How to optimize collaboration for remote teams

We all take collaboration seriously. We work together in our offices, for school, with our families, and with our friends. Collaboration isn’t new to any of us. We’re all coordinating things so we can achieve goals together, as a team. The portal defines collaboration success as:

“The success of any collaboration rests on how well the collaborators negotiate their needs to create the shared objective, and then how well they cooperate and coordinate their resources to execute a plan to reach their goals.”

Heidi Hess von Ludewig

For many of us, the global pandemic has abruptly shifted how we collaborate. With most of us working remotely, you can’t easily stop by your coworker’s desk anymore. The good news is, the basics of collaboration remain the same. There are some changes you can make so you and your teammates can stay productive and keep workflows as lean and effective as they were before. Some companies, like us here at Oktana, have been collaborating both physically and virtually for years and we have learned some tips that may be of use to you.

1. It begins with onboarding

The first touchpoint has never been as important as it is today. A proper onboarding process will determine how conscientious your new co-workers and employees will be about how collaboration works for your company. If you are a team leader who is acquiring new talent, make sure they’re clear on which goals they need to pursue and how they will assist your overall team. Partner with Human Resources to establish this process. Objectives, tools, software, and brand guidelines are some of the topics you should consider. Make sure your talent gets to know the team and key partners. That will make it easier for them to collaborate effectively. Bryn W. shares his perspective:

“I think a big part of optimizing collaboration in remote teams is making sure that everyone in the team feels comfortable approaching one another. It’s important to let people know when you need help. If people are too afraid to ask for help, then they will remain stuck on something and slow the team down as a result. Introducing teammates to one another through social events, Meet the Teams, group conversations, etc. can go a long way to making new members feel comfortable.”

Bryn W. Staff Software Engineer at Oktana US

2. Sharing data is a must

Data comes from everywhere, especially nowadays when we are all connected around the globe. Companies create their own data, which is stored with high security and compliance levels. One detail we sometimes forget or take for granted is that data needs to be shared with everyone on the team. As remote workers, most of our data is stored in the cloud, making it much easier to grant access to anything your team needs. The easier it is for them to find relevant information, the more prepared they are to collaborate with you and others. Don’t miss this opportunity. The next time you work on a new dashboard, find a cutting-edge marketing article or create a new code, remember to share it with your team.

3. Adjust your process

You’ve been working for years. That expertise has turned you into a very talented professional and proof of it is in your process. You know, the way you get that work done. Everything was looking good, but then, the pandemic decided to take many of us out of our comfort zones. How do you adjust? Update your processes to reflect the new “normal.” People are working from home, so your meeting room is now replaced by video conferences and your partners are no longer just two steps away. It’s time to show your innovation skills and expertise. Schedule some time for your team to give thought to how you need to adjust to accomplish your goals and deliver the same (or more) value with the resources they have. Change won’t happen overnight though, so the sooner you take action, the better things will be for you and your team.

4. Communicate in real-time

Last but not least: communication is more important than ever. How do you collaborate while working remotely if you are not able to enjoy real-time communication just like you used to at the office? The answer is simple: speak digitally! There are so many messaging platforms that allow you to connect with your teammates. Take the time to find one that meets your needs. As a Salesforce partner, we use Tok for many reasons. We built it on the Salesforce platform (with their APIs) to give us the same level of data security as our Salesforce org. Tok helps us build culture, and most importantly for our team, it connects us to anyone in the company.

So keep collaborating across your company and adjusting to the new dynamic. At Oktana we’ve learned to balance the best from working remotely and onsite, so our productivity doesn’t decrease. If you like this article and want to dive into the Salesforce approach, Trailhead is the place! You can start with this module about Virtual Collaboration. If you want to learn more about our Tok app, we invite you to visit our website.

Collaboration - Tok Oktana
Collaboration - Tok Oktana

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