Remote work: 8 tips for successful teamwork

How to collaborate effectively while working remotely? What tools and practices should be put in place to improve remote collaboration?

Remote work is an asset for companies, provided that team cooperation is successful. How can you work together effectively while working remotely? With our tips, telework can only better for your business!

1. Work together in remote

Firstly, it's important to understand the concept of team collaboration. It's a term that's often used, but rarely explained. Teamwork refers to the ability of group members to work together to achieve a common goal by sharing ideas, knowledge, skills, and resources. This often involves effective communication and coordination among team members to make decisions, solve problems, and accomplish tasks in a teamwork environment.

Now let's discuss about collaboration in remote work. The idea remains the same, but at a distance. Teams communicate, share their knowledges and skills using powerful collaborative tools. All team members can play an important role in adding value, which develops the collective intelligence of the company. It is not about sharing everything, doing everything together, or working at the same time. Work together can be both synchronous and asynchronous, where team members do not work simultaneously.

This way of work is becoming more democratized because it goes hand in hand with new technologies like collaborative platforms.

Collaboration in remote work is, therefore, a driving force for involvement, cohesion, and innovation.

2. Teamwork in remote: a challenge for companies

Remote work has become an essential asset for attracting candidates and retaining employees. In fact, it's a prerequisite for changing companies for nearly half of executives.

However, there is one area of concern that companies must face: remote collaboration can be a hindrance to team productivity and efficiency. All remote teams, whether small, medium, or large,  can be affected by:

  • Communication problems: exchanges may be more difficult, and misunderstandings more frequent.
  • Lack of clarity and activity tracking: remote workers may be lost in their tasks, and projects may not progress.
  • Poor information sharing: important data may not be transmitted, which weakens team effectiveness.
  • Decreased social cohesion: there is a decrease in interactions between teams, and the feeling of isolation can be significant.

Remote teamwork becomes a real challenge for companies that must implement tools and processes to optimize it. To help you in your daily work, here are our best practices for improving remote cooperation.

3. Our tips for effective telecommuting teamwork

  1. Use the right tools to telework and learn how to use them well
  2. Define communication rules
  3. Use activity tracking
  4. Strengthen inter-teamwork
  5. Improve your remote management
  6. Have efficient and focused meetings
  7. Create a positive environment
  8. Improve team cohesion

Digital tools are essential for remote work. The main solution is videoconferencing, used by 91% of remote workers. Other tools also include instant messaging, document sharing, shared calendars, and project management solutions.

Nevertheless, with this multitude of tools, remote teams risk getting lost. Between the different user accounts, the software to install, and switching between tabs... Iit can be difficult to keep track of everything.

Our advice is to use a single solution that combines all of these features. Teamwork is simplified because users have all the resources in one place. In addition to being a time saver, the use of a collaborative tool limits company expenses because only one tool is sufficient.  Discover all the advantages of a collaborative platform in our article.

To choose the solution that meets your needs, make a diagnosis beforehand: have you already implemented one or more tools? What are your needs? What is the level of skills and knowledge of your teams in terms of digital tools?

Above all, choose a tool that respects your data and those of your teams. For example, at Atolia, we implement more than 50 security and privacy measures to protect your data.

Once you have chosen your tool, make sure your teams know how to use it properly. Here are some of our tips:

  • Define processes and rules for use within your teams. Everyone should know how to use the tool according to projects, themes, or needs. Establish a frequency for updating tasks, how to document and assign them.
  • Train your teams: some tools are easy and intuitive to use. However, make sure everyone understands how it works.
  • Change your status based on your availability: "online", "busy", "offline"...
  • Manage your tool notifications so that you are not disturbed in your tasks. Some tools offer personalized settings based on your needs.

In teleworking, poor communication makes any progress inefficient because information is not transmitted. Good communication is, therefore, essential for the success of your projects. To do this, use the right tools to communicate with your teams. Prioritize video conferencing or instant messaging over email.

Indeed, email is more useful for communicating information with external collaborators. But traceability is complicated and exchanges are prolonged. Information tends to be lost because it is drowned in the flood of emails.

Conversely, using a chat offers more reactivity. The exchange history allows for better traceability and collaboration in synchronous or asynchronous mode. Instant messaging and video conferencing are effective for resolving issues more quickly. Creating groups or channels of discussion by themes, projects or teams is ideal for sharing information with the right people. Video conferencing, on the other hand, is very useful for avoiding non-verbal communication barriers.

However, be sure to set certain rules, such as expected response times and the need to write clear and understandable messages to avoid implications that will not be understood. It is also important to signal your arrival at the beginning of the day and your departure so that the entire team is informed of each other's presence.

Une femme est en visioconférence avec son équipe

To organize and track your activities, use a task management tool in to-do list mode. This solution is effective for everyone and for many reasons.

The team and the manager can see the progress of the projects and work collaboratively by setting deadlines. Tasks are assigned to collaborators and everyone knows what they have to do. This allows for responsability and workload balancing among all team members.

You can also hold individual meetings to follow up on projects and to take the temperature: blocking points, opinions, questions, moraleof each person...

This activity tracking improves management and the remote work experience because everything is clear and understandable.

In remote work, as in on-site, work together can be weakened by the isolation of departments. Teams are isolated and informations are not transmitted.

However, breaking down departmental barriers promotes idea-sharing, stimulates creativity and innovation. Collaborators work together to solve problems and create new solutions. All teams are synchronized and aligned with the objectives.

To achieve this, share information and documents in organized workspaces, groups or discussion channels so that they can be found and made available to everyone.

Teamwork makes the dream work

The success of collaboration in remote work largely depends on management. The manager must adapt their behavior to favor close management, being the link between the direction and the staff. They are responsible for aligning their team's missions with the management’s objectives and must convey a clear vision while encouraging adherence to the company's values.

Here are some tips for developing effective close management in remote work:

  • Clarify the roles and responsibilities of each team member.
  • Plan activities and provide regular follow-up.
  • Set monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual goals that are measurable and achievable. Prioritize them and remind everyone frequently.
  • Ensure that everyone is aligned with their missions and goals, by organizing regular team or individual meetings.
  • Encourage "e-communication" to stay in regular contact with each team member. Provide continuous feedback and encourage proposals, opinions, and ideas from everyone. Interpersonal trust and autonomy are key factors for successful cooperation in remote work.

Whether on-site or remotly, have efficient meetings and save time. Some of our tips include:

  • Keep in mind to document rather than meet. 99% of topics can be handled asynchronously via email or documents.
  • Reserve meetings for moments where decisions need to be made or obstacles need to be overcome.
  • Build a clear and concise agenda, assign someone to take notes, and make a record of the meeting.
  • Reduce the default duration of meetings and make sure to end them on time to respect everyone's schedule. Constraints help to be efficient. To do this, designate a timekeeper.
  • Give all participants the opportunity to speak. Some people feel comfortable speaking in public, while others prefer to think about things quietly. To facilitate speaking, send documentation in advance, create an idea box or survey.

Find all our tips for efficient meetings on our blog.

To optimize remote teamwork, create an environment that promotes kindness and cross-functional communication, openness to criticism and transparency. Value well-done work and develop everyone's skills. Empower team members through trust and autonomy by sharing the necessary tools and information to work effectively.

By following the various tips in this article, you will succeed in creating a favorable environment.

Remote work can pose challenges for the well-being of employees. Feelings of isolation, lack of belonging, and demotivation are often highlighted. These obstacles hinder collaboration and productivity.

To improve team cohesion, it is possible to establish rituals or online activities. For example, play online games or have informal video calls to replace coffee machine chats. At Atolia, we have 15-minute team events in our schedule to join each other in video calls and chat.

Hybrid work, alternating between office and remote workdays, can also contribute to everyone's well-being. At Atolia, we choose our days for on-site work, usually for team meetings or team-building activities. Conversely, we prefer remote workdays for calls with clients and partners.

With our advice, you can improve teamwork in remote, promote company culture, and improve your team's well-being. You have the cards in your hand, it's your turn to play!