by Kai Andrews

Transitioning to remote work means finding new ways of sharing information – here’s what your team can do today.

Ready or not, remote work is here. Chances are, your team is still adjusting to collaborating from afar, and working out the kinks associated with the day-to-day aspect of managing remote work. Part of that daily work includes sharing of content and documents, both as part of virtual meetings and also collaborating on and storing of documents.

Following are a few essential tips to help your team navigate remote sharing of content and documents.

Be sure your team is ready for content sharing during virtual meetings.

  • If you are going to be sharing content, make sure it is ready for virtual consumption.
  • For virtual meetings, make sure everyone on your team knows how to share their screen. Many apps give you the option of sharing just an application or sharing your whole screen – determine which one you’ll use.
  • Make sure you have other apps CLOSED - especially spreadsheets with the latest payroll numbers.
  • If you are using multiple monitors, know how to either mirror or extend your presentation. There’s nothing worse than talking about a presentation that others cannot see because it is only visible on your secondary monitor.
  • Also note that when you enter a PowerPoint in presentation mode, multiple monitors will likely only show the presentation on one and the other monitor will show the presenter’s prep screen. Make sure you are sharing the right one!
  • Think about your content’s structure. Text-heavy content is not easy to share virtually…and most of the time not good for in-person meetings either. Screen sizes will vary among participants and screen sharing will often make content even smaller.
  • It is also a good practice to not go off script during a meeting in which you are sharing content. There is too much risk that participants will see information on your laptop that you do not wish to share. If you absolutely must move to another piece of content, stop sharing, open the content and then reshare your desktop…this is good practice whether you are virtual or in an in-person meeting.

Establish best practices for creating and sharing of content.

For storing documents:

  • Store documents in a secured cloud repository. Use a company approved repository to ensure that it is secure...especially if you are storing client content.
  • Don’t give in to the temptation to store something on your desktop or local “C” drive. Use OneDrive since that is your own repository and content can be backed up and accessible from anywhere.

For sharing documents:

  • Share documents via links instead of sending email attachments, which allows everyone to see the latest and greatest changes. Consider whether to allow editing or read-only when sharing.
  • Work off the same document with others and let the system handle version control.
  • Don’t put dates, initials and other identifiers like status in the document title. Call the document what it is...simple as that. You can turn on track changes if you absolutely need to know that you can compare versions later.
  • Use the comments feature in the document to leave ideas and provide input if you don’t want to actually change the document.
  • To see what has changed over time or retrieve a previous version, you can open up historical versions of a document and compare them (in Word).

Don’t let being remote disrupt your team’s collaboration – implementing these simple tips can help alleviate anxiety among your team.