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Companies often use external staff, like freelancers, and internal staff can also be spread across different sites or work on a mobile basis. How can you help collaboration to run smoothly?
According to the worldwide study Workforce 2020 by Oxford Economics, just over four out of five companies will be using external staff in the next three years. Not only that, but employees are increasingly spread across different sites or work on a mobile basis. How then should you optimise collaboration at the heart of such a ‘virtual team’?
1. Organise regular video conferences
Plan video conferences at fixed intervals with the entire team. This allows everyone to know what others are up to and strengthens the team spirit. Don't just stick to audio, as an image is important to create the feeling of a real meeting and avoid any misunderstandings.
2. Use realtime collaboration
New collaboration technology allows people to work with other team members in real time and across the globe. For example you can create a text together and immediately give comments on each other's modifications. This is far more efficient than everyone working individually and sending modified documents by mail.
3. Give everyone access to the same information
If your staff work on different sites there is usually someone who feels isolated or less involved. So make sure that everyone has access to the same information. You can do this by using a document management system that is accessible wherever you are. You then need to adapt your procedures to make sure that all staff save their documents in the document management system.
4. Give responsibility
When staff are spread around they are clearly less visible. This is why it is important to demonstrate your trust and give them the freedom to carry out their tasks. After all, from a distance it is impossible to constantly keep an eye on their work and give detailed instructions. This not only requires the manager to apply more of a coaching role but also for team members to be willing to take on responsibility.
Orange helps you to connect your staff, processes and machines. Find out how we can work together to develop mobility in your organisation.