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What Tools Are Essential for Productive Virtual Teams?

What Tools Are Essential for Productive Virtual Teams?

2022-07-05

A global study from Accenture found that workers who used a hybrid model during the pandemic experienced better mental health, stronger work relationships, and less burnout than those who worked onsite or remotely. As a result, 83% of workers prefer hybrid work, with 63% of high-growth companies have already adopted a “productivity anywhere” model.

These are clear indications that the new world of work is here to stay and that business leaders must rethink how their teams connect, interact, and collaborate. They’ll have to acquire all the necessary tools and technologies if they want to succeed in this dynamic new environment, transcending the traditional limitations of distance, time zones, and organizational hierarchy.

With the best interactive virtual meeting tools, leaders can ensure their employees feel comfortable and confident in their productivity no matter where they choose to work. And when they do make the commute to the office, the space should ideally be optimized for virtual team collaboration, creativity, and group problem-solving.

For a hybrid work model to be successful, business leaders need to invest in the right top-end tools. Here we unpack some of the most suitable solutions for productive virtual teams.

Software-Based Solutions for Seamless Workflow

Project management platforms: The best project management tools help distributed teams stay organized. They’re useful in keeping track of repeat and new tasks, assigning and managing the workload, and they often provide template documents for effective project management. Leaders should introduce their teams to platforms that help them meet all their goals while staying within budget and timeframe limits.

Cloud services: A company’s employees may be distributed, but their documents and project information shouldn’t be. Important files should be made easily accessible to project teams and stored safely in the cloud. No matter where they are in the world, they should be able to stay in sync while working collaboratively.

Communication tools: Communication is critical in keeping distributed teams connected. The many online tools available enable streamlined collaboration, but it’s essential to ensure they support disruption-free interaction. Key features should include clear video and audio quality, a chat function, screen-sharing, call recording, and digital whiteboarding.

Virtual whiteboards: Whiteboards are the perfect tool for creative collaboration, allowing teams to visualize their thoughts and keep ideas flowing during brainstorming sessions. Leaders should look for options supporting board templates like mind maps, flowcharts, storyboards, drawing options, sticky notes, real-time messaging, and multi-user editing.

VPN: Today’s companies should also consider having their staff use an enterprise virtual private network (VPN). A VPN encrypts the employee’s connection, keeping online activity and data secure. This technology also ensures everyone on the team can access the same sites and information no matter their region, supporting collaborative workflow.

Critical Hardware for Enhanced Virtual Collaboration

When it comes to hardware, it’s best to invest in high-quality, easy-to-use tools that support effective collaboration and team productivity.

Smart, Wireless Projectors

Projectors help create more video-enabled meeting space in the office – a key component for effective hybrid collaboration. They also serve as a visualization tool that allows companies to showcase their brand in various settings. Therefore, a device providing clear, crisp imagery with excellent resolution specs is vital.

Compact, wireless, intelligent projectors blend seamlessly into any meeting space and ensure minimal disruptive noise as it cools. Many advanced projectors offer a complete solution with built-in apps and internet capability directly accessible from the device. Teams can video conference at any time and from anywhere with this versatile solution.

All-in-One Conferencing Displays

While projectors offer an affordable option for small-to-medium businesses, all-in-one conferencing displays provide a high-tech solution that takes virtual team collaboration to the next level. Equipped with superior built-in cameras, microphones, and speakers, displays effortlessly drive meeting efficiency, removing many frustrations teams may have faced in the past.

Participants can hear and see each other with crystal-clear clarity, boosting engagement and driving productivity. High-end conferencing displays help sustain the human connection as everyone feels like they're once again sharing the same space. Features that support virtual collaboration include wireless screen-sharing, whiteboard synchronization, and intelligent audio and camera technology.

Intuitive Digital Whiteboards

Ideal for creative brainstorming, workshops, keeping track of projects, and supporting team synergy, digital whiteboards are essential for distributed teams. Individuals can contribute in real-time during a meeting, just as they would in a physical setting, with annotations, drawings, and sticky notes. What makes digital whiteboards so valuable for a hybrid work setting is that sessions can be recorded, saved for later reference, and shared with others.

While in-office employees intuitively interact with the display, remote participants should be able to contribute from their own devices, ensuring a 100% collaborative experience. Business leaders should opt for devices that allow for seamless interaction, easy accessibility, and a system that syncs with a cloud-based storage system.

Powerful Audio Technology

When meeting, participants struggle to hear each other, communication breaks down, and frustration builds, negatively impacting productivity. This is why investing in the correct audio technology is paramount to successful hybrid team collaboration. To drive inclusivity across an organization, every meeting participant should be able to contribute to the conversation by making their voice heard.

Businesses should look for the latest, high-quality microphone and speaker technology that transmits and receives sound flawlessly. Device features should include a powerful pickup range, AI-driven noise cancellation, and hi-fi sound quality.

Intelligent Cameras

Today’s businesses benefit from having camera technology that comes close to a life-like experience. The most effective devices, whether a panoramic, wide-angle, or pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera, will highlight every participant in crisp clarity.

High-end cameras come equipped with intelligent algorithms that provide teams with brilliant image and video quality, no matter the lighting conditions. In addition, the best options have plug-and-play simplicity and integrate seamlessly with a company’s existing system to take the hassle out of installation.

Supporting Collaboration in the ‘New Normal’

These are some of the essential tools businesses need to support meaningful collaboration and productivity among their hybrid teams. They help break down boundaries across distributed employees so, no matter where they are in the world and no matter their status in an organization, they’re successfully seen and heard. Meetings are made that much more interactive, boosting creativity and engagement, while successfully supporting virtual teams in the “new normal.”

Learn more about MAXHUB's high-end AV technology solutions that tick all these boxes and more.

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