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Onboarding team members into collaboration tools

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Collaboration tools have transformed the way we now work. In modern offices, many people work in dispersed groups, in different offices around the UK and other countries around the world. You may not even work in an office at all, instead working from the comfort of your own home as a remote worker, or travelling all over the globe meeting clients. However, how do you ensure a contemporary workforce stays connected?

This is where collaboration tools come in, making it easier than ever to interact with the rest of your team. Collaboration tools such as messaging app Slack, designing programme InVision and project management tool Trello have enabled colleagues who work remotely or commute to the office communicate and work together even when they are on different sides of the world.

Mark Russell, business development director at The Word Telecom said: “With the use of a centrally managed infrastructure utilising Virtual Desktops, published applications and a document management system, the remote workforce can work in a collaborative manner.”

Services such as email, instant message, video conference and audio call have allowed us to share and work on documents on all devices such as Laptops, Desktops, Tablets and Mobile devices, says Russell.

He added: “This can be achieved all from just an internet connection, ideally with low latency to the originating source and relatively inexpensive client hardware, removing the geographical boundaries for where your workforce operates.”

There are three things to consider when onboarding your team members into collaboration tools:

1.       Discuss collaboration tools as a team

To make the most out of collaboration tools, and get your team on board, it’s important to discuss what collaboration tools are going to be used within your business. Some people aren’t keen on change, and have different tastes when it comes to different apps and tools. After all, they might think ‘what’s wrong with using email?’

By listening to your team and evaluating the variety of tools means everyone has an input into the tools your business will use and the whole team will be happy to use them knowing they had a say in which tools were most appropriate. It also makes remote workers feel more included in the team.

2.       Utilise your collaboration tools

One difficulty remote workers face is communicating with their colleagues, and according to writer and digital nomad Daniel Schwartz, “communication is the ultimate key to collaboration”. Schwartz says that remaining ‘available’ or ‘online’ ensures all workers, including remote workers, know you are there to help.

This will encourage the team to use these tools more. When you are working in an office, you forget how easy it is to simply swivel your chair around and ask another team member a question. When you just have a computer screen to go by, it’s hard to determine whether someone is available or not. You may be working towards a tight deadline and wish to not be disturbed, but keeping your profile ‘available’ means your business is also getting efficient use out of the collaboration tools.

3.       Support your team

For some members of your team, it may be difficult for them to get to grips with how certain collaboration tools work, particularly if they are working remotely. Investing time in short teaching sessions which outline the basic elements of the tools in use will ensure everyone is up to speed and can confidently use them. This will also improve work productivity, as team members won’t have to waste time teaching themselves how to use something.

Onboarding your team members into collaboration tools doesn’t have to be difficult. By ensuring you support remote workers and letting them know you are always available to give a helping hand will boost their morale and encourage them to keep using these tools, which can in turn boost productivity and retain a closely connected team.

 

 

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Tags: Business, Digital Transformation