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Remote Work Series: Part 4 – Collaboration

In light of the recent dramatic changes to working arrangements, we at Obie.ai decided to publish a four-part series aiding companies who are being pushed into unfamiliar territory, with some pro tools, tips and hacks that we have seen our customers and other growing enterprises use to accelerate their remote teams. Check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 first.

When all departments are working in sync, Slack has the potential to be the collective brain of your company

Slack

Collaboration is a term that a lot of people overuse in corporate settings. When most people think of the term, it means sitting either in a meeting room together chipping away at the details of a project or colleagues sharing ideas on the content of a document. This is the lowest level of collaboration. The level of collaboration that companies should aspire to, especially those who work in a remote setting, is different. Collaboration that truly levels-up a team is the kind where there is a unified collective awareness of each other’s status, progress and blockers. With this level of collaboration, you can support and accelerate your teams productivity to peak levels. So how do you achieve this, whether your team works in-house or remotely? Let’s try and shed some light on a strategy that we at Obie.ai have seen implemented successfully time and time again.

Introducing any kind of software solution without careful planning for how it will be used will most likely either not produce the desired efficiencies, or it will be left unused by employees, thereby wasting valuable financial and human resources. Take messaging software, for example. Chat apps, like Slack, are built for collaboration, but without rules, the platform will eventually become a mess of random messages with no order or structure. But more importantly, other than a continuous wide-ranging conversation, there will be no indication of a collective awareness being established among your team.

So to continue with the example of using a tool like Slack to achieve a higher level of collaboration – one that creates the unified collective awareness that we mentioned earlier – leverage the power of Slack to create central hubs or organize knowledge in a format that benefits all.

  • #help-it – a channel dedicated space for requesting IT help
  • #triage-it – a channel to sort out urgent issues and resolution with IT and technical teams
  • #announcements-it – a channel to broadcast announcements about updates/maintenance and anything tech-related (pro-tip: large orgs can use location specific channels)
  • Use threads to consolidate comments to keep communication cleaner and more focused
  • Use specific/custom emoji to define communication and triage structure – prioritize and tag requests
  • Document FAQs after issues are resolved and pin to channel in a “readme” for the future

This concludes our 4-part series on accelerating remote work. We hope that your team finds success using some of the strategies we’ve outlined in our series. To reiterate helping a remote team achieve success consider these concepts:

  1. Help people help themselves
  2. Prioritize
  3. Automation
  4. Collaboration

Best of luck on your remote work journey!