How to Collaborate with Colleagues Using Tech

How to Collaborate with Colleagues Using Tech

Both seasoned pros and beginners are in this together as we navigate working remotely.

Welcome to the Work from Home era!

The impact of the covid-19 pandemic has suddenly transformed the global workforce into largely a remote workforce. For some of them, their familiarity with technology has made the transition a relatively smooth one, with more conference calls and Zoom chats. For others, learning digital etiquette and use of technology has taken some getting used to. Below are guidelines and helpful tips to follow and share with colleagues to help us all collaborate better.

Designate channels for types of communication

And stick to their original purposes. It can add to the stress to sort through emails, texts, messages, and other forms of communication to find what you’re actually looking for. Having multiple forums for different types of communication, such as an urgent vs. long-term arrangement, can help as long as everyone is clear which forum is used for which type of communication. Once the system is in place, it’s much easier to find what you need.

Remember the phone call

A rule of thumb is to have up to three email replies before you rush to the phone. It can be much more efficient to have a 5-10 minute phone call to hash out details rather than 5-10 emails going here and back. It also helps to bring a sense of humanity into a conversation simply by hearing your colleague’s tone and voice.

Take advantage of chat – wisely

Quick text chat tools like Microsoft Teams can be time-savers if you need a quick question to be answered. But it can also be time consuming when chat turns into a longer discussion that’s better for a conference call or email. It can also splinter your focus time if you constantly get pinged. You can set your status as busy if you don’t want to be interrupted while you’re working on a project.

Don’t overuse “reply all”

With the best of intentions, people try to keep others team members in the loop by replying all to an email chain. But before you send a message to everyone by default, consider if everyone actually needs to read what you’re about to send. Over communicating in terms of replies to everyone can be heavy in someone’s inbox, and hide some of the most important communication that actually needs addressing.

Technology can be amazing when it connects us across locations or time zones when there’s no other way to reach out. Make sure when you’re working remotely that technology is a tool you own, and you’re not becoming a tool of technology.