3 September 2020

Collaboration in a remote world - how technology can keep everyone informed, connected and unified

Workers using technology to collaborate

54% of staff state that a strong sense of community is one of the main reasons they would stay at a company - collaboration is integral here.

As the world adapts to the new normal that COVID-19 has created, there has been a rise in remote working across the majority of industries. But while working remotely has a number of benefits for companies and individuals alike, there is the risk that company culture and the team atmosphere can suffer. 

A disconnect from the business and feeling unhappy at work is one of the primary reasons that people choose to leave a company, so businesses that are prioritising staff retention need to be considering how to keep collaboration at the core of their business. Technology can help businesses continue to maintain relationships between colleagues, without needing to work from the same location. 

The importance of collaboration

Collaboration is about more than making work a more enjoyable place to be, although there is certainly value in creating a fun team atmosphere. But collaboration is also vital for getting more from your staff and enhancing productivity – many people work better as part of a team and it provides the opportunity to bounce ideas off of one another. 

But remote working can still make working more meaningful. 39% of employees believe that people in their organisation do not collaborate enough, which has a negative impact on the company, but 75% believe that collaboration is important. So, now that many employees are working from home, it’s more crucial than ever to prioritise collaboration and find ways to enable teamwork. 

The need for immediate access to data

One of the reasons that collaboration is so important for businesses is that remote workers still require access to data and files in order to work efficiently. Tools like Google Drive and other software that enable real-time access and updates to files can make staying on track much easier for remote teams, enabling staff to work on projects together without overwriting each other’s work. 

Likewise, getting access to remote servers through a VPN allows remote working but still provides everyone with a secure connection. VPNs allow staff to connect regardless of the network they are with and provide access to all of the resources they would have at their desk without needing to physically be there. 

Collaboration encourages skill sharing

One of the major problems in today’s economy is a lack of skills. In fact, the skills gap is costing the UK alone £6.3 billion. But this can be alleviated through collaborative working, as the more staff can learn from each other, the better it is for the business as a whole. 

Video call software such as Zoom can make this easier and allows colleagues to share their skills and learn from each other remotely, as well as making it easier to facilitate remote training sessions, workshops and meetings. Not only is it beneficial for businesses to have a highly skilled team but it also builds relationships between staff members and helps individuals boost their skills for the future too. 

Improved problem solving

Problem-solving is a big part of running a business and something that staff have to deal with every day. Collaboration is vital for this – working on projects, tackling difficult situations and solving issues is so much more time consuming and challenging if individuals are trying to problem solve alone. 

But it’s important to stress that not all problems require lengthy meetings in order to solve the issue – often, technology as simple as instant messenger platforms such as Slack or Skype can provide staff with everything they need in order to keep working. 

A better team atmosphere

Remote working can leave individuals feeling disconnected from the rest of the company, but the right technology can resolve this and ensure that people feel able to communicate and work as part of a team more efficiently. 

A team atmosphere is vital for any business in terms of happier staff, greater productivity and efficiency, but it’s also important for staff retention. In order to build a better team atmosphere and keep staff happy in their roles, collaboration is key. 

Utilising video software can make it easier for people to maintain relationships with their colleagues, both through working on projects together but also for team meetings and chats over lunch to retain the feeling of working as part of a team. 

Final thoughts

54% of staff state that a strong sense of community is one of the main reasons they would stay at a company, so collaboration is a key aspect of staff retention, positive company culture and a thriving business. By making the best use of software and technology, business owners can ensure that staff continue to work as part of a team and stay informed about changes in the business without needing to be in the same physical location. 

MHR’s People First Connect employee engagement platform enables you to connect, collaborate and empower your people across your organisation, no matter where they are located.

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