Why Remote Teams Embrace Collaboration Tools

Recent events have demonstrated the importance of embracing remote work. With the introduction of COVID-19, many organizations quickly changed their policies to allow employees to work from home.

A survey of employees at UC Berkeley shows that more than 33% of individuals seek to work from home full-time and only 8% of individuals want to work on-site.

So what are leaders to do? Working from home, while beneficial, has some detrimental impacts on how we work together as a team. Alternatively, forcing everyone back to a centralized office brings anxiety and fear. Together, let’s explore the benefits and challenges and review solutions that help us overcome these barriers.

Remote Work: Pros & Cons

Pros of Remote Work

Remote work is great for teams and organizations alike. It enables flexibility by allowing us to work with individuals anywhere without ever having to travel or leave our homes. The time we used to spend in cars sitting in traffic can now be spent checking emails and catching up on messages in team forums and boards.

Instead of wasting time walking down hallways and finding parking, we now can spend the extra time focused on the work at hand.

Despite these benefits, remote work also comes with many consequences.

Cons of Remote Work

Of course, while remote work is great for our own scheduling, we experience a significant challenge when it comes to communicating and scheduling with our teams. Now inhibited by time, distance, and limited resources, we often find it more difficult to complete projects and assignments.

Remote work makes it more difficult to get immediate feedback on questions. It also inhibits the ability to effectively engage in design thinking with your team. Being in the same moment using a tool like Mural can have many positive impacts on the overall success of a project as teams can easily develop and visualize solutions together.

The Solution

The solution to mitigating the problems that arise when organizations introduce remote work into their environments is communication through virtual mediums.

When communication is enhanced, teams prosper.

Therefore, it’s important that organizations introduce new collaboration tools, such as MURAL, into their team environments to allow teams to collaborate anywhere in the world.

More importantly, these tools enable teams to work together in a way that promotes creativity, accessibility, and the formation of healthy working habits.

Final Thoughts

We live in a world that has begun to accept remote work as a way of life. Many companies have adapted their processes to this change while others have seized the opportunity and streamlined communications through the development of tools such as Zoom, Slack, Microsoft, Google, WhatsApp, Miro, and Mural, making remote collaboration possible.

Regardless of the tool, we must be willing to embrace change and find new ways to be just as productive if not more even remotely.

Which virtual collaboration tool will you be implementing with your teams?

Educator + Entrepreneur who lives for the “aha!” moment. Co-Founder @theberkeleyinnovationgroup, @healthcarebydesign. Lecturer of Design Thinking @BerkeleyHaas.