How Might Remote Teams Improve Communication and Collaboration?

Louis Dickinson

22 Oct 2021 · 4 mins read

How Might Remote Teams Improve Communication and Collaboration?

With the events of the past year putting a halt to most in-person operations, the number of businesses who are adopting remote working has increased significantly. According to a report by WISERD, those working from home rose eight-fold from 5.7% of workers in January/February 2020 to 43.1% in April 2020 – just a month into the UK’s first national lockdown. By 2025, McKinsey forecasts that approximately 70% of employees will work remotely at least five days a month.

This transition raises new questions for businesses; how will these teams be managed? How will they communicate? What can we do to maintain collaboration and innovation?

This article discusses some of the ways in which businesses can stay connected in this new remote workplace.

Communicate regularly 

As with office working, communication is vital. The main difference now is that those occasional ‘catch ups’ or ‘coffee breaks’ now take place virtually. While the location might be different, the motivation remains the same; communicate with clarity to stay connected. 

Video conferencing tools have seen a significant aid in continuing team communications during the global transition to remote working. Research by Forbes estimates that 62% of companies are running three or more video conferencing applications, which illustrates the widespread influence of these platforms.

Whether it’s checking in with colleagues or group meetings, it’s important that teams maintain communication. In doing so, you will increase morale, encourage team buy-in and uphold collaboration, even when you’re not working together in-person.

Visibility is key

Communication is fostered by visibility and accessibility. While it might not be possible to physically see your teammates in-person, it is possible to ensure visibility throughout tasks and projects.

And the bigger the project, the more important visibility becomes. Enable your team to connect and collaborate by making tasks, progress and wins visible.

The advantages are twofold: on an individual level, visibility helps you create closer relationships with teammates, which instils a sense of purpose and influence in your work. For teams, this means increased efficiency and more fruitful collaborations.

A digital teammate

Above all, it’s important that the technology you use supports your team’s remote working setup. This means finding a solution that is secure, scalable and provides visibility across all your projects.

Traditional off-the-shelf solutions are insufficient in these areas because they often provide unnecessary features that are not relevant to business operations. Teams can easily outgrow these software packages too, which means that what worked initially could quickly become useless in the future.

Spreadsheets are similarly disconnected, with team members usually having to ‘wait their turn’ to access the relevant data. Not only does this limit active collaboration within teams, but it also harvests risk around version history. Reliability only continues to deteriorate as more individuals contribute to these documents, with little available methods for testing, checking or auditing data.

Finding the right fit

No-code platforms can provide a valuable alternative. With no coding experience required, these platforms can be built quickly and scaled to fit your business needs. Evidence of these advantages can be found in Gridfox, the no-code platform that can help your teams stay connected – regardless of location.  

For so long organisations have been content with using spreadsheets to manage their data.  While spreadsheets appear to be simple to set up and use at first, they can quickly become out of hand and difficult to manage. 

It is notoriously difficult, for example, to manage version history when it comes to spreadsheets. The existence of multiple documents only leads to confusion, errors and, most crucially, data losses. Worse is that they aren’t actually designed for distributed collaboration, which makes spreadsheets even less suitable for today’s remote working practises.

Gridfox, on the other hand, provides a single source of truth and offers a complete audit trail of all changes that are made to a record. This audit maintains full transparency for all changes, including the date that a change was made to a record, the user who made the change and the field that was changed on the record. 

Traceability means security. With access to a full record history, colleagues can pinpoint changes as they happen in real time, whilst managers are given a crucial overview of projects as they develop. What’s more is that everyone has the ability to view the audit history.

This widespread visibility means that teammates have clarity in their role, whilst also always ensuring efficient processes. 

Compare this to ‘off-the-shelf’ software, too, where functionality can be clouded by unnecessary features. This inflexibility only puts further pressure on organisations to adapt their operations to fit the software, rather than the other way around. 

With Gridfox, users are empowered to create applications that are right for their teams, with only the features that they need — no more, no less. Customisation brings with it scalability; Gridfox enables users to adapt their tools as their teams, company and goals grow. 

As an alternative to risky spreadsheets or rigid off-the-shelf software, Gridfox is ideal; as a facilitator for open communications and collaborative teamwork, it’s even better. Choosing the right tools to support these operations will ensure that your team is ready for the next challenge – wherever and whenever that may be.  

Want to find out more? Get started with Gridfox free here.

Choosing the Right Tools to Help Teams Stay Connected
Choosing the Right Tools to Help Teams Stay Connected
Playing With Fire: Why SMEs Continue to Use Spreadsheets
Playing With Fire: Why SMEs Continue to Use Spreadsheets