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5 tips to make the most of remote collaboration

by Catherine Chiang  |  March 30, 2020

3 min. read
A woman sitting at a window, working on a laptop while drinking coffee.

With coronavirus transforming the way we work, many organizations are now figuring out how to collaborate remotely. These five pointers will help your team bridge the distance!

Eine junge Frau sitzt in einem modernen Wohnzimmer an einem braunen Holztisch und arbeitet mit ihrem Laptop.

1. Make communication count

Now that we’re getting less face time with our colleagues, communication is paramount! Make sure each piece of communication you send to your team is clear and contains everything your teammates need to do their work.

It’s easy to misunderstand cues and tone digitally, so don’t assume that your team will understand what you mean if you use shorthand or give vague instructions. When in doubt, over-communicate and be available to clarify.

2. Practice asynchronous communication

With teams working remotely and possibly spread over time zones, communication may not always happen in real time. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it can be an opportunity to practice clearer communication and help teammates set aside time to focus completely on their work.

Practice asynchronous communication by writing out initial messages that contain all the information a colleague needs to know instead of sending shorter, multiple messages and waiting for a response between each message.

3. Get centralized and organized

To avoid confusion and inefficiency, your team should be on the same page about what workflows look like and where assets are located. Moving to remote work can throw a wrench into marketing and creative operations if brand assets and files aren’t already organized and centralized in a cloud-based location that’s accessible remotely.

Having a centralized location for assets can help your team continue to move quickly and collaborate in real-time. We’ve heard from customers who find having a centralized digital asset library in Canto essential for this remote transition!

“Having to access a shared drive on a server that was half a country away – that lag time was really hard on my work. I would have to lean on team members who were onsite,’” says Marci Falvey, senior director of communications at New World Symphony.

“Canto has really been a game changer for us. It diminishes the cons of not being in the building and takes away the distance. We’re all looking at the same assets at the same time.”

4. Turn on video!

Although you may not want your coworkers to see your WFH outfit and start making bets on when you took your last shower, turning on the video during calls can help teammates communicate better by picking up on nonverbal cues, feel more connected and stay more engaged during meetings. It’s also just nicer to talk to a person rather than a disembodied voice.

5. Show appreciation and recognize each other

It’s even more important as a remote team to celebrate each other’s successes and contributions, so that we all feel appreciated and motivated to continue bringing our best to the team. Take time to nurture both individual connections between teammates and group connections. It can be as simple as acknowledging how a coworker has helped you complete a project, or setting up a Zoom call to celebrate a birthday – but make this a practice so that the team still feels connected despite the distance.