Building a Strong Remote Work Culture Through Communication and Collaboration

Jun 14, 2023
Building a Strong Remote Work Culture Through Communication and Collaboration
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The working world has changed dramatically in recent times. The rise of e-commerce and online transactions has seen digital business take precedence worldwide, and as a result, companies everywhere are now facing increasingly fierce competition from overseas. In order to succeed in a crowded digital marketplace, companies are seeking to transcend the limits of their geography by recruiting elite talent from around the world, and this has led to a considerable increase in the popularity of remote work.

While the shift to remote work has opened up a wealth of new opportunities for both employers and workers, the fact remains that this development is a wholly unprecedented one, and as such, it comes with its own set of challenges, namely how to get maximal benefit from remote workforces. To ensure that remote workers can bring them maximum value, HR teams must seek to be proactive in creating a strong remote work culture by fostering clear communication and effective collaboration.

In this article, we will provide insight into how to go about creating a strong remote work culture, highlighting strategies and tools which can help HR teams to engage and empower remote workforces.

 

Establishing a Communication Framework

In a remote work environment, it is imperative to create a solid framework for communication that enables remote teams to work effectively as part of a wider organization, and HR plays a pivotal role in this. 

First and foremost, HR should seek to establish a set of communication guidelines for remote teams. These guidelines should provide a bassline for communications going forward by setting out clear expectations concerning response times and outlining channels of communication intended for specific purposes.

Additionally, HR should conduct regular check-ins with remote workers. This will enable a company to elicit valuable feedback from its teams and maintain a strong connection with employees. Furthermore, it will provide HR with an opportunity to discuss potential obstacles to productivity.

Fostering Collaboration with Tech

Nowadays, there are a wide variety of technological tools that organizations can utilize to help create an efficient remote work culture. The following are some solutions that can enable companies to get the most out of remote workforces: 

Human Resource Management Systems

To effectively create a robust remote work culture, HR teams must also have the right Human Resource Management System (HRMS) in place. Applications such as HR Cloud are essential to the creation of such a culture as they provide a centralized platform for managing remote teams.

A quality HRMS will come with a comprehensive suite of features that can make HR teams' jobs easier. Pulse surveys, for instance, can enable HR to efficiently gather feedback on the employee experience of remote workers, allowing them to address potential issues more quickly. 

Additionally, a Human Resource Management System enables a company's HR department to easily log and monitor employee performance data, conduct check-ins, and share important resources for onboarding. In this way, an HRMS allows HR to facilitate a smooth experience for remote workers.

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Virtual Private Networks

One issue that remote workers commonly encounter is an inability to access key resources or cloud-based tools. This is due to the existence of geo-blocking restrictions, which preclude users from accessing specific sites or services if they are outside of a certain supported region. Needless to say, this can significantly hamper the productivity of remote teams, but VPNs can provide can play a major role in empowering remote teams to work effectively.

VPNs enable users to reroute their Internet traffic via remote servers, essentially acting as intermediaries between users and the websites they visit. This means that by installing a VPN client or VPN extension on their device, a remote worker can mask their IP address and change their location to access online services that they would not be able to otherwise. As a result, remote workers can easily access the tools they need to work together effectively, regardless of where they are.

Video-Conferencing Applications

As has been mentioned, facilitating communication is key to the creation of a strong remote work culture, so video-conferencing applications are indispensable in a remote work environment.

Most notably, video-conferencing applications enable all-important face-to-face communication through virtual meetings. This helps teams to express their meanings clearly and succinctly to improve productivity and aids collaboration by helping to build familiarity and rapport with remote employees. Additionally, video-conferencing applications also offer other useful features such as screen sharing which can make remote collaboration simpler and more convenient or audio transcriptions that makes call analysis much easier later on in the business lifecycle.

Through the provision and consistent use of video-conferencing applications, companies can bridge the gap between remote workers, fostering organizational cohesion and enabling brainstorming sessions that yield more effective initiatives.

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Project Management Tools

Disorganization can be a genuine issue in remote work. With multiple team members working from different locations in different time zones, projects can quickly become disjointed, and progress often suffers as a result. This is why it is so essential to have the right project management tools in place.

By furnishing remote teams with a comprehensive project management solution, a company can enable team members to easily assign tasks, set key deadlines, and track the progress of projects. In addition, remote employees can utilize key features like file sharing and workflow automated to ensure projects are managed more effectively. 

Simply put, project management tools enable team members to stay on the same page at all times. As such, they are essential to enhancing collaboration and reducing project turnaround time.

Implementing Software Tools for Remote Work

Implementing the right software can benefit a company's remote work culture enormously. However, as with all worthwhile pursuits, it is easier said than done. As such, it is advisable to adhere to best practices when it comes to the implementation of new technologies.

The following can help a company to effectively incorporate new software tools for remote workers:

Comprehensive Training

To enable remote workers to communicate and collaborate, companies must provide them with thorough training on how to use essential software tools effectively. This means furnishing them with the appropriate learning resources, such as walk-throughs, tutorial videos, and, in the case of more complex software, digital adoption platforms to provide real-time guidance. 

Additionally, HR must establish a clear support network with dedicated communication channels for dealing with issues workers may experience during onboarding.  

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Regular Auditing 

Regular auditing and evaluation of software tools are essential to the creation of a strong remote work culture. HR teams should engage in routine audits to collect employee feedback on software tools and analyze key metrics to gain insights into overall performance. 

Should a shortcoming be uncovered in this process, HR can take the appropriate steps to adjust or replace systems to better facilitate the work of remote employees.

Strong Security and Data Privacy

When working with remote employees, there is an elevated risk factor with regard to cybersecurity and data privacy. To avoid potentially catastrophic breaches, HR teams should work with IT departments closely to ensure the implementation of comprehensive security measures such as access controls and encryption to safeguard crucial data.

In doing this, HR can enable remote employees to communicate and collaborate effectively without putting their organization at risk.

Final Thoughts

As remote work becomes more and more common, HR will have an increasingly important role to play in fostering communication and collaboration between remote workers. By establishing a solid framework for communication, leveraging cutting-edge software, and providing employees with comprehensive onboarding and support, HR departments can empower remote teams and drive collaboration, productivity, and employee success in the virtual workplace.

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Author Bio:

This article is written by a marketing team member at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of proven HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee communications & engagement, and rewards & recognition. Our user-friendly software increases employee productivity, delivers time and cost savings, and minimizes compliance risk.

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