There’s one thing that every successful startup, tech giant, and significant corporation has in common — a strong culture of collaboration. Although each employee has unique skills, nobody can act as an island in an effective workplace. This is especially true in a virtual workplace composed entirely of remote employees. While screens and distance may separate you from your colleagues, you must find a way to bridge the gap so you can collaborate productively. Luckily, plenty of tools are available to help you do that. Find out what tools can help you collaborate more efficiently in the virtual workspace this year.
Challenges of Virtual Working
It’s no secret that virtual work is challenging. Many people report feeling disconnected from their work, and team leaders often struggle to unite and engage their staff. However, one of the most significant problems is the communication barrier that often emerges in an online setting. It’s easy to talk and share ideas when sitting across from somebody. It’s a little more complicated when you’re connecting on a Zoom call, battling technical difficulties, and asking whether or not the other person can hear you. If this sounds like a familiar scene, you’re not alone.
Yet another challenge unique to the virtual workspace is the sense of isolation that can emerge. You go to work to earn a paycheck and pay your bills, but work is also a social activity at the end of the day. Even if you aren’t best friends with all of your coworkers, your daily interactions play a big part in your sense of belonging. It’s no wonder many people feel a sense of unbelonging as they are relegated to a remote workplace. Team leaders must make efforts to boost socialization in the virtual world.
Benefits of Virtual Working
There are plenty of advantages to the many challenges of virtual work. Statistics show, for example, that virtual work can boost productivity. Without a boss to constantly watch over their shoulders, some workers feel as though they are finally free to do their best work. Indeed, micromanagement is much less of a concern, and productivity has soared. This may sound like good news, but it should be noted that individual productivity isn’t necessarily the same as collaborative productivity.
What remote work lacks in collaboration, though, it makes up for in sustainability. Many proponents of remote work note that it’s one of the most significant advancements for the environment that has been made in years. Millions of people forced to commute to work can now spare the air from their vehicle’s emissions. This may have massive long-term benefits for the earth and its benefited workers. Most employees do not want to commute, so eliminating this aspect of work may also have a positive effect on workers’ overall mental health.
Tools to Simplify Remote Work
How can we simplify remote work and give workers the tools they need to collaborate more effectively? Several resources purport to have an answer, and some offer promising solutions. Zoom and Microsoft Teams, for example, have emerged as two of the most ubiquitous communication platforms in the virtual work revolution — and with good reason. Although every video call application has its fair share of issues, these platforms have become known as the most reliable replica of face-to-face conversation. It’s easier and more personable than an email and can lay the groundwork for collaboration.
If you’ve ever been on a Zoom call with somebody sitting in front of a messy room, you know just how distracting it can be. One of the best solutions for this problem is a virtual background. A virtual background shields your actual surroundings from view and allows you to create a perfectly personalized image that appears behind you. This image may be a scenic setting, a corporate boardroom, or a solid color wall. No matter what image you select, you can customize it and add your company’s logo.
Zoom calls allow you to discuss collaboration, but when it comes down to the actual collaborating, you need a tool that will enable multiple users to make real-time revisions on a project — and that’s precisely what Google Workspace facilitates. Google Workspace is a suite of applications that allow users to chat, manage files, and make edits seamlessly. All users can see all edits, and its video tool can support up to 500 attendees. If you want to ensure that your team can collaborate effectively, Google Workspace is your tool.