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4 Ways to encourage collaboration within a remote workforce

In an age where technology is creating a more flexible workforce, the question that many business experts are asking is ‘Are remote teams the future of the workplace?’. The fact is, more and more young employees are choosing this type of employment over traditional office based jobs due to the freedom it offers them. To maximize their capacity to be more productive at certain hours of the day, a lot of companies have been offering employees flexible working hours and the freedom to control their own time.

This shift in how employees work has forced companies to adapt to how they lead teams and foster collaboration. In this post we look at four ways a company can encourage teamwork between remote workers.

Company culture

Like in any regular office, company culture is one of the reasons why employees stay. You want to create a space that encourages growth and collaboration between its members. A Stanford University study found that companies who promote collaborative work practices performed five times better than companies that don’t.

However, this can be much harder to do when employees don’t work in the same space and rarely see each other. This is why it is important to create an open company culture that encourages feedback and communication between all levels of the workforce. Bringing remote workers together for meetings or company outings is a good way to foster a good company culture, as the team will be able to meet each other.

Task management software

Cloud computing and faster internet connections have provided remote employees with the necessary tools and software that they can use to collaborate outside of a traditional office environment. Cyber Brigade President Frank Bravata wrote an article for Forbes in which he stated “[that] the key to successful team collaboration is implementing an effective system that manages the tasks and projects that your team is to accomplish.”

One of the biggest challenges remote companies face is getting everyone to work within the same framework. Without a physical office, companies rely on task management software to keep track of all development issues and reduce tasks to an easy-to-understand interface.

Task management software also handles projects and documents, and can be readily accessed by anyone on the team. A setup that does not have an effective task management system will not be able to form a team that can work together.

E-learning tools

One of the biggest challenges of remote working is training new employees. This is why remote workers require good collaboration tools as it allows managers and team leaders to provide instant feedback.

Hackernoon explains how e-learning is a vital tool for collaboration. Tools like a learning management system allow team members to learn together and come up with innovative solutions as a team rather than individually.

It doesn’t matter what industry you work in, from startups to legal firms: creating a good team setup is important. Special Counsel states that collaboration is a key part of innovation. This is because collaboration will often lead to a better solution rather than just considering one person’s view. In order to do this, you will want to be able to use a platform where you can share existing knowledge and experience with your team.

Gamify your teamwork

Business News Daily defines gamification as the “application of game-playing elements to non-game environments.” Gamification is a great tool to encourage creativity and stimulate team members. The site notes that “encouraging competitions and rewards for everyday activities can also be an effective employee engagement strategy.”

Due to the connected nature of remote working, it is much easier to include gamification in the work process. It creates a good work culture without the employees needing to be in the same building. You can even gamify your workspace by introducing some healthy competition between different departments.

Closing remarks

The saying “no man is an island” is a principle a lot of successful business ventures follow. This is because no person is entirely self-sufficient. While remote working means that face-to-face communication is limited, there are still plenty of ways to encourage teamwork. No matter what industry you belong to, one of the biggest contributors to the success of any company is whether or not its employees are able to collaborate effectively. It's one thing to have a team, but it's a whole other thing to have a team that can work together. A team that can collaborate despite not being in the same location is going to succeed and push a company forward.

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