The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the work culture paradigm. Today, work-from-anywhere is a common practice, and employees can work anywhere they want! This has led to the emergence of virtual workspaces, where employees connect digitally to collaborate and communicate with other team members, and thrive in their jobs.
These virtual workspaces are a digital replica of physical office spaces. The exception is, though, that these spaces spread across different locations worldwide. This brings up an important question: how can you manage a remote team across different locations and time zones?
How to Manage a Remote Team
Managing a remote team requires unique strategies and skills to keep all employees happy and motivated. At the same time, you’ll want to have processes for improving collaboration and efficiency among workers. At the outset, let me tell you this isn’t easy. That’s because your employees don’t get to see or communicate with each other outside of work. In this case, how can you establish trust and communication? Below are 5 strategies to help you address these issues.
1. Maintain Good Communication
Communication is often a challenge in remote working environments because people don’t get to see each other. Because of this, non-verbal communication is completely absent. Thankfully, though, you can overcome this problem with clear communication channels and platforms. That way, employees can talk to each other. Regular video and voice calls also help streamline communication. Keep in mind the different time zones, and pick suitable times for everyone.
2. Set Clear Goals
In a virtual workspace, employees can lose track of their work. Many times, the distractions around them can make them less productive and inefficient. To steer away from these issues, you can set clear goals. Depending on your team, set daily or weekly goals because they’re easier to track. Consider using goal-setting and tracking tools for greater visibility.
3. Focus on Outcomes
It’s hard to track individual activities in a remote work environment. Hence, a better option is to focus on outcomes. This approach also gives employees the flexibility to try out different methods/strategies to achieve their purposes. In many ways, it also encourages innovation.
4. Ensure Accountability
It’s often easy for employees to get lost in their virtual workspaces because of erratic communication, lack of clearly-defined hierarchies, non-availability of tracking tools, etc. A good way to avoid this chaos is to help every individual know their role and responsibility. A good way to enforce this is to make each employee accountable for specific tasks/outcomes. Work with them to set timeframes and milestones, so employees know how to direct their efforts.
5. Use the Right Remote Working Tools
Finally, make sure you use the right remote working tools. Doing so will enhance communication and collaboration among your team members. This can be a critical factor since employees may use different operating systems and devices in their work. As a result, you need a common set of tools that provide visibility into each other’s work. In turn, you’ll get unified operations in your virtual workspaces.
Since these tools are so critical, I want to show you the best ones to fit in all different virtual workspaces.
Top 5 Virtual Workspace and Remote Collaboration Software
To get the most out of your virtual workspace, you need the right remote working tools. Ideally, you’d want these tools to set goals, manage tasks, streamline communication, measure performance, enable collaboration, and more. Let’s now look at a few tools that help you get more out of your virtual workspace.
Sococo is an online virtual workspace platform that brings your employees together. It also empowers them to collaborate for high productivity and efficiency. It brings down geographical barriers, so organizations can find talent anywhere. Here are some important reasons that make Socoo so popular among users.
Sococo makes it easy for employees to send messages to each other instantly, regardless of location. This helps to keep employees connected. It also creates the idea of working side-by-side in virtual workspaces.
Sococo allows you to have meetings at any time. You can connect to these meetings from any device, including mobile phones, so you can talk from anywhere. During meetings, you can use voice, video, and even chat to communicate. Sharing screens to showcase your work is also possible.
You can always know what other employees in your team are doing. This helps to work together in achieving common objectives. It also enhances your team’s overall productivity and efficiency.
Due to its superior features, I highly recommend Sococo for organizations that plan to move to a virtual workspace soon.
2. Workplace by Meta
Meta has come up with a virtual workspace platform. This system encompasses chat, live video, group communication, and more. Its intuitive interface makes it easy to find the information you want. Besides, Workplace by Meta displays a personalized news feed. It’s something like Facebook, but for your team or organization only. It also integrates well with most popular apps like Dropbox, Calendly, and more.
Here are a few important features of Workplace by Meta.
Workplace allows you to have dedicated groups for each project. This helps you to better organize tasks and communication without feeling confused or overwhelmed.
Meta offers secure storage options for all your documents, images, and more. You can also easily access any information you want instantly. Finally, it allows you to control versions, provide access, and more.
Regular Communication Support
You can use Meta to have a voice or video call with your colleagues. The best part? It doesn’t call for any additional apps. You can also have up to 50 participants per call.
All these features make Workplace a good choice to manage communications and tasks within your company.
WorkInSync is a SaaS solution that helps your organization set up a hybrid workspace. This platform allows your employees to come to the office a few times a week/month if they want to. WorkInSync also lets you book desks and meeting rooms depending on your team’s schedule. You can even use it to schedule your employees’ work and manage visitors. You can also analyze this platform’s usage among your employees and more.
Below are some key features of WorkInSync.
Integrated Team Planner
WorkInSync comes with a team planner. You can also stay on top of other employees’ schedules and tasks. That way, you can plan yours accordingly. It’s even easy to implement employee rotation or physical office visit schedules.
A centralized dashboard tells you how many people have signed in from the office, and how many are in remote locations. That means you no longer need guessing games when scheduling. Lastly, WorkInSync also streamlines planning within the organization.
I recommend using WorkInSync in hybrid modes. It’s specifically useful when teams take turns using office space and meeting rooms.
Teamflow is another virtual workspace platform that adds fun to your work environment. In this platform, you can see your video in a bubble in your virtual floor plan. This means you can simply see who’s around you and “walk” up to chat with them! You can also meet, collaborate, brainstorm, or just hang out with your colleagues.
Let’s now take a brief look at some of the defining features of Teamflow.
Teamflow lets your employees sit on virtual furniture. This gives the feel of being in a meeting space. Your employees can also have informal chats around a coffee table or the water cooler, all virtual!
Teamflow offers whiteboards, screen shares, post-it notes, and more to help your employees take notes during a meeting. In fact, everyone can collaborate on these tools, and you can see the changes in real-time.
These features make Teamflow a good choice for better collaboration and communication within your team. It’s also a fun visual representation of IRL workspaces!
5. Kosy Office
Kosy Office lets you collaborate easily with your colleagues. You can open a whiteboard, do a video chat, and share your screen, just like in a physical office. You can even sit around a table and chat over a cup of coffee, but virtually. Customize your workspace, listen to music together, and take fitness sessions with Kosy Office.
Here’s a look at some of Kosy Office’s important features.
Kosy Office allows you to customize your virtual space. You can add your favorite pieces of furniture, move them around, and even keep virtual pets to give you company. It’s like a real office, but virtual!
Kosy Office has many integrations that let you greatly enhance productivity and interactions. For example, it enables you to use specialized apps such as Miro boards, Figma, Google Drive, and more. These features undoubtedly help to create a private and cozy virtual workspace. Your virtual workspaces can finally reflect you in every way.
All these tools enhance the look and feel of a virtual workspace. You can even feel connected with your colleagues and talk to them instantly, just like you would in a physical office.
Not all organizations need elaborate virtual workspaces, especially if they have a hybrid work environment. Consider your company’s needs before settling on one of the above virtual workplaces. If it turns out you don’t need virtual workspaces, I still have something for you. In this next section, I’ll show you remote collaboration tools that can enhance your team’s productivity.
Top 3 Remote Collaboration Tools
Remote collaboration tools are essential to a distributed team’s daily life. They help employees work together on documents and projects. That way, the team can achieve the desired outcomes within the established deadlines. Since more people want the flexibility of working from anywhere, these tools can help you keep productivity and efficiency. Let’s take a look at the top 3 remote collaboration tools
Monday.com is a popular Work OS that empowers you to run projects, manage tasks, use it as CRM, track bugs, etc. This tool uses a lot of intuitive visuals and grids to enhance collaboration. In turn, this also helps people focus on the outcomes, not just on the tasks. The visuals provide a bigger picture of the goals. Overall, this team customizes workflows to meet your business’s specific needs. Through these features, Monday.com enhances your team’s efficiency and productivity.
Slack is an enterprise messaging platform that enables team members to communicate instantly. You can also create smaller groups, do private one-on-one chats, and more. Slack also integrates well with a ton of apps like Google Calendar to easily schedule and manage meetings. Another cool feature is the Huddle, which allows you to instantly voice and video chat with colleagues. You can even present your screen during a huddle call. All these features boost collaboration and, in turn, your team’s productivity.
In all, Slack eases the communication process, so your employees can feel more connected with each other.
Assembly is a workplace collaboration tool that provides context and understanding, so employees can work together more efficiently. This tool lets you build and automate workflows to help channel efforts towards specific goals. It’s also simple to use and comes with more than 40+ pre-built workflow templates. It integrates with many tools such as Office 365, Google Suite, and more.
Overall, Assembly comes in handy to create and manage workflows in your organization and to help your employees have more visibility over their daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals.
Combine these tools to achieve different objectives. For example, organizations use Slack for communication and Assembly to build and automate workflows. It just depends on your organization’s needs and preferences.
Needless to say, all the above three tools enhance collaboration. They’ll also ensure you build the best virtual workspaces for your employees.
Remote working and virtual workspaces are here to stay. That’s why organizations are looking to leverage different platforms. In the end, you want to enhance collaboration and improve efficiency in a virtual setup.
In this article, I’ve gone over five virtual workspace platforms and three collaboration tools that I believe can be beneficial to your organization. If you consider your needs, you may find that these tools will help you improve your productivity and efficiency.
Have more questions about virtual workspaces? Check out the FAQ and Resources sections below!
Do virtual workspaces have any benefits?
Yes, virtual workspaces offer many benefits. They give employees the flexibility to work from anywhere. In turn, this greatly boosts their morale and helps them to have a better work-life balance. Organizations can also attract talent from any part of the world without worrying about visa procedures and international immigration.
Are virtual workspaces always beneficial?
No, virtual workspaces come with their downsides, too. They can create scheduling conflicts with team members. The lack of in-person interactions can also impact productivity. Loneliness, team bonding, and poor social interactions add to the downsides. One way to overcome these problems is to use collaboration and remote workspace platforms.
What are some best practices to boost remote team collaboration?
You can use some best practices to enhance collaboration and communication in your team. Start with setting clear goals and objectives and ensure transparency in working. Encourage your team members to support each other and consider doing some virtual team-building activities to build a bond.
Are Sococo and Slack similar?
No, Sococo and Slack aren’t similar. Slack is more of a communication tool. It helps your team members to interact through voice and video chats. Sococo, on the other hand, is a broader virtual workspace platform. It goes beyond communication. In fact, Sococo lets you establish objectives, track progress, assign tasks, and more.
Is communication critical in a virtual work environment?
Yes, communication is a critical component in a virtual work environment. That’s because people can’t meet each other in person. They have to rely on online communication tools to get to know each other for streamlined collaboration. This is why organizations use many communication tools to give their employees a feeling of working together.
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