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Distance is no barrier: Secrets to successful remote collaboration

Imagine working on a project with others in a different room, city or even state. Once, this would have been unthinkable, but technology has opened up many new possibilities. More than ever, employees are choosing to work remotely. However, collaboration is essential in many workplaces. Therefore, many remote employees are still expected to undertake team projects. With this comes opportunities but also challenges.

So, how can you use remote collaboration to your advantage? What factors influence effective remote collaboration, and how can you improve it?

Benefits of remote collaboration

Indeed highlights the various benefits of remote collaboration.

Increases efficiency and reduces costs

Remote collaboration eliminates the time needed to travel to and set up a meeting. Therefore, it can reduce expenses for employees and employers. For example, employees may save on parking and travel costs. If many meetings are taking place off-site, businesses may find they need to rent less office space.

Improves work-life balance

By eliminating unnecessary travel time, remote collaboration can also help employees achieve a better work-life balance.


Factors impacting the success of remote collaboration

According to Indeed and Hays, a range of factors can influence the success of remote collaboration.


Team members must communicate clearly and effectively and keep in regular contact with each other.


Successful remote collaboration is based on the trust of other team members and managers. It relies on the assumption that team members will complete their tasks on time and to a sufficient standard.


All members must be able to use the technology required to complete the task and communicate with each other. They must also be instructed on the requirements to complete the task.

Time management

Effective teamwork relies on team members’ ability to work independently and manage their time appropriately. This is especially true in a remote setting.


Strong organisational skills are required for effective remote collaboration. Team members must be able to manage tasks and deadlines with reduced physical support.


Tips for effective remote collaboration

According to Indeed and Hays, there are several ways to ensure remote collaboration goes as smoothly as possible.

Set clear goals and objectives

Effective remote collaboration requires a clear goal for teams to focus their energy and effort towards.  Teams should know what is expected of them and why.

Communicate across various platforms

Regular communication is essential for effective teamwork, especially remotely. It’s a good idea to meet regularly on video conferencing platforms such as Zoom or Skype. Meeting virtually can allow you to pick up on non-verbal cues and body language of other team members, helping gauge a sense of how they are feeling. Apps such as Messenger or WhatsApp can be used to share ideas and ask questions between meetings. Programs such as Google Docs or Canva can be used to work collaboratively on tasks and share team members’ progress. Where possible, team members should use the same tools to communicate with each other, which should be tools that all team members understand.

Ensure team members are supported

Regular check-ins are essential to overcome the feelings of isolation that can come from collaborating remotely. You can also try some online team-building events, such as trivia or a virtual coffee break.

Maintain transparency

Transparency is crucial to effective remote collaboration. It is critical team members inform others of any challenges they encounter.  For example, if you are struggling to meet a deadline, let other team members know. Transparency ensures team members maintain trust with each other.

remote collaboration

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