Strategies for remaining productive even with a remote team
In the new normal, the way we work is changing. This is especially true for collaboration. Teams are larger, more diverse, and more dispersed. This comes with its own challenges. It has been estimated that the ability to meet and brainstorm has dropped an average of 11% in workplace productivity since employees began working from home.
How do we mitigate this issue? Surely, going back to the ways of the past is not the solution. Remote work can increase productivity and allow for a better work-life balance for everyone. What we need are strategies to recapture the collaboration magic within a remote working environment. Here are six methods to do just that.
Spending time in meetings can be a double-edged sword. Some meetings can be unproductive, leaving attendees feeling as if their time would have been better spent elsewhere. On the other hand, productive meetings create a sense of collaboration and togetherness that increases teamwork while maintaining productivity.
The key issue in unproductive meetings is the distraction created by multitasking. This problem can be compounded to the extreme in remote working environments.
Remote meetings can be enhanced with tools for focused communication, such as those that rely on visual collaboration. For this purpose, SharePoint’s collaboration and co-authoring platform can really help: providing a shared collaborative workspace for a productive exchange of ideas, assist meetings to become more focused and conclusive.
Integration with Microsoft Teams powers up SharePoint’s shareability factor even more, by allowing content in SharePoint to be accessed easily, and quickly save Microsoft Teams files in SharePoint as well.
According to Microsoft, one of the biggest time-wasters for teams is looking for content, tools, contacts and conversation threads.
This is especially true if the company still relies on traditional methods of keeping files and processing manual records. While using visual collaboration tools can help increase your collaborative mojo, it won’t help much if your team has trouble finding the files they need right away.
A cluttered digital workspace can reduce the motivation to collaborate. Additionally, it’s been found that digital hoarding behaviours and stress levels are closely linked together. To solve both issues, remote teams need a visual platform that is focused and streamlined enough to help employees find what they need instantly.
For instance, SharePoint’s Libraries has an easy search function. On top of that, it is highly customisable and comes with several ready-to-use library apps. You can control how documents are viewed, managed, and created. You can also track different versions of files, create custom views, and personalise workflows. Say goodbye to cluttered and confusing workspaces!
We may think that remote working may improve communication between departments and functions. After all, there is no need to walk across the building and take an elevator three floors down to meet with certain people. However, a study shows that 75% of cross-functional teams suffer from some level of dysfunction.
This dysfunction generally boils down to a lack of inter-office governance. This is compounded by remote working, where it is very easy for communication to get hazy. Without clear guidelines, visible reminders of specific goals, and a measure of accountability, governance for remote teams can fall by the wayside.
Fortunately, SharePoint can act as a group-level intranet portal for internal collaboration across offices. Additionally, SharePoint’s governance feature is designed to mitigate this specific governance need. With SharePoint, you can easily design various governance roles and customise your sites to fit this need. These roles include IT governance, information management, and application management. You can expect your teamwork to improve significantly with clear goals, classified information tiers, education strategy, and an ongoing plan.
Aside from accountability, trust is another key factor in motivating your team. In the context of remote working, this is more crucial than ever: collaboration can only happen if team members believe that others are doing their work despite not being in the same location.
According to research by Atlassian, teams with an open work style are 60% more likely to achieve more at a faster speed. They are also 80% more likely to report high emotional well-being. Conversely, teams with less trust tend to be bogged down by unproductivity and even workplace toxicity.
Building trust can be quite straightforward. For example, you can start by making the calendar accessible to all team members. The goal is not to have others meddle in your business, but to let everyone know what each team member is working on at any given time.
SharePoint Calendar can be a great way to do this. The calendar can make all meetings, social events, deadlines, and milestones visible to all team members. A calendar on the SharePoint site will give all members access to various schedules and dates. Furthermore, it can also be integrated with desktop apps like Outlook, reducing the learning curve needed to acclimate.
A common concern regarding an open work style is the issue of security. Fortunately, SharePoint allows for security hardening of its servers, guaranteeing the safety of all data shared. With these features, SharePoint can significantly improve trust within the company.
Fostering trust and communication does not mean that team members must all be available to chat in real-time. On the contrary, demanding high alertness from everyone can be counterproductive. It is essential to practice asynchronous communication so team members can maintain their focus accordingly.
Ideally, a digital-first workplace can rely on a social media-like feed that updates every member on the progress and status of each project. This is not to say that chats, meetings, and real-time communication should not happen. Rather, they should be saved for more important issues and checkpoints.
SharePoint’s Pages can be used for this purpose. With the feed on the SharePoint site, team members can stay up to date on all crucial information without staying alert at all times. Furthermore, utilising the feed will also respect every individual’s sovereignty. It prevents the problem of self-siloes or that often arise in cross-functional collaborative environments.
Asynchronous communication via the SharePoint feed should not be focused on tasks alone. Accomplishments are no less important. A study by Atlassian found that publicly celebrating team and individual achievements can improve a team’s sense of well-being by 16%.
The feed is a great way to do this. Furthermore, SharePoint also comes with social features. Using this feature, team members can find and follow people who share common interest within the organisation. They can also create a custom visualisation of feed data and publish custom activities to the feed.
This can help boost the team’s morale, and also increase team engagement. In turn, this will make them more productive. A study shows that highly engaged businesses experience 17% productivity growth and show a 21% higher profitability. A promising investment!
Microsoft SharePoint is a powerful collaboration tool that accommodates all the strategies we’ve listed above. With SharePoint, your team can collaborate at the same performance level as before the pandemic—or even better. However, migrating the entire workplace to SharePoint may be a challenge.
Enlisting the help of a systems integrator like JOS is a great way to solve this issue. Getting a system integrator like JOS helps you plan and perform the heavy lifting for migration works. With our expertise, we can help you perform a Sharepoint Health Check, i.e. regular, automatic checks for potential configuration, performance, and usage problems in the server farm.
Sign up will receive a free SharePoint Health Check with the following report:
Posted on: 18 Nov 2021
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