Teleworking and Remote Collaboration with Collavate

In light of recent world events, we here at Collavate would like to talk about some of the benefits and challenges facing remote teams. Collavate proudly employs a diverse international team, so we know something about working across great distances, time zones, and around some of the barriers that come with teleworking.

One of the most important things to remember when working in a remote situation, is to communicate often and with different methods of connecting. Using email or chat exclusively makes it difficult to keep your employees engaged. One way to keep everyone centered and collaborating is by scheduling daily or weekly video meetings to have face to face contact.  Emails longer than five or six sentences requiring a detailed response that may need some back and forth should become calls instead.

Here at Collavate, we use all of these methods. Most frequently, we communicate through Collavate itself! By using the post features and structured commentary, our teams connect seamlessly and in real time. The post feed keeps you up to date with documents, groups, and announcements from anyone in your organization. Splitting communication into more bite-sized pieces gives your employees an opportunity to digest the information, comment on it, or save a post to think and comment later. No matter how (or where) you work, Collavate fits nicely into your workflow.

An additional benefit of the familiar feeling post structure is the ability to post more than just text or documents. Using emojis, “liking” posts, tagging specific people, or posting images or drawings opens your company up to more than simple verbal communication. Collavate helps keep stakeholders involved in the conversation, too, since your feed is connected within your domain and your posts there are shared with everyone.

What if you don’t want everyone to see what you’re talking about? Collavate has a group feature that creates a private room for posts, documents, and communication, but also a dedicated group folder in Google Drive. Keeping groups separate helps ensure the privacy of sensitive documents or development, or allows HR to have conversations no one can listen in to. Groups also ensure your teams are able to keep projects together. Working remotely is difficult enough for your employees and using groups to keep things organized reduces the complexity of remote collaboration.

We know how to work together now using images, voice, video, and text chatso communicate. creating project groups for organization and file centralization; how do we make sure our team members are actually getting things done?

With Collavate’s submission and approval process, we make it easy to track task based activity, track hours worked, and allow a multi-layered review of these documents. Here at Collavate, we use posts to track our daily accomplishments, and weekly submissions to track our projects. This helps in multiple ways; for hourly employees, you can ensure they are working on the tasks assigned, and not padding their hours. For salaried employees, you can track daily touch points, and weekly accomplishments, instead of always reaching out for updates. You can even create templates accessible to everyone in your company, and have them report directly to a spreadsheet. Reports are a great way to get a high level view of your employees task trackers.

Collavate helps your managers stay up to date with their employees. It keeps employees collaborating in real-time even out of the office, and it keeps stakeholders informed and accessible at all times. Even though Collavate keeps your people connected, there are some things technology just cannot account for. These things require a softer touch, patience, and a time investment to get right. Ensuring your emotion is communicated well during your limited facetime, keeping tabs on how everyone is feeling, or doing, is much more difficult in a remote team, because you don’t see one another everyday. Remember to ask questions and be patient in the beginning; let your people get used to working from home and their new office space, and give them the tools to succeed. Success and a happy workforce will be the result.

From all of us here at Collavate, stay safe, and keep collaborating!