4 Ways to Boost Your Remote Team’s Collaboration

Téa Liarokapi
October 13, 2023
min read
April 18, 2024
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Want your virtual team to be more productive than ever? Try these tips and tools to boost your remote team's collaboration.
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prWorking remotely used to be one of the most controversial topics. That is until the pandemic hit. After 2020, remote collaboration has been one of the core staples of nearly any business, with employees stating its many benefits:

Buffer State of Remote Work 2023: Remote collaboration
(Source: Buffer)

However, the many benefits come with quite some challenges, especially if you’re trying to create a fully remote team. Collaboration has traditionally been something that happened up close. So, how can your business adapt to the new normal?

Fortunately, there are quite a few ways you can make remote collaboration run smoothly. From remote team management software to scheduling like a pro, let’s see what those are.

How important is remote team collaboration?

Remote team collaboration is one of the most important procedures in a WFH environment, and overcoming any obstacles is something that all managers of remote teams might face.

The reasons vary. First of all, creating a remote team contributes to a diverse company culture. Remote teams can be quite diverse, as they don’t just foster the community in and around an office location. Besides the diverse work culture, this can also work favorably towards better penetrating the target market and hiring the best talent globally, instead of locally.

Another benefit is the fact that members of remote teams can reach more achievements and develop their skill set through this mosaic of employees and managers. Collaborating with many people from all over the globe can be a fantastic personal development tool that opens doors to new perspectives and opportunities.

Lastly, remote team collaboration builds trust and ownership between team members. Collaboration is a reason to bond and create better relationships with each other.

4 ways to foster & boost collaboration in remote teams

Team collaboration might be the tool to create better relationships between remote team members, but it’s also not an easy thing to accomplish. It will take time, effort, and various strategies that will get managers there.

1. Invest in the right equipment and tools

The right equipment and the right tools are integral when it comes to promoting remote collaboration.

First of all, make sure remote workers have all the necessary equipment to boost their productivity. That includes hardware, Wi-Fi connection, webcams, computers or laptops, the works. Issue a budget and distribute it to cover your team’s needs.

After that, use proper collaboration tools. Create a list of tools you may need to look into that will allow team communication, brainstorming, email newsletter software for internal team newsletters and shoutouts, project management collaboration tools for organizing and distributing materials, and anything to help you create the team’s goals.

💡 ‎Scribe tip: Learn more about the latest and greatest project management technology and tools in these popular blogs:

You’ll need to use team collaboration software and tools to promote cross departmental collaboration between your remote team members and help them know your goals. Not only that, but also, internal newsletters and correspondence, and project management structures will help you ignite creativity and align your team with your company’s goals.

Communication and collaboration tools can also help you promote educational resources, organize meetings, and kickstart creative projects that take a little brainstorming and feedback.

2. Create and maintain a clear schedule

Investing in internal newsletters and internal communication software will do you little good if you’re not up for creating and maintaining a clear schedule for your remote team. Whether you decide to keep an open-door policy or create an internal visual communications newsletter that pops off once a month, you’ll need to be clear and consistent.

Transparency is the best way to go about it in that case. You can go ahead and ask your team members what they would like to see and how they would like to communicate with you. You should also provide alternative ways they can reach out to you should a problem arise.

Keeping a regular and consistent schedule is a core remote team tactic, seeing as it can improve team collaboration and productivity. A schedule with deadlines, tasks, and events like calls, real-time training, or performance reviews will help your team members manage their time more effectively.

But remember how we discussed hiring talent from across the globe? This could mean that not all meetings can be held in all timezones. In that case, maybe creating a poll or a survey and asking when the best time would be could help. That way, you’re making your remote team a part of the decision-making process.

Of course, being consistent can only do so much if your only communication is about work or evaluation. This is why, as a manager of a remote working team, it makes sense to check in with your team for a simple, “How do you do?” Communication that goes beyond daily tasks is very important to remote team members, as it makes them feel truly motivated.

A little chitchat can go a long way and can help you build a trusting relationship with your remote team’s members. It also promotes a sense of ownership, as it shows that you care about each team member individually.

⚡ Check out our list of the top ‎virtual training software that can help you create an effective and engaging learning experience.

3. Create virtual team-bonding activities

The biggest remote work communication challenge is creating team-bonding activities that will lead to better collaboration and communication with team members. As I said in the beginning, the bond between coworkers is the biggest challenge when it comes to creating and maintaining a remote team.

Take a leaf out of the pandemic’s practices book. Remember how we all used to hop on short calls to have some coffee and show our houses? You can build this into your remote team’s routine.

Another very creative idea would be to start challenges as a team, or participate in online tournaments of your favorite game.

Or, if your team is new and you want to start slow, you can always create virtual “get-to-know-us” sessions that will cover various topics. Each person can present something of their liking that will give unique insights into their lives.

Implement questions like “What are your hobbies?”, “What is your favorite book?”, “What is your drink of choice?” and so on.

It could also include requests like “Show us your pet”, “Can we see your favorite hoodie?”, or “Can we see a childhood photo you’re semi-embarrassed of?”

Questions and activities like this one can help you get to know your team better - and your team to bond with the rest of its members. It’s a fun and creative way to build relationships and boost collaboration.

📌 Related resource: How to Create a Happy, Productive Remote Onboarding Experience

4. Encourage asking for feedback

As a remote team manager, your job is to check, direct, and give feedback wherever possible. But does this make you a good remote team manager? What about the things you should know and resolve?

It’s important to give feedback to employees, but it’s just as important to ask for feedback, especially when you’re a manager of a remote team. How do you know your style is effective? Are your ideas productive? Do they promote team bonding?

The answers to these questions should be given by your employees. You can hold a one-on-one session with them, and you can ask any questions. Or, if you feel that they would be a little too timid to give proper feedback, you could create an anonymous survey and discuss the results with them.

As a manager, self-evaluation and employee performance might be your top priority, but remote team members need to know that they can give feedback to their manager without being scrutinized for it.

This practice will help you build trust and collaboration between members and show the work of a manager for what it actually is: A person who inspires and leads and not one who just gives out orders. 

Remote teams work better when team members do their best. So, asking for feedback and doing your best as a manager will boost your efforts and put you in a position where you lead by example.

What are the biggest challenges for a remote team?

Knowing how to foster collaboration is fantastic. However, you need to understand your remote team management challenges before trying to resolve them.

While you might assign certain tasks to certain people, there are some other tasks that need expert team collaboration. Now, since you’re running a remote team, collaboration and virtual management might be challenging. This is why you’ll need to invest in tools such as:

  • Scribe for process documentation and knowledge-sharing
  • Slack for instant messaging and communication
  • DocuSign to review and sign necessary documents
  • Trello for some expert project management
  • Moosend for engaging internal newsletters

💡 ‎Scribe tip: Integrating your favorite apps with Slack can take your team’s productivity to the next level! Learn more about the best Slack apps for productivity.

Another challenge is the unnecessary jargon that will be accumulated down the line. This is why you need file-sharing services and clear procedures. No coordination will amount to little to no productivity. Of course, this is not something one can solve with tools. If you’re managing a remote team, you’ll have to create and curate procedures to help your team thrive.

Communication during specific work hours is yet another issue that remote teams face, more often than not. Different time zones mean different working hours, and a standard 9-5 might look completely different to various members of your team. One solution is to ask team members to adapt to something specific. For example, your team might be working a 9-5 Asia Pacific time. Or, you may require one or two hours when all employees need to be online.

Conduct your virtual trainings, meetings and team briefing calls during those hours, and then allow your remote team to work at their own leisure outside of that time period.

You can also create web-based training that allow employees to learn at their own pace outside of core hours. Tools like the best eLearning software and employee training Chrome extensions can help you build your training program.

Last but not least, the biggest challenge remote teams face is building a strong culture and a deeper bond. This is especially true if we’re talking about remote teams with members from all across the globe with no common cultural background.

Internal newsletters, a remote work podcast, games, pop quizzes, and some quality time during get-to-know-us calls will definitely create a stronger bond between your team’s members. Take a look at your internal communications metrics (data sets that indicate how well your internal communications strategy is working) to learn what is working best for your team.

The takeaway

Remote team collaboration is not a piece of cake, and creating a team culture while being on all sides of the globe is more than a little challenging. However, with clear procedures, concise schedules, and some team-bonding exercises, you’ll definitely get there.

Add team collaboration and project management tools to this, and you’ll have the best remote team culture in no time.

Try a collaboration tool that writes your process documentation for you — for free!

Author Bio:


Téa Liarokapi is a Senior Content Writer for Moosend, an email marketing and marketing automation platform, and an obsessive writer in general. In her free time, she tries to find new ways to stuff more books in her bookcase and content ideas - and cats - to play with.‍

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