As we try to comprehend the full impact of the pandemic, the modern workplace is going through a constant evolutionary phase.
With businesses shifting to remote work, it has become essential for them to reconsider their strategy to maintain their current organizational culture and adopt modern communication structures that will fit with the new way of working.
While businesses are looking to create a virtual culture, they also intend to retain the spirit of innovation. They seem to be making efforts to improve collaboration and teamwork by providing the right tools and platforms that can drive creativity.
In order to accomplish these objectives, businesses need to implement solid virtual collaboration strategies to get work done and stay connected to foster innovation.
What is virtual collaboration?
In simple words, virtual collaboration is the method of communicating and working together with people in a virtual environment.
Parties or teams involved in virtual collaboration do not interact physically but communicate through technology-based communication channels despite being in different locations or at different times.
With virtual collaboration, virtual teams can share information and get work done by communicating virtually through visual, verbal, written, or other digital means.
Virtual collaboration is greatly enhanced when proper tools or platforms are implemented to improve collaboration, teamwork, and operations.
Why virtual collaboration is important for businesses?
Businesses might be worried about the new way of working and whether their employees are engaged with their work due to a perceived lack of transparency.
Employees with no physical engagement with each other might seem disconnected which can be detrimental to teamwork and work efficiency.
However, with the right virtual collaboration approach, managers or team leaders will be able to provide their teams with the space to find their own productivity balance.
By providing proper virtual communication channels for collaboration and engagement, employees working remotely will perform their best and will promote a healthy work environment.
Creating a virtual workplace with collaborative tools or platforms will support the changing work dynamics. Holding the usual schedules of team meetings and brainstorming sessions through video calls or other digital means will help to contribute to this balance.
Virtual collaboration should be seen as an opportunity to interact more effectively with team members and appreciate their efforts to build a productive atmosphere.
How businesses can benefit from virtual collaboration?
- Virtual collaboration costs less, as businesses can greatly reduce or remove operating costs such as office rent, furniture, equipment, and internet costs. It acts as a cost-effective solution that helps businesses to prioritize more important resources.
- Virtual collaboration is much more efficient compared to face-to-face meetings of distributed team members. The time and cost of travel associated with gathering team members from different geographical locations can be considerably higher than that of virtual collaboration.
- Implementing appropriate collaborative tools and platforms can also help reduce manual admin tasks, allowing team members to focus more on essential tasks resulting in more productive outcomes.
- With virtual collaboration, business experts get the opportunity to join remote project groups where they can connect and collaborate with other experts working towards a common goal.
- A virtual workplace enables businesses to hire top talents based on subjects and expertise that fits the needs of the team. Since businesses aren’t limited to a local pool of possible applicants, they can reach more people and fill positions with ideal candidates.
Best practices for a successful virtual workplace
- Finding the right tools and platforms for virtual collaboration. Project monitoring and effective communication create the foundation of a successful virtual workplace. With the right collaboration tools, businesses can communicate and track progress with virtual team members which facilitates virtual collaboration.
- Have regular check-ins with team members. Remote workers should have regular team meetings and brainstorming sessions to update progress and share valuable insights. In the virtual workplace, it’s essential to stay connected with team members to keep them happy and productive.
- Maintaining specific working hours for team members. Remote workers working from home may find it difficult to maintain a balance between their work and personal lives. To support the team members in maintaining a work-life balance, businesses should set specific working hours and implement them.
- Providing team members space to work independently. Managers and team leaders should allow their remote team members the freedom to find their own best practices and make decisions considering the project roadmap. With regular team meetings and updated reports, remote teams can find a state of flow and can perform their tasks efficiently.
- Host virtual team-building activities to facilitate virtual collaboration. Virtual working environments can be stressful and isolating. Encouraging team members to schedule time for virtual happy hours, coffee breaks, games, chat, etc can be really helpful for team members to take some pressure off. These will help boost morale, and keep the team motivated and connected, making virtual collaboration much more effective.
Businesses need to understand the challenges and opportunities this new way of working brings. They need to come up with the best solutions to adopt a virtual working environment, enhancing collaboration and innovation.
Implementing a virtual collaboration strategy comes down to building a virtual team and providing them with the best tools and platforms available to foster virtual collaboration.
With our very own XR technology-based collaboration platform (Awvent Planner), we can help businesses run virtual workplaces, manage meetings and discussions, conduct product demos and evaluations, improve business opportunities and boost overall productivity and success for remote working environments.