3 Tips for Effective Remote Collaboration

    Learn how to navigate challenges from remote working and the use of digital credentials to ensure long-term success in the evolving work landscape.

    user-circle Patricia Diaz
    hourglass-01 4 min read
    shutterstock_1728065929-2000x400 (1)-1

    In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has become an integral part of our professional landscape. What was initially considered a temporary solution has evolved into a permanent and widely accepted way of working. Many individuals continue to appreciate the flexibility and work/life balance that comes with remote work. Whether it's the convenience of household chores between virtual meetings or the ability to spend more time with family, the benefits of working from home remain a significant draw.

    As companies adapt to this new reality, the shift away from traditional office spaces seems more enduring. The realization that employees can maintain, and in some cases enhance, productivity from home has prompted many organizations to reevaluate their stance on remote work. Beyond the financial incentive of downsizing office spaces, businesses are recognizing the value of a content and efficient remote workforce.

    However, this paradigm shift also comes with its own set of challenges. Collaborating from a distance requires a different approach to ensure effective communication, team cohesion, and project success. Here are some common challenges associated with remote work and collaborative solutions to address them:

    Problem 1 - Collaboration delays

    Popping by your colleague's cubicle is a thing of the past in many companies now. Impromptu brainstorming sessions in the conference room aren't possible, either.

    Fix: Many remote collaboration tools, including Microsoft Teams and Slack, have instant messaging features. Using those, you don't even have to leave your desk to virtually pop by to ask a colleague a question. It also allows colleagues a moment to think and reflect on answers, leading to more accurate and thoughtful feedback.

    Problem 2 - Time zone or language confusion

    This is especially true in global companies, where you may have traveled to your overseas branches for important meetings or in-person negotiations. If your company requires overseas travel to get the job done, you may be getting used to the idea that many borders are simply closed to Americans right now. In terms of time zones: What time is it in London, again? In terms of language barriers: When you don't have translators and are dealing with people one-on-one, how do you collaborate successfully?

    Fix: Try to schedule recurring virtual meetings with global clients and colleagues at the same time. Say you're on the East Coast and need to meet monthly while working on a project with colleagues in London. Schedule those meetings for 9 a.m. eastern time. That's 2 p.m. in London. If you schedule recurring meetings at the same time, you won't have to calculate the time change every time.

    For the language barrier, translation software is nothing new. But another way you know that your overseas colleagues can get the job done is with the "common language of verified skills." Digital credentials in verified skills can make you more confident in your collaborations, knowing your far-flung partners have the skills necessary to do the job.

    Problem 3 - Varying home internet speeds

    Not everyone has lightning-fast internet at home, so loading big files or sharing screens, or even using video meeting apps like Teams or Zoom can cause delays and difficulties. Many home internet providers or cell phone providers "throttle" connections that cause consumers to have to pay more for a higher, faster level of service.

    Fix: Consider setting your employees up with a Virtual Private Network (VPN). It will encrypt your transmissions and can prevent that sort of throttling.

    Problem 4 - Colleagues aren't proficient in remote working skills

    Working remotely requires many skills that people don't necessarily need to hone and perfect when they're working in an office. Success in remote working and collaboration means people need to excel in these skills:

    • Written and oral communication
    • Focus
    • Collaboration
    • Time management
    • Adaptability
    • Remote collaboration technology

    If your colleague can't figure out Microsoft Teams, can't manage his or her time, isn't able to focus, or doesn't communicate well on chat, you can run into delays, problems, and other snags that can sap productivity. For managers who are working with far-flung teams by necessity now, how can they be sure their team members have the skills to work successfully at home?

    Fix: Offer employees to upskill with digital credentials. This is a case for upskilling if there ever was one. As an employer, you need to be sure your employees can be as effective and productive as possible while working remotely. The impact, profitability, and long-term success of your business depend on it. When employees take an online course designed to help them collaborate remotely, hone their time management skills, and master technology, it will help your entire team get remote work down to a science.

    At Credly by Pearson, we're dedicated to helping companies upskill their employees with verifiable digital credentials. Speak to our team to find out the range of benefits you can experience by implementing a successful digital credentialing strategy. 

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