome these challenges and accelerate remote team collaboration.
What are the different types of remote working collaboration tools?
The main types of remote working collaboration software are communication tools, productivity, employee time tracking software, project management tools and social tools. The following sub-categories can help streamline your remote collaboration.
Whilst email is a great way to communicate with your team, instant messaging can be more effective for quick questions and small tasks. The main platforms are Slack and Microsoft teams and are a great way for remote employees to communicate with each other and anyone in the organisation. Both platforms have integrated team collaboration tools to make it easier for colleagues to communicate on projects, track notifications and progress and share files. When choosing a communication tool it is important to choose one which easily integrates with your existing software suite e.g. Google workspace or Microsoft in order to get the most out of your tools.
Video conferencing solutions
Whilst communication platforms like Slack and workspaces such as Microsoft and Google offer native video conferencing solutions like hangouts, they can sometimes be a bit clunky for your remote team communication. Zoom offers a reliable solution for video calls which can also be used for organising team meetings for internal purposes but also for events, webinars and conference calls with clients. Other video communication apps such as Whereby can also be a great solution for organising video meetings with your team. Some of these solutions offer real-time transcription capabilities which can be useful for team members who are non-native speakers of your organisation's main language.
Whilst g suite users have access to the Google drive, and Microsoft users to One drive, there are other cloud storage options such as dropbox which might integrate better with your workflows and company software. If the main purpose of your cloud storage is to manage a specific type of spreadsheet or pdfs, it might be worth checking if there are collaboration platforms which solve the problem addressed by your specific type of spreadsheet, doc or pdf. For example, Legislate offers a much safer, robust and efficient way of creating custom contracts and managing them post-signature.
Project management tools
With the increased popularity of remote teams, there isn't always a centralised person who manages all of the day-to-day tasks. Tasks get lost in one online platform and then they fall through the cracks. Who can keep track of everything? That's where project management software comes into play. Project management software works to coordinate team activities and efforts, and ultimately helps to increase workflow efficiency by prioritising tasks on the go. Task management is particularly important for remote teams because each team member will be working individually on their own tasks without much visibility of what the rest of the team is doing. The most popular project management tools like Jira, Trello and Asana offer basic kanban boards to help keep track of to-do lists. Project management tools also offer workflow automation capabilities so that colleagues are notified when tasks are complete.
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Choosing your remote working collaboration tools
If you work remotely you’re going to need tools that allow you to collaborate and communicate easily. When choosing the right tools for your team, it’s important to choose the ones that match your style of work and your team's functionalities. Collaboration apps should be complemented with in-person check-ins as often as possible and should be considered for repetitive tasks which are currently solved in a sheet or require manually processing. Legislate is a great solution for creating custom lawyer-approved contract templates which meet your requirements. Legislate's end-to-end contracting platform offers a professional experience to all the parties and is accessible to small businesses thanks to simple and flexible pricing. To start creating contracts, sign up today.
Legislate is a contracting platform where business owners can create contracts to help grow and develop their business. Legislate's employment offer letters and contracts are key in protecting your IP and Legislate's NDAs are crucial to ensure you can have conversations and partnerships to help develop your business and brand. Book a demo or Sign up today to put the confidence back into contracting.
The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.