Posted by Robert Half on Monday, February 2, 2015 - 06:00 | Follow me
As telecommuting and remote working arrangements become more common, effective online collaboration grows in importance.
To keep everyone on the same page, regardless of where they work, follow these eight tips:
1. Choose the right tool for your team.
Skype or Google Hangouts? Basecamp or Dropbox? Carefully consider your team’s needs, abilities and preferences before you choose an online collaboration tool for your group. And don’t forget to train everyone!
2. Stay secure.
With remote workers and remote storage, security can be a concern. Learn about risks and benefits of different types of solutions, and establish protocol accordingly.
3. Play to your team’s strengths.
Online or not, an efficient collaboration process depends on you assigning responsibilities based on each team member’s strength.
4. Keep the latest version sacred.
It’s easy to lose track of who has the most recent version of a document when collaborating online. Be sure your process and the collaboration tool you use make it easy to manage the flow of Word documents, spreadsheets and any other files the team shares.
5. Get on the calendar.
If your team members have different schedules, working together on a project can be a challenge. Choose an online collaboration tool with a calendar to take the hassle out of scheduling.
6. Meet regularly, virtually.
Online meetings are an excellent way to engage team members and keep everyone on the same page. Plus, it’s cheaper than paying for travel expenses for an in-person meeting.
7. Stay in touch.
Phone calls are sometimes necessary, but playing phone tag can slow things down too much. It’s generally quicker and easier to provide regular updates online, updating your team members on the progress of any projects and asking if anything needs clarification. Just remember to use digital age etiquette!
8. Stress the value of teamwork.
No matter what tech tools you use, online collaboration won’t be possible unless your team taps into the power of teamwork. Make sure everyone understands and buys in to the team’s common goals and his or her unique role on the team.
How do you make collaborating online easier? Let us know in the comments section.