The way we work is rapidly evolving. Mobile technology and cloud services make distance meaningless — it’s easier than ever to connect with colleagues around the world and access work from any device, anywhere. But achieving fruitful collaboration with distributed teams is still fraught with challenges.

Tips for using a Collaboration Tool for Remote Teams

If you're using a collaboration tool to deal with remote teams, then we have five simple tips that can help optimize the situation and overcome the obstacles faced in remote work. Examples will be based on Wrike but can apply to any tool you use to collaborate with your remote workers.

1. Share Proactively 

Load everything into the tool, so your entire team has access to the latest files and complete visibility into project status. Get everyone into the habit of sharing data proactively so that all the groundwork is laid for efficient collaboration. No more "Where's the latest deck?" or "Which spreadsheet should I be filling up?"

2. Create a Fun Zone

Keep workers engaged with regular, personalized communication, so your team can get connected in matters other than just work. Create a "watercooler" folder in the collaboration tool meant for sharing links, informal discussions, and unstructured team camaraderie. Make it a place where people can be free to post about anything they enjoy.

3. Bring People into Discussions

Use Wrike’s @mention feature to grab the attention of subject matter experts from other departments and plug them into conversations regarding their area of expertise. It's a great way to get to know other people even as you solve problems together.

4. Share Small Wins

Share achievements so everyone feels appreciated and can see how their individual work helps the team succeed. Comment on Wrike tasks that have had a positive outcome; @mention those responsible for the success and thank them directly. Celebrating every small win can only benefit the team.

5. Balance the Load

Pay special attention to your team’s workload so you can redistribute excess work, give encouragement, and provide tools to increase productivity. In Wrike, you can see your team's responsibilities via the Workload feature. Simply drag-and-drop tasks to balance work distribution and keep your projects on track.

Start using these tips today to use your collaboration tool to get your remote team collaborating productively, even across borders. And be sure to share your own advice and experiences in the comments below.

Image Credits: Photo by RYAN MCGUIRE OF BELLS DESIGN

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