Working remotely has amazing perks – there’s no long commute, you can choose where you work, and you’re more productive. But because you’re not always face-to-face with your team, you can also run into communication, organization, and collaboration challenges.
Enter the online office. Online office spaces like Sococo allow you to work side-by-side with your team from anywhere in the world, increasing productivity and simulating presence. Here are 7 tell-tale signs that your team needs to start coming to work in an online office.
1) Your Team Is Distributed
Any team that isn’t working in the same room can benefit from having an online office space. Even co-located teams may fall under the “distributed team” umbrella – in fact, according to Professor Judith Olson, if you work with someone sitting more than 100 meters away from you, you are technically a member of a distributed team.
Why is it such a big deal if you’re not in the same place as your colleagues? It turns out that even colleagues who are separated by only a wall will communicate and collaborate less as distance increases. Thomas J. Allen, a professor at MIT, said that “communication between people drops off radically as soon as their distance from each other exceeds the length of a school bus.” Coming to work in an online office can bridge those gaps by enabling ad-hoc communication and online presence.
2) Your Office Culture Needs Improvement
It may seem trivial, but office culture matters. Feelings of connection between co-workers help your entire team feel satisfied and appreciated at work. The social capital built over shared experiences that aren’t necessarily work related is essential to collaboration and employee engagement.
But when you’re working from so many different places and time zones, it can be hard to build a positive office culture. Spending five minutes a year sending a holiday email to your team does little to inspire camaraderie.
Working in an online office makes this easy. Designate a “water cooler” space where your teammates can gather to chat and build relationships. Turn on your video and audio to talk like you’re in the same room.
3) Miscommunications Abound
When you don’t have an online space for everyone to work together, it’s easy for miscommunications to happen. People get left off email chains, important new information isn’t communicated, and Mary isn’t told that the new client you’re working with is based in Australia.
By having all of your work take place in one space, it’s much easier to stay in the loop and keep everyone abreast of processes and changes. It’s also easier to track down teammates when you can see their avatar moving around the office.
4) Teamwork Is An Obstacle
Do you regularly work through the night because you would rather just take on a huge project by yourself than wait for your colleague in Michigan to come online? It might be time to consider coming to work in an online office where you can get everything squared away in real-time before the eleventh hour.
Working side-by-side with your teammates should be a help, not a hindrance. Not only is it an important way to invest in social capital—collaboration is also proven to generate smarter, more innovative ideas that will move the company forward faster.
5) You Go Hours Without Seeing Another Face
Remote work can be freeing, but if you hole up in a library or home office for hours on end, it can also be lonely. If you find yourself getting a little bit stir-crazy, working in an online office can fill your social canteen without distracting you from work. Every room in a Sococo online office has instant-on video and audio, so you can chat face-to-face with each member of your team.
6) Google Knows More About Your Co-Workers Than You Do
Is he the John Miller who studied at UCLA? Or the John Miller who owns a car dealership in Boise?
If you’re unsure what your teammates’ roles are, where they’re based, or even who they are, you could benefit from coming to work in an online office. The Sococo online office Map allows you to get insight into what’s happening organizationally and see who is working with whom on which team. You can even update your availability status to reflect where you are, like “the beach in Florida!” or “Frozen in Minnesota.”
Online offices allow you to quickly gather information about your teammates that is applicable to both work and team building.
7) Your Email Chains Are Out of Control
Once an email chain gets to a certain point, it becomes more like a cryptogram than an intelligible message. Next thing you know, you’re scrolling back through ten emails to get some context for “I’ll have those numbers by Friday.” What numbers? Which client? Why am I even on this chain?
Rather than relying on asynchronous and tedious communication tools, move your team into an online office. Now, instead of sending your team lead 5 different questions in 5 different emails, you can pop into a breakout room to get instantaneous answers. When you can easily see who is online and communicate with them at the touch of a button, you save yourself dozens of emails per week. Your team will move faster and your inbox will feel less cluttered!
Sococo brings your team together by providing a tangible online space to meet, talk, work, and play. Increase productivity, improve employee engagement, and boost business outcomes by coming to work in Sococo with your team. Learn more about why Sococo works here.