The Ledger No. 56: Fostering Collaboration in a Remote Setting

July 7, 2022 Sarah Dameron

business team studying the best ways to collaborate remotely

Welcome to The Ledger where we sum up the latest finance and accounting news and trends for you. On this week’s entry, we’re talking about the best ways to collaborate remotely and why remote teams face communication challenges consistently. Read on to explore how to approach engagement and collaboration in a remote world, how to maintain a collaborative culture in a hybrid (and remote) environment, how to build visibility in a hybrid workplace and ways to leverage collaboration to thrive in business.

The Weekly Ledger best ways to collaborate remotely

The Modern Remote World Requires More Than Just Engagement - Learn the Best Ways to Collaborate Remotely

Can you facilitate a successful hybrid (or remote) team with just engagement alone? A recent Gartner study found that workers in 2021 spent 33 percent of their meeting time in person. The study goes on to show that by 2024, that number would drop by eight percent. But the only thing those numbers really prove is that the transition to remote work has accelerated beyond what we could ever imagine. But in the midst of all this reshuffling, companies (small to enterprise-level) are trying to think through new ways of keeping their employees engaged on the job. Which begs the question of not only ‘how’ but ‘why’. The truth is, implementing a remote workforce requires more than just engagement, but collaboration as well. It’s easy to sit at your desk all day, answering emails and messages without actually having to communicate face-to-face. But are your employees really content with their job? Better yet, are they productive? Cultivating a culture that nurtures healthy relationships throughout the company leads to more engaged employees and better collaboration (a win-win for workers and organizations across the board). But wait. How can you build a more collaborative team, no matter the work arrangements?

  • Investing in tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams

  • Creating staff experiences such as monthly get-togethers or annual retreats

  • Developing strategies that will help boost morale, increase retention efforts and improve output

For more on how to fuel your remote employees to be more engaged and collaborative, check out the full article on forbes.com.

Maintaining a Collaborative Culture in a Virtual World

Remote work has become commonplace for companies across the globe. Not only has remote work allowed people to work from wherever, but it’s also leveled the playing field for workers who might not be able to come into office. Despite all the advantages, remote work comes with its own set of challenges, such as fostering collaboration. The key is to invest in your culture – both at a team level and a company level. Here’s how:

  • Team level. What are the norms around communication? Your team should set expectations in several areas. Areas like:

    • Meetings

    • Communication methods

    • Availability

  • Company level. You should be thoughtful about your internal communications. This can be done through:

    • All hands meetings

    • Weekly newsletters

    • Video messages from the c-suite

The other thing to consider is how to make working virtually fun. You can do this by creating scavenger hunters, virtual happy-hours or hosting offsite events once a quarter.

Collaboration in a remote environment takes more work than we would like, but it’s worth the effort. To discover how to maintain a collaborative culture and some of the best ways to collaborate remotely, head over to entrepreneur.com to read the article.

Building Visibility into a Hybrid Workplace to Successfully Collaborate Remotely

For many employees, the choice to work remotely is an easy one as the benefits outweigh the challenges. But for a business, flexible work can pose a challenge, especially when it comes tracking performance. A recent ADP survey showed that nearly two-thirds of those polled would consider looking for a new job if they were required to return to the office full time. And although companies want to give workers the flexibility they desire, it’s just not that simple. In order to make flex work, leaders need to rethink their visibility into the org. Here’s a few practices that can help you determine which type of flex work would be the best fit for your company:

  • Universal. The company has an org-wide work model.

  • Variable. Scheduling decisions are made at the team level – other departments may have a different approach.

  • Case-by-case. Employees set their own schedules and must adhere to them.

  • Fluid. Individuals can work wherever and whenever they want (no geographical boundaries).

However, visibility needs differ based on the people involved. People like:

  • Senior leaders. They need visibility to ensure strategic alignment and coordination across the whole company.

  • Mid-level managers. These types of leaders are more focused on the team and managing bandwidth.

  • Individual contributors. Although they’re not at a high level, IC’s need to know schedule preferences of their teammates (as not to interrupt their work time).

Moreover, ensuring the success of a new visibility approach requires:

  • Transparent communication. What are your expectations?

  • Access to data and insights. You should share the information you found with all stakeholders in a timely fashion.

  • Action and real-time adjustments. Don’t just sit on the data – take action by identifying opportunities for improvement.

For more on how to intertwine flexibility and visibility into teams across the org, read the full article on hbr.org.

The Perfect Mix: How Collaboration Equates to Business Success

What does collaboration mean? Is it sharing the workload? Or perhaps it’s utilizing digital tools to enhance collaboration? Or maybe it’s bringing together people from numerous backgrounds to solve problems and think creatively? Whatever the definition, here’s how to optimize your collaboration to make your company thrive:

  • Embrace differences and bridge knowledge gaps. What insight will you gain if everyone thinks the same way? Absolutely none. Look outside of your team for answers.

  • Be aligned on mission and values. It’s okay to debate, as long as it’s healthy and constructive. In fact, diversity of ideas and thoughts is key to innovation.

  • Reinvent digital and physical collaboration. Many companies have made the switch from in-person work to hybrid work. Hybrid work allows employees to have more control over their time.

Employees are the ones who make a company successful. And having a diverse set of skills and experiences is what builds a strong workforce and makes a business stand out in this economy. For more on why collaboration is the foundation for success, check out the complete article on forbes.com.

Check our business solutions that enable remote teams to thrive.

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