Remote Team Collaboration: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Remember going into the office? Neither do we. But working together is a big part of what we do at Neff. As an integrated marketing agency, our Creative, PR, Social Media, and Media Strategy teams are constantly collaborating on different projects. Now that we’re all working from home, we’ve had to figure out how to stay connected and keep collaborating to do the best work we can for our clients. These are some of the ways that we keep the collaboration going as a remote team.
Keep in Contact
Back at the office, we could just walk over to each others’ desks to share work or get updates. Fortunately, there are a lot of online collaboration tools available to do this digitally.
The main way we keep in touch as a remote team is with Slack, which is basically a virtual office space. Setting up different channels for different projects allows us to keep feedback and communication organized. Many workplaces utilize this tool even when not working remotely.
Though we can’t convene in the conference room right now, Zoom allows us to set up video conferences for the next best thing to in-person meetings. The screen sharing feature allows everyone to share what they’re working on and look at things together. You can even mark things up on screen to share edits in real time.
Remote Team Organization
As a remote team, it’s important to stay organized to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks. Without face-to-face interaction, it’s crucial to keep tabs on that status of each project and everyone’s responsibilities.
We use Function Fox for time management and Monday for project management. There are numerous other project management tools available for marketing agencies such as Basecamp, Trello and Asana. Consider what kind of flexibility and customization works best for your team to figure out what tools are right for you.
Check In Regularly
Sticking to a schedule will keep everyone on track and help things feel normal. Maintaining regular check-ins just like you would at the office will help your remote team to stay organized.
Every morning our team has a quick check-in call to touch base on our to-do list for the day. We also set up regular check-ins throughout the day as needed to keep different projects moving and make sure we’re all on the same page. Checking-in also helps to keep up the collaborative spirit and prevent everyone from feeling isolated.
Along with smaller team meetings, we also have regular agency-wide check-ins so we’re up to speed on what the other departments are doing and how we can support each other.
While we miss our team outings and happy hours, we can still make time to socialize. In addition to using Zoom for meetings, it’s also a great way to set up a virtual happy hour. Have everyone grab a drink of their choice and turn on gallery view so it feels (sort of) like the team is in the same room.
Even though you’re not together in person, company culture is still crucial to who you are. Find ways to infuse your personality into your remote workspace with socially themed slack channels, custom emojis and connecting with colleagues. Organize celebrations for birthdays and company milestones even if you can’t enjoy a cake or decorations under the same roof. Share pictures of your pets or recipes that you made to cheer up your teammates and keep that personal connection going.
Remote Team Success
Even before the COVID-19 crisis, remote work has been increasing in recent years. Especially now, virtual platforms are here to support the trend. There are tons more tools for remote teams including mind mapping, time tracking, brainstorming, voice conferencing and more. Whatever you need to do together, chances are there’s an online tool available to approximate it virtually.
Here at Neff, we’re doing everything we can to maintain the collaboration that is crucial to our culture. And it doesn’t hurt to be familiar with digital tools that are becoming more common in the modern workplace. Even though your team is separated, staying connected will help you to stay productive and more sane.
As we like to say, teamwork makes the (remote) dream work!