connecting virtual teams

Among virtual teams’ biggest challenges is ongoing communication and collaboration. Without it, these teams cannot ensure each dispersed worker is on track, and virtual teammates fail to build authentic, trusting relationships.

Often, the culprit of communication challenges is technology, but virtual collaboration software offers teams the ability to turn it all around and connect in ways they never thought possible.

1. Software Built for Collaborative Team Cultures

Companies can leverage collaboration software to manage content and share large files, but this technology offers so much more in terms of connection and communication for virtual teams. These tools enable teams to develop a culture of knowledge sharing and build better business relationships with features like:

Activity streams and status updates.

Each task or activity a virtual teammate completes instantly appears so everyone has access to team updates but can retrieve them in their own time.

Comments.

Places to comments are everywhere—files, tasks, status updates—promoting constant group feedback.

Online discussions and forums.

Virtual teams have the ability to share project ideas and links to thought leadership, ask questions and learn from each other. Plus, teammates receive email notifications and digests for every task or content piece they subscribe to so knowledge sharing continues even when virtual team members don’t log into the collaboration tool.
Central Desktop Collaboration Software

2. Where Email Fails, Collaboration Software Succeeds

Currently, virtual teams more often than not use tools like email to share information and develop rapport, but these are actually not the most efficient options for asynchronous communication.

Email threads vs. central workspaces.

First of all, sorting through an inbox for comments, files and discussions takes more time. Alternatively, collaboration software centralizes everything. No one’s left out of the loop, and everything’s easily searchable.

Multiple tools vs. one solution.

Collaboration technology offers so much more functionality than email in a single collaboration solution, replacing multiple tools that virtual teams may pair with email. This streamlines communication for efficiency, saves costs and requires less IT support. And since some collaboration software options offer unified collaboration functionality, teams don’t have to miss out on that seamless communications experience that their email may offer.

Email forwards vs. content control.

Online collaboration tools create better transparency than email and chat, so everyone knows who’s working and on what—but with better security and scalability. For instance, virtual teams have more control over whose hands internal discussions and collateral end up in over emails that can be forwarded.

Because virtual teams can accomplish everything with the tools they’ve always used, many don’t realize they don’t have to limit teamwork to old technology. Just like innovations of the past, people don’t often realize the productivity benefits of a new gadget or software until they actually put it to the test in their workday.

Sound like you? Request a demo today of PGi’s iMeetCentral to experience a smarter way to connect your team with virtual collaboration software.

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