Over the past year, remote work has become the norm, even the preferred workstyle, for most industries. After enjoying its benefits, like cost savings and increased productivity, some businesses are planning to continue running some (or all) of their operations remotely permanently.
Despite all of its advantages, remote work does have its drawbacks—especially when it comes to communication and collaboration. Many teams have struggled to communicate effectively in exclusively virtual environments. Everything from weekly team meetings and brainstorming sessions to strategy development and employee check-ins have to be done over the phone, on video calls or via internal messaging applications.
But when chosen and implemented intentionally, technology can provide a solution to the drawbacks of a remote workforce. Virtual collaboration tools, in particular, can help employees focus better at work, communicate more easily with their colleagues, and feel more connected to team members. Atlassian’s Confluence is a standout collaborative solution. With its customizable, templated workspaces, this tool makes it easier for teams to work together as if they are actually together.
Keeping teams aligned
When teams are located across different time zones and possibly even countries, it can be difficult to align on a project—especially if it is particularly complex or involves a lot of people. Atlassian’s Confluence tool offers customizable templates where companies can create a centralized space for teams to work on and track ongoing projects. Users can design a workspace template so that, at a glance, they can view the status of a project and any updates from other team members. Teams can share project deadlines, assign out different tasks and even automate the workspace so that it sends notifications to team members when important updates or time-sensitive items arise.
Companies with existing Atlassian software, like Jira, can have an even easier time moving towards better alignment on their teams. With Confluence and Jira, for example, teams can combine Jira’s issue-tracking functions with Confluence to help them keep track of every aspect of a project, from deadlines to status updates.
Confluence’s customizable templates also save time, since teams don’t have to make a new workspace for every new project. They can standardize processes across their remote environment and simply copy and reuse existing templates—and all of the features or shortcuts that they built within them.
All of the time and energy that would otherwise be used creating virtual places for team members to write and save meeting notes, share insights or assign out tasks can be put towards project ideation or strategy. Teams can kick off a new project faster and more easily since, by following an existing template, they know what they need, who to involve and what their workflows should look like from start to finish.
If a company is able to combine Confluence with existing Atlassian infrastructure—again, like Jira Software—teams will be able to make fast improvements to their overall efficiency and productivity. Instead of having to access and search through a workspace to find relevant information, Jira Software can automatically integrate with Confluence and be used to quickly find that information. As a result, teams spend less time switching between tools or sifting through workspaces looking for specific research or information and instead, have more time to use that information productively.
Confluence removes communication bottlenecks across teams, too. From workspaces, employees can gain insight into all of the key components of a project, from its vision and relevant stakeholders to its goals and progress metrics. With this information at their fingertips, it’s easier for team members to clear up any confusion or get answers to their questions faster, instead of waiting for a response from a colleague working from a different time zone. Users can also design their workspaces so that it links to the project’s key pages—like slide decks or the notes from a recent brainstorm—making it easier for team members to find the specific information they need.
Remote work is here to stay, but it may still take some more time for teams to adjust to every aspect of this new workstyle—particularly for ones used to being in the office together. With a tool like Confluence, users get the help they need to adapt faster and, from there, learn and grow together.
To learn more about Atlassian’s Confluence tool and how it can help remote teams become more organized, efficient and aligned, click here.