Can Social Media Collaboration Help a Remote Team Stay Productive?
Hiring remote workers can save companies a great deal of money, because it eliminates the need to transport those workers to a job site, and to pay for any expenses which would be incurred while there actually doing the work. This is one of the reasons that during the past two years’ jobs which have been advertised on LinkedIn have been increasingly featuring flexible work options or remote work options.
During that time frame, the number these type of jobs has increased by a full 78%, which is an indication of the surging popularity of remote work. The question is – are those remote workers as productive as the ones who are right at your location, logging in eight hours a day? This question was pursued in the Global Workplace Analytics Costs and Benefits survey which was recently conducted, and the results were somewhat surprising.
The survey found that remote workers were often as much as 40% more productive than similar workers housed right on the premises every day of the week. One of the big reasons that this kind of increased productivity is possible is due to social media collaboration, which allows remote workers to accomplish tasks much more efficiently, regardless of their physical location. Here are some ways that you can use social media collaboration to your advantage, to increase productivity right in your own workplace.
Importance of social media collaboration
When individuals are working remotely, it’s extremely important to keep them connected to each other, and to the organization as well. Fortunately, there are some social media collaboration tools available today which provide benefits that are very close to achieving the advantages of co-location. One of the primary tools allows workers to stay connected with managers, and to have access to senior members of the team they happen to be working with.
Distributed team members can also share ideas and solve problems through social media, as well as providing feedback internally without even bothering to schedule a meeting beforehand. These collaborative tools available on social media go far beyond ordinary project management tools, offering numerous opportunities for teams to connect, bond together, and take on leadership roles without being in the same physical location as their peers.
This kind of enhanced working relationship generally leads to higher morale among team members, and when you have higher morale in your organization, that becomes a key factor for employee retention. With the number of empowered and motivated employees working for you, you won’t have to undertake talent searches nearly as often, and you can enjoy the fruits of significant employee productivity right now.
Social media strategies
There’s a little more involved with social media collaboration than simply setting up a mutual account and turning your employees loose on any specific project. If you can make use of the right strategy, your social media collaboration efforts can really pay dividends, and you’ll have an opportunity to make the most of it.
First, you have to establish an environment where all remote workers are encouraged to be present when necessary, to ask all relevant questions needed for making progress, and to collaborate with others on the team to the best of their ability. Foster an environment where social media can be used to address relevant issues, show personality of team members, ask appropriate questions, and celebrate whenever successes are achieved.
Another essential component of social media collaboration is creating a culture which includes accountability. It will be very important to establish some ground rules for your remote workers, and to put out a style guide which will be enforceable when the situation calls for it. Everyone realizes the potential for empowered collaborative workers to go bust, when left unsupervised in an environment where it’s literally up to them to achieve success.
But by establishing the right attitudes in your remote workers, and creating a framework where the right kind of approach is taken, with enforcement always a possibility, it can work just the opposite way as well. When you have highly motivated employees who enjoy the freedom of working in a collaborative setting, a great deal can be achieved in a short period of time.
The last thing you knew need to do before turning your collaborative team loose on their own, is to show everyone how the collaboration will work. You may have a whole group of extremely bright employees slated to work together, but they may not understand the collaborative tools you’re providing them with, and how they can be used to achieve success. Make sure your remote workers are paid, and given the time to learn all these collaborative tools, and they’ll feel much better about using them, and thus achieving the level of productivity you’re looking for.
Inspiring remote collaborative teams
There’s always a risk involved when you have remote workers working collaboratively on a project to try to achieve something significant. If the personalities clash and the workers don’t get along very well, collaboration will be out the window, and success will prove to be a difficult nut to crack. This means you should make an effort to choose the right kind of individuals to work on your remote teams, these being people who do well in a team setting, and are fairly social persons.
By choosing team members who are more individual-oriented and tend to prosper when working alone on projects, you could be setting yourself up for failure on these kinds of collaborative projects. After choosing the right individuals, you need to make sure that collaboration and engagement are encouraged and supported right from the top of your organization on down.
If your team members don’t feel like they have the full support of the company, their contributions are likely to be less significant. When your organization fully supports a collaborative environment, and you have the right team members picked for remote work, the sky’s the limit on what they might achieve. With more social media collaborative tools being developed all the time, your remote workers can become even more productive in the future.