What a time to be alive, hey? There is talk of a backup on the moon for all human knowledge, cauliflower can now become buffalo wings (and cake!), and cool new collaboration tools for remote teams have kept us somewhat sane while we find our feet amidst an ongoing global pandemic.
In fact, as disruptive and terrible as COVID-19 may be, the one thing it did for the working world is show us the amazing benefits of digitisation. Moving many aspects of our professional lives online has made us more flexible, increasingly productive, and even less likely to call in sick.
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However, for dispersed teams to function to the best of their ability, they need the right kind of tools. Here is our round-up of 10 essential collaboration tools for remote teams in 2021:
1. Video conferencing
First things first, you’re going to need a video conferencing platform that can take care of the communication needs of your remote teams and can accommodate a fairly large amount of people on one call. Ideally you want a platform that offers active speaker view, attendee management, board meetings, instant chat/messaging, content management capabilities, as well as the option for company branding.
2. Cloud storage and file sharing
Next up, you'll need a cloud-storage solution. Look out for platforms that allow for automatic storage and back-up, activity audits, file recovery, team folder management, encryption security, external sharing, and enterprise mobility management.
3. File collaboration
When it comes to file-sharing, opt for a digital solution that offers an integrated workspace that is easy to use so your employees can spend less time managing their work and more time doing it. There are great options available that integrate AI and search technology to help employees work from anywhere on any device with tools that are designed for integration and customisation.
4. Project management
Keeping track of who’s doing what in any given project is also very important. Ideally you want a platform that allows for activity logging, due date tracking, offers an execution board, search via tags and keywords, as well as user access controls. This way your team leaders will be able to set all of the tasks and processes related to their ongoing projects, ideally by means of handy templates that are already available in the application. This saves a lot of time and work in the long run.
5. Time tracking
It can be tricky to track time when your crew aren't physically in the office unless you have a software solution that has been tailored to facilitate seamless collaboration between co-workers while still keeping track of billable hours. Look out for a platform that offers you the option of creating different timers for each project so you can track how much each client owes the business, and which projects are taking up the most time.
6. Business-focused chat
On-the-fly communication becomes a little harder when you are no longer sitting next to your co-workers in person, so pave the way for effective interaction by investing in software that allows for real-time chat, discussion threads, search, file sharing and alerts/notifications.
7. Employee recognition and reward
Company culture matters perhaps now more than ever. One of the best ways to ensure that your employees feel connected to their peers and tapped into your overall culture while they work from home is to ensure that you recognise and reward good work in a way that aligns with your cultural imperatives and overarching company mission and vision.
The key to getting a greater return from people is to engage and motivate them more effectively. And while there are many employee recognition and engagement solutions to choose from – not all are created equal. bountiXP is unique in the way that it focuses on people’s productivity by linking employees’ actions with organisational goals and values.
We call it dual-purpose recognition. Each message of recognition created on the platform requires the employee to link it with a relevant strategic business goal or organisational value. By combining the power of goal-based and values-based recognition, bountiXP aligns strategy and culture for business success.
8. Survey and feedback
When your team is dispersed, it can be hard to stay abreast of employee sentiment and remain ahead of the curve with regard to any underlying issues that may be interfering with optimal engagement. Survey-driven insights and feedback are invaluable in this regard. bountiXP enables you to send pulse surveys and gather feedback, fast. Surveys can be pre-scheduled or created spontaneously, plus you are able to choose from pre-set surveys or customise your own.
9. Remote onboarding
Looking ahead, you need to be prepared to onboard new recruits remotely if required. You will need to assist remote team members to connect with their peers, put systems in place to communicate effectively and train managers to support these new recruits without actually having met them in the flesh. Fortunately, there are innovative SaaS-based platforms available that will help you to do so.
10. Corporate alumni
These days, most forward-thinking companies understand that the employee experience extends beyond the exit interview. Major enterprises like Microsoft, Nestle, and LinkedIn have vibrant alumni communities that pave the way for boomerang hires, business leads, mentoring opportunities and more.
The best way to get things started is to invest in an alumni platform that offers personalised UX, top-notch analytics that deliver real-time insights and the automation of manual tasks from a community management perspective.
There you have it - 10 collaboration tools for remote teams that will help your crew to embrace corporate culture, stay happily engaged and work together efficiently.
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