Sep 1st, 2020
Effective Remote Collaboration
Written by: Jesse LaDousa, Chief Operating Officer
Last week I wrote about prioritizing innovation and investment in trying times. Investments in innovations for your business can be nerve-racking, but ultimately can set you up with market differentiators to help your business thrive in changing social and economic times such as we are living in today.
One of the key innovations that was forced upon us all was the ability to effectively work remotely during this global pandemic. For some businesses this was a simple transition of just working at home more than normal. For others, this was a complex and difficult swing to an entirely new way of working.
In either case, maintaining a collaborative work environment regardless of location is a vital part of most organizations’ success. Highly collaborative teams produce higher quality results. We’ve lived this mantra at Clientek for years. Our teams have been distributed across the globe for over a decade, so we’ve learned how to become highly effective collaborators even when we can’t all be in the same room, let alone the same country.
By now we’ve all become familiar with the various video and teleconference platforms out there. I personally have 7 different applications installed on my machines to ensure I can connect to all my coworkers, clients, and family. My colleague, Nathan, has been writing about the power of cloud-based services and architecture the past couple of weeks and we have a great webinar series on leveraging Office 365, Microsoft Teams, and other capabilities that enable collaboration that you should check out as well.
While technology can enable collaboration and provide you with an easier communication path, platforms don’t always guarantee effective communication. Effort is required to leverage the power of technology and continue growing the effectiveness of the team. Being remote, many organizations fall into the same pattern of scheduling targeted and focused meetings (as they do when in person) but forget the informal, hallway conversations that occur when together. We’ve taken to quick drop-in video calls with our employees, virtual happy hours at the end of the day, and even scheduled all-company meetings over a lunch hour each week to ensure that everyone sees each other, has the opportunity to banter back and forth, and is given the chance to update everyone on company happenings and any changes that may have occurred during the week. We’ve also migrated our quarterly company-wide competitive tournaments from in-person darts, pool, or shuffleboard to remote video game tournaments that allow full participation.
We are all in a situation that presents challenges for communication and collaboration. While we hope to get back to the prior way of running our businesses, adapting to this new remote working world will give us and our employees new skills and ways to be successful regardless of being in person or at home.