Technology and teams

With our remote and freelance workforce rapidly growing, teamwork and productivity are top of mind. Stephen Molloy from LOMAH Studios shares a business basics guide on how to implement apps that will help us all get stuff done

We know the goal of any product or service – now – is to create memorable experiences for customers. But what about the great people you work with – what’s their experience like? If you’re working with or leading a team, as we move further into this decade, it will become ever more important to engage in tangible ways that people value. Time is our most precious commodity – it’s vital to learn how to spotlight opportunities and siphon distractions, for you and your co-workers.

Whether you’re a freelancer working as part of a project; or managing team members spread across the country or the globe, with technology readily available, there’s no excuse to not collaborate better and GSD (Get Stuff Done). A few simple tips:

Set up group chats

Small companies with 100 employees lose about $420,000 per year due to inefficient communication among employees (productivity suffers). Simple chat apps like Slack, WhatsApp, Troop Messenger, HipChat, Campfire, Google Hangouts, Grove, Podio, Hall, Flowdock and WeChat can be easily set up and usually have a premium version available for business use. And, chat often means simple questions are solved more effectively than within a confusing and lengthy email chain.

Enhanced chat and collaboration platforms are being adopted more and more – in the future these will replace emails.

Create the environment to collaborate

Brainstorming sessions allow everyone to contribute and feel valued. I’ve worked at companies where everyone’s ideas are valued, and at businesses where this is not done so well. Favouritism and office politics don’t get the best out of people. My philosophy is that the best idea wins – but you must get everyone together to make this happen. Video chat and collaboration apps mean everyone can be a part of a conversation, no matter where they’re based, and offers flexibility for those who can’t always get into the office, if there is one.

Make project management fun

I always hated filling in my timesheet, partly due to only ever remembering to do it late afternoon (when it was already late Friday afternoon)! This is easily avoidable with the use of project management apps. Team members know who is working on what, deadlines and task dependencies. This tracking keeps projects on task and highlights gaps. Basecamp is probably the most well-known project management app and the one I prefer to use.

You can create a dynamic, tech-forward and productive work culture simply by:

– Having empathy for your team members and building emotional connections – especially important if you’re remote working predominantly online.  

– Stop multitasking! It slows you down, increases stress levels, and causes mistakes. Master unitasking instead.

– Offering incentives. If your team achieves a goal, find a way to celebrate together, and share praise.

– Encouraging feedback, suggestions, input and ideas, and showing that these are valued.

– Praising productivity rather than simply time spent at the office.

– Leading with the mantra: there are only opportunities in business, not problems.

– Being open-minded to using technology and apps to collaborate.