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Online Collaboration tools to manage remote team members easily

If you aren’t part of a company where you all work remotely, chances are you occasionally work from home, or while you’re offsite with customers.

Between 2012 and 2016, flexi-time has risen by 12.35 per cent; and data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that the number of UK workers who have moved into remote-working has increased by nearly a quarter of a million over a decade.
Currently, over 4 million people in the UK work remotely, according to TUC, that is almost 15 percent of the workforce. Thanks to changing attitudes and ever-improving network capabilities this number is expected to continue its upward trajectory over the next 3 years, with half the UK workforce expected to be working remotely by 2020.

Managing a remote team can be a challenge and comes with its own set of specific considerations that an office wouldn’t usually have. The most difficult issue people raise with remote teams is trust. Senior managers need to plan and strategize how their workforce can evidence and deliver on working remotely. Senior Managers can help remote teams create seamless working relationships, respect, and mutual trust by leveraging leadership tools and technologies that help you cultivate this in your organisation.

Collaboration tools that will help manage remote teams:
Microsoft Video Calling - TEAMs
41 percent of remote workers in the Microsoft survey strongly favoured video conferencing, and it’s a great way to save travel time and costs to bring people together for team meetings.

Video conferencing tools like Microsoft TEAMs let your remote workers see each other face-to-face, get a feel for personality and mood, pick up on body language nuances and intonations, making it easier to share ideas, have tough conversations, and collaborate.
Click here to learn about Microsoft TEAMs and how we can support your business with remote Virtual Support or Virtual online Microsoft TEAMs training.

Instant messenger
Email is a great tool to communicate, but did you know that while employees spend half the day dealing with emails, only 14 percent of them are actually relevant?

For remote teams, a great way to have those quick conversations is via instant messenger. Whether it’s a quick question to do with work, or replacing those morning tea kitchen chats, it’s a great way to have those spontaneous chats that often happen in a traditional office space on the fly.

Dolphin Networks uses Microsoft Teams to stay in touch remotely with our clients, business partners and suppliers. “I communicate with people in the office and remote locations differently with Microsoft 365,” says Sukh Kanwar, Head of IT Manager at Dolphin Networks . “Instead of long email chains we can have a group conversation on Teams that is instant and stored for easy retrieval. I love how we can link Twitter feeds into Teams to keep on top of the latest highlights of our offerings and customer feedback.”

How to collaborate on documents?- Shared workspaces
If your team is working remotely you will want to require them to collaborate on documents and processes. This, of course, can be done via email, but version control will soon become a confusing mess.
This is where shared workspace come in such as Teams, or SharePoint.

By giving one central location that everyone can access, no matter where they are, to work on the same files in real time – and see what others within the team have actioned and completed – you can maintain version control and simplify the creation process.

A Client of ours in central London, Vuelta, were struggling with their remote desktop system. It was prone to delays and workers struggled to collaborate and be a part of the company. This all changed when they moved to Microsoft 365.

“People were able to share documents easily and edit online without version control issues. Our internal collaboration pain points disappeared,” said Head of Digital Transformation “People can work from anywhere without issues.”

How can I manage my teams’ task remotely? - Shared virtual task lists
When you’re working with teams online, keeping everyone up to deadlines on collaborative projects can be a little challenging. With virtual task lists, your team can see lists of all their tasks and their status, which makes keeping everyone ‘in the know’ simple.

To modernize these task lists, some apps give you the option to attach files to tasks, collaborate on these files, share notes, and even have conversations about them without having to use a separate app, which makes it easy to work on when people’s schedules don’t sync up.

NAZUK one of our clients has seen immediate gains in productivity from this. “We’ve found Microsoft Teams to be a game changer. As soon as you open it, you’re ready to find, share, and add information. You can even start a voice or video call right from a discussion in Teams,” says Taylor. “Collaboration is faster and simpler. With everyone’s apps available in Microsoft 365, remote workers have the same experience as people in the office. Everything is saved to, and accessible in, OneDrive.”

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Comment by Keith Grover, NiS Founder on March 5, 2020 at 11:43

Thanks for a very timely post, Katie - given the impact of Corona Virus on every business and the huge numbers of people likely to be working from home in the months ahead...

Comment by Katie Williams on March 5, 2020 at 11:51

Many thanks, Keith, there are many advantages to remote working - Dolphin Networks is trying to promote a postive attitude rather than the media hysteria....

The talent pool, great selection of people to hire into your business; 
Stay at home Mums are an untapped resource and people with disabilities;
Work-life balance - reduce stress levels;
Environmental commute green emissions; 
Employees are better of having to pay travel thus more money in their pocket; 
Saving the business travel costs for meetings (internal/external);

We are hosting an event on19th March Intelligent Digital Workplace click here to view event d...

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