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3 ways to increase team collaboration when working remotely

3 ways to increase team collaboration when working remotely

The sudden shift to remote work has increased collaboration problems and left many organizations scrambling to find ways to increase team morale.1 Team collaboration and morale is an integral part of any organization. High team morale maintains collaboration efficiency and increases a team's performance and productivity.2 As intuitive as this sounds, increasing collaboration can be something difficult to achieve in actuality. To help assist with this rising issue, organisations may consider using these 3 simple ways to increase team collaboration.

1. Online brainstorming sessions

Group brainstorming sessions are known to be a great team-building exercise where employees work together to solve a common problem.3 This exchange of ideas not only helps team building but also helps the team create more in-depth and quality ideas as well.3 Although most other forms of collaboration struggle with online platforms, brainstorming sessions actually thrive in these environments and should be something organizations push to increase team collaboration. In fact, brainstorming productivity actually increases in online settings when compared to physical settings.4 This is because team members can effortlessly share vast quantities of ideas, insights, and feedback with a simple click of a button.4

2. Video calls

Although in-office conversations are preferred by most, current pandemic safety regulations have limited interactions to online communication. However, studies have found that limiting conversation strictly through calls or emails can have a negative impact on team dynamics.5 This is because emotions tend to be expressed and perceived non-verbally through body language or facial expressions.6 Without non-verbal cues, we may misinterpret messages which can increase the likelihood of misunderstandings.6 To address this, organizations need to promote more face-to-face interactions on video calls. Studies have found that the simple act of turning on our video during zoom calls can decrease miscommunication and increase team motivation.7

3. Virtual team activities

Interpersonal relationships are important to team harmony as they allow employees to freely exchange information and ideas without any hesitation.8 However, the global shift to remote work has largely increased employee loneliness as remote workers feel a rising barrier between coworkers. In normal settings, organizations would turn to team recreational activities like get-togethers or games as they are known to increase team engagement.9 But with strict safe distancing measures in place, organizations need to move to more virtual forms of team activities. Virtual activities such as trivia nights, bingo, pictionary, or charades are examples that could be included. These activities are both fun and an important aspect of team collaborations as they promote interpersonal trust, team solidarity, and performance.10

1. https://lp.buffer.com/state-of-remote-work-2020?utm_source=angellist

2. https://clutejournals.com/index.php/JDM/article/view/6936

3. https://www.ripublication.com/gjfm-spl/gjfmv6n4_07.pdf

4. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/ full/10.1080/07421222.2017.1393303

5. https://journals.aom.org/doi/10.5465/amj.2018.0466

6. https://journals.aom.org/doi/abs/10.5465/AMR.2008.31193163

7. https://journals.aom.org/doi/abs/10.5465/20159571

8. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/sres.932

9. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/ 303641091_Employee_Engagement-A_Bond_between_Employee_and_Organisation

10. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/IJCHM-11-2014-0555/full/html