Truth be told, achieving perfect collaboration can be quite the challenge. It is so much easier when your team members are within an arm’s reach or just a few steps away. But what about for global companies that have team members located across the world?
Thankfully, modern technology has made communication so much easier that all people need is a mobile device and strong internet connection. And just like other businesses, we here at AwayTeam value collaboration in our online teams, no matter if they’re based in the Philippines or the land down under.
How have we fostered collaboration and productivity, despite being a remote team? Here are a few of our favorite tools that we are currently using to ensure that we’re not only up-to-date with our daily tasks, but that we retain strong lines communication as well, despite the distance.
Invision is a prototyping tool used by designers to create interactive mockups. Once a designer finishes with the designs, these can then be uploaded and shared right away to teams and even your clients directly. This is way better than going back and forth with attachments and PDF files. The app also allows users to leave comments on the mock-ups directly for revisions at a single click, which is more efficient and time-saving.
This tool is revolutionizing how organization and collaboration can be done. Sometimes, one Trello board is all you need so you can keep up-to-date with the latest developments in your team’s projects and deliverables. You can create lists for individual tasks, with cards that serve as your ‘to-do’ action items. You can easily drag and drop cards to lists where they’re appropriate, assign tasks and follow-up on them. Plus, Trello allows you to integrate third-party websites and applications, giving you no excuse to get the work done.
Fun fact: The team behind Slack started off developing a web-based multiplayer game that wasn’t very successful. However, that failure gave birth to this amazing collaboration tool. We’re huge fans of Slack, simply because it makes it so much easier for our worldwide team to communicate despite the miles between us. You can create private channels specific for a department or a project, and place all team members in it. That way lines of communication are not jumbled, making it easier to focus and finish a project. Slack allows for easy file sharing, and syncing with other collaboration tools.
Hangouts is a default in-browser chat feature for any Gmail client and we use this as our virtual boardroom for daily update meetings. Sometimes it’s easier to explain using your own voice, and it makes us feel like we’re talking to real people, compared to just chatting and typing on a laptop.
The days of worrying about files corrupting and data loss on a computer is gone. With Google Drive, you can safely secure different types of files on the cloud, share them with the world or to your team. You get 30GB with a Google account, and there’s an option to purchase more space as needed.
You can create spreadsheets and documents online, share it with other people and have them edit in real-time. It helps you save time from going back and forth with revisions and emails, as you can make changes right away. You can also control the privacy settings, ensuring that any sensitive information is kept safe.
Here are the top collaboration tools that we can personally vouch for. These have helped us collaborate and become more efficient even as an online, remote team.
What other tools have you found very useful and effective?