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Tech, Collaborative Working And Company Culture

Tech, Collaborative Working and Company Culture
Tech, Collaborative Working and Company Culture
18 March 2020 | Updated 19 March 2020

To help lessen the spread of COVID-19, offices up and down the UK are relocating. The new location? The employee’s home. As the nation is encouraged to work remotely where possible, ensuring communication continues to run smoothly in your team now has additional significance.

As we reported in our article about unexpectedly being asked to work from home, when it feels like new territory, and has to be implemented urgently, working remotely can feel even more uncertain.

With so many online solutions available claiming to help us connect and work more productively, it’s certainly a crowded marketplace. If you’re not already using an online project management tool or CRM, implementing this hurriedly can be challenging and add additional pressure at an already fraught time. 

But we have found that there are practices that are both simple and fast to adopt, which will quickly make an impact on your team’s ability to collaborate. And those online tools we mentioned can help efforts too.


Be agile


Adopting a range of new tools, rather than relying on one, will ensure that any performance issues or high volumes of traffic can be managed more effectively. Due to increased home working demands earlier in the month, Microsoft Teams reported outages for many users across Europe.

It’s also rare that any single solution will give your team everything they need. We have found that agility and a willingness to switch between platforms is important here.


Make use of Google Drive  


You can use Google for a lot more than just its search engine capabilities. By signing up to use Google Drive, you get 15 gigabytes of free storage to securely house all of your documents. The collaborative opportunities are numerous too, and Google Drive is one of the best for creating and sharing documents, presentations, spreadsheets and forms. Each document is sharable via email, or by a link and you have full control over who is permitted to edit each one. Colleagues can also make suggestions that can render automatically on the document once approved.

Google Drive claims to help you find files 50% faster too. Search features like “Priority” use AI to understand what you need and surface the most relevant content—cutting the time you spend searching for files.


Organise your project management


Keeping long term plans in mind and not letting ongoing projects lose momentum is a key focus for teams who now find themselves working alone. All sectors will want to look to the future and a time where working practices return to a degree of normality.

There are several online project management tools that help workers manage multiple tasks. If you’re a small business and only require a few users, most are free with additional features available via an upgrade.

For collaborative project tracking, Asana is one of the most popular. Established in 2008, it’s used by Intel, Uber and TED to name a few adopters. The platform allows users to juggle everything from day-to-day tasks to those longer-term goals. It encourages larger projects to be split into more manageable tasks and sub-tasks, making it perfect for uniting several collaborators. 

It’s also designed to be easy to track the work of employees and monitor performance. The “Workload” tool analyzes how much work is assigned to each person. Helpful in preventing burnout, it allows you to see whether an individual’s workload suits their scheduled hours.


Feel connected and embrace company culture


Keeping employees feeling connected to each other, whether in or out of the office, is an ongoing challenge for most companies and the FM sector is no different. Can a team truly work collaboratively when working remotely? Using instant messenger services such as Slack, Skype or Google Hangouts can help, and have the benefit of simple interfaces and usability across desktop and mobile.

Collaboration strategies go beyond technology, however. Online tools and other support can only facilitate groundwork that’s already been laid. A defined company mission can prove useful here – in other words, a cause to be part of and a broader sense of purpose. If your colleagues or employees have a compelling mission or a common cause in mind, this will lend itself well to better collaboration. Investment and care in this area will mean that even if the team is separate for an extended period of time, as with the COVID-19 situation, focus and commonality will hopefully remain.

Communicate a clear mission statement within your business, and make sure this is regularly shared and discussed. If your team can collaborate to define this shared ethos, all the better. 

Picture:  As the nation is encouraged to work remotely where possible, ensuring communication continues to run smoothly in your team now has additional significance.​

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 18 March 2020


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