7 Tips for Skyrocketing Communication and Collaboration for a Remote Workforce Using Agile Practices
Author: Adam Nason, CSM and Senior Consultant at Covalent Resource Group
The remote workforce grew over 159% from 2005 to 2019, according to Search Remotely. That is over 11x more than the workforce in general. Businesses had to move quickly to move their workforce to a remote setting over the last few months. Caught off guard and unprepared, many companies went from primarily working on-site to moving their entire staff to a work from home scenario. It was a significant shift for many workers who were accustomed to stopping by coworkers desks to get assistance, feedback, or collaborate. Now workers needed the ability to pull team members together quickly through online collaboration tools and new processes. Communication effectiveness became a big focus to keep production moving and projects completed on time. Here are seven ways to help employees and business leaders improve communication and collaboration as they continue to work from home.
Tools Can Help with Organization and Process Management
Maintain and update digital content to assure accuracy in your messaging, education, and overall health of critical communication efforts. It will also allow you to quickly communicate evolving strategies and information for customers, employees, and potential clients.
Organize everything by the line of business. Therefore, if you are working remotely, by organizing everything you touch by the line of business, it ensures consistency in reporting to stakeholders and your target audience while allowing for evolution and growth with the business line.
Meet the demands of constant communication needs and interaction with stakeholders with quality and simplicity. Emphasize quality and easy to understand communication and ensure everything is vetted before going into production.
Use tools to assist in the process. Jira can be instrumental in communicating the status of work in progress, and what had been done at any given time using custom-built dashboards for leadership to utilize. At any time, you can provide an accurate update on the progress of your work without manual intervention.
Effective Use of Technology and Meetings
Stay on track and maintain high visibility using daily stand-ups. Daily stand-ups allow the team to focus and only have critical team members associated with the work engaged to keep the work moving quickly and efficiently. Above all, daily stand-ups keep everyone engaged, increase communication for topics too complex or detailed for email but do not warrant a standalone meeting. This type of collaboration provides quick, on-demand support to business needs. In other words, the daily touchpoint also keeps all players moving toward the same objectives and keeps everyone on course.
For example, you can also leverage technology to help you make the most out of an online workspace. Many times organizations purchase underutilized software. The Rand Group suggests the main reason software is underutilized is due to the lack of education between the software salesperson and the buyer, and the best value comes from the portion of the software you are not using. By maxing out the capabilities of your existing tools, you can put them to work for you to help achieve efficiencies and improve productivity.
Are Over-relying on Email?
Stop over-relying on email and step outside of your comfort zone to get things done efficiently and timely. According to CIO.com, over 100 billion business emails are sent every single day. The one thing email doesn’t offer is version control, accountability, and ownership or active collaboration. If your organization has tools available, see how they can help you transition off of email into a collaborative, digital work environment.
As the work environment continues to remain a hybrid of work from home and in-office employees, processes, the way we work, how we work will continue to evolve. The important thing is to find out what works for your business and your employees.
Please share your ideas within your organization, help others find ways to do their jobs effectively, no matter where they are sitting. We are all in this together.