As companies and workers adjust to new ways of doing things, collaborative tools are coming to the rescue. Without the constant one-on-one touch points that come with working in close quarters, the ability to check in via digital means is what's keeping the trains running for many organizations.
Communication and collaboration are key
Across the board, virtual teams are depending upon strong collaboration and communication to get work done. According to Smartsheet, digital communication tools are at the top of the list for almost any organization seeking to maintain productivity across their distributed workforce base; research shows that 86% of executives, workers and educators agree that lack of collaboration is responsible for the bulk of workplace failures.
This means more and more companies are investing in online tools built for team collaboration and accountability. From video conferencing options to online task management platforms to fast communications and file-sharing channels, the collaborative tool market has exploded.
What types of tools are making the biggest difference in a world run on the backs of telecommuters? Ones that are easy to use and provide clear, consistent communication pathways are the most favored. While managers prefer tools that let them monitor employees, tracking their time and verifying task completion, employees lean toward collaborative tools that let them work with other members of the team efficiently and easily.
Slack notes that one of the top demands employees have to engineer quality collaborations is the ability to communicate easily and clearly with colleagues. Slack is just one of many tools built for smooth communication between employees, providing a way to chat in real time while sharing files and other information. This can be invaluable for check-ins, updates and quick troubleshooting sessions.
Other collaborative tools
Task management platforms allow employees to communicate and collaborate on tasks with multiple steps. One person may set up the task, a second complete phase one, and push it to another person for phase two. Finally, a project manager can sign off and deliver the finished project to a client. Being able to see at a glance which task is in what phase helps team members communicate quickly and efficiently without wasting time on follow-up calls or emails.
Video conferencing solutions let employees get together "face-to-face" for brainstorming or strategy sessions in real time. Web-based software allows for seamless audiovisual interaction, dissemination of key files to the group, and screen-sharing so everyone can get on the same page. Collaboration can be carried out on a call and those who missed it sent a recap to get them up to speed and keep them in the loop.
Time-tracking tools are invaluable for project managers, accounting departments and CFOs trying to manage costs and match invoicing to results. Remote employees can use a physical timer that works like a time clock on their computer, enter time manually, and assign hours worked to various tasks for a more granular approach.
Perle has everything you need to set up your company to support use of collaborative tools for remote teams. Read our customer success stories today.
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