Teamwork is the base for any IT project’s success. To cooperate properly, every project team needs to communicate regularly and be in constant contact at work. The restrictions related to the pandemic have caused that employees cannot meet as often as before. That is why IT companies had to teach their teams to work differently.
What is the key to efficient teamwork in these trying times?
Focus on digital
Remote teams are nothing new. In our current situation, however, they are becoming the standard. It is, therefore, important for companies to become accustomed to digital tools and technologies. Social networks, analytical tools and cloud technologies are invaluable helpers, but only if you use them properly. Transferring your operation and business processes to a digital environment (to an appropriate extent) will lead to long-term benefits and save you a lot of time.
Choose the right collaboration tools
Companies that started using collaboration tools before the pandemic have an undeniable advantage in the current situation. They are able to react to the changing demands of their customers more quickly, and they don’t have a problem with switching to remote work.
At QBSW, we introduced Slack as the company standard long before the lockdown. This proved to be very useful during the company-wide home office. By this time, we had already mastered most of Slack’s features and options. In our project teams, we use it together with tools such as Webex, Miro, Lucidchart, or Evernote.
During the coronacrisis, open communication is more important than ever
The coronacrisis impacted most companies and often caused changes in their organizational structure. Face-to-face meetings don’t take place as often as before the crisis. This is why open and honest communication is more important than ever for the proper functioning of teams.
For all team members to really understand the changes your company has to implement during the crisis, it is vital to communicate even the bad news and tough decisions as honestly and openly as possible. Announcing the decisions of leaders isn’t enough. It is essential to explain their causes and the reasons that lead to them.
Don’t neglect informal communication
Without regular face-to-face meetings, communication and mood in teams can quickly begin to decline. In companies like QBSW, where informal communication is an essential part of company culture, it is crucial to maintain it, even if teams cannot meet in person.
In exceptional situations such as the one we found ourselves in this year, companies have to look for alternatives. During the lockdown, we at QBSW didn’t view non-work topics during online meetings as a waste of time, but as something that helps us maintain and strengthen our good relationships.
Adapt your business processes to the new reality
Perhaps no one was prepared for facing a worldwide pandemic. Companies had to deal with entirely new issues – concerns over employee health, the transition to a digital environment, efficient remote communication, whether employees have a suitable work environment at home and so on. Established approaches and processes that worked until now may suddenly become ineffective. All of this has a huge impact on the operation of a company.
Observe how different teams and their members react to the new situation and take them into account when setting up your new processes. The pandemic is, unfortunately, the new reality we all live in, and companies need to adjust their processes accordingly. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from experts in communication, sociology and psychology.
Well-formulated task assignment will save you a lot of time
Inefficient remote work can cost you a lot of precious time. In addition to well-chosen collaboration tools, clear and well-formulated assignments from clients as well as superiors and precisely set deadlines will also help boost your efficiency. Preventing communication issues takes far less time than dealing with their consequences.
Don’t be afraid to experiment
As the situation keeps changing day-to-day, the only way to find what works for your company is by trying out new approaches. Communicate with your employees. Do a satisfaction survey and find out what works for them and what doesn’t.
Find out at what time your team members are the most comfortable with online meetings when they have to work from home (as they have to take into account the other members of their household). Try our various ways to substitute celebrations, teambuildings or friendly meetings. Only by experimenting you can find out what works best for your team.
Accept the fact that remote work is here to stay
Nowadays, many companies use a model where their employees work both remotely and in the office. This work model will be common in the future, and companies will need to adapt every respect of cooperation and communication to it. The sooner you master this model, the sooner you will be able to profit from it.