Reliability & Maintenance Center Work Processes Workforce

Improve Remote Collaboration

EP Editorial Staff | April 1, 2021

Constant online meetings/communication can start to wear on employees. These tips will help people cope with today’s remote-work environment.

Companies worldwide distributed their workforces when the pandemic hit, ditching office space for the flexibility of working from home or anywhere else.

There are numerous benefits of remote work, but the lack of physical structure can take its toll on employees who thrive in an in-person setting. According to Corey Hulen, CTO at Mattermost, Palo Alto, CA, while every team will have a different remote experience, there are six keys to unlocking a great team and employee experience.

Record & Share Meeting Videos

Help keep team members who couldn’t join the meeting looped in by making meeting videos available for later viewing. It’s also a great practice to document and log meeting notes.

More Office Hours

One of the great things about remote teams is that they’re usually great at working asynchronously. This can present challenges and disconnection for some employees, which is why it’s important to have face-to-face interactions. Setting aside time to interact—especially casually—is challenging. There’s no correct way to replicate the spontaneity of in-person interactions online but having anti-meetings or brief catch-up conversations to say hello can break up monotony and lend much-needed human connection.

Manage Offline Time

With a globally distributed team, it’s not uncommon for messages to be sent when people are offline. It’s useful to preface those messages with some indication of urgency. Setting offline hours on a shared calendar is an effective way to communicate designated work times. Companies should also explore options that allow their IT team to design a workplace-messaging system that is conducive to their employees on-the-clock and off-the-clock needs.

Organize Smaller Meetups

Logging into an online meeting that involves dozens of face tiles can be overwhelming. Remote workers see a great need for smaller meetups for specific teams and cohorts. Ending a large meeting with smaller breakout sessions can be a good bridge to allow employees to talk through company news and updates outside of a companywide setting.

Recognize Personal Dynamics

Check in with your employees, especially those who have communicated life changes such as a new baby or an ill family member. It’s also necessary to check on employees who aren’t sending any distress signals to make sure they’re functioning well. Create a culture that embraces the fact that people have children, spouses, and even pets who might make an appearance on a call, or that personal obligations may require an occasional shift in schedule.

Recognize Challenges

Many of us will be working remotely for the near future. There is a range of ways to tackle the challenges, from process tweaks to technological improvements. While productivity is key, it can’t be achieved with a team core that is burned out, lacking passion, and looking for a way out. Make sure your employees are the most recognized and celebrated component of your company. EP

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