The goal when deploying any tool to be used by your team is that they will actually use it. Gaining buy-in from your remote staff on the tools and applications you select will empower them to not only use them but optimize the way they do business, making the investment you make more substantial. Selecting tools with a variety of different features for collaboration, those that promote instant communication, and those that are stable and easy to use will help your team collaborate efficiently from anywhere.
Use a Variety of Tools
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to communicating and people may work differently than their peers. Utilizing a variety of tools, or one multi-functional tool to access business information and communicate with clients and coworkers alike will help ease the transition to a remote office.
Each tool deployed in your environment should help to emulate certain business situations that normally take place within the office. Using email alone can isolate those employees that thrive off of face-to-face communication, while video solutions can be a source of anxiety for others.
Face-to-face communication fosters mutual knowledge between colleagues, helping bridge gaps that email and phone conversations may unintentionally create. Having the ability to see someone’s facial expressions and mannerisms while communicating with them helps to build trust between colleagues, boosting productivity and morale.
It’s also a nice reminder that your coworkers are still out there, even if you can’t be together at the moment. Collaborative tools that allow screen sharing and instant file transfers help emulate face-to-face communication without having to hop on a video call, which is perfect for those that prefer to stay behind the scenes.
Utilize Tools That Promote Instant Communication
When employees are working remotely there are fewer opportunities for in-person time with their peers and supervisors, something that many people thrive off of. This also means that supervisors aren’t able to oversee the daily activities of their employees as easily, which can be a source of concern for some.
Some supervisors may feel as though working remotely will stifle productivity. On the opposite side of the spectrum, employees working remotely may feel isolated without readily available access to their peers and managers. Instant messaging (IM) and presence tools boost the confidence level of supervisors, giving them the ability to see the status of any given employee at a glance. With these tools, employees can connect in real-time and connect one-on-one with supervisors as needed.
Choose Tools That Are Smarter, Not Harder
Working from home full-time when you’re used to working from a centralized office can be a source of stress for employees. Your team will need to develop new habits and methods for accomplishing the same level of work they’re used to, except now with the added challenge of doing so away from their support system.
If the tools implemented for remote staff are not as streamlined or easy to use as those in the office, productivity and morale are sure to plummet. When evaluating any tool for use in a remote environment, business leaders should take ease of use into serious consideration. If tools are kludgy and difficult to navigate, employees likely won’t use them and will find other ways of accomplishing the same objective, which may mean that a task takes longer to complete.
Involve Key Resources in the Decision Making Process
One way to ensure employee excitement regarding a new collaboration tool is to involve them in the decision-making process. There is no better focus group for evaluating a new tool for use in the general population of your company than the employees that will use it daily.
Assembling a team of resources from different functional areas of the business to evaluate different products is a great way to gain insight into what your team needs to be successful at their job. It’s also a great way to get people excited about a new tool, and their excitement will spread to others like wildfire.
Selecting tools that will actually be used by your remote workforce can be a daunting task. It can be difficult to navigate through the numerous tools aimed at bringing remote employees together, and even more difficult to obtain buy-in from your team.
Our team at CCS has done extensive research regarding collaboration tools. We understand what works well and which tools should be left behind. Our highly experienced engineering team provides exceptional value and insight into the world of remote work, offering comprehensive knowledge of the full
Contact CCS today to help boost productivity, morale, and employee satisfaction through the use of remote collaboration tools.