The rise of remote teams around the world is impressive. A 2021 Owl Labs report showed that about 62% of employees aged 22 to 65 occasionally work remotely. That shows that remote work is becoming increasingly commonplace in the global workforce.
While the popularity of remote work is overwhelmingly positive, it also comes with a few downsides. One of the most prominent is remote work is new to many people, and they must expand and optimize their work habits accordingly.
One of the biggest struggles facing remote teams is trouble effectively collaborating when they aren’t meeting with their colleagues face-to-face.
Indeed, a 2021 Statistica report showed that 35% of remote workers cited trouble collaborating with their colleagues as one of their most significant remote work issues.
Unfortunately, difficulty collaborating can lead to a wide range of issues, such as frustrated employees, confusion, loss of motivation, poor efficiency, and even struggling and unsuccessful businesses in the long term.
Luckily, documentation software is a highly effective way to address this issue.
In this article, we’ve broken down five of the top ways documentation software can help your remote team collaborate better and take your collective success to new heights.
1. Build An Internal Knowledge Base
One of the best ways to use documentation software to take your remote team’s collaboration process to the next level is to make an internal knowledge base.
If you’re not already familiar, a knowledge base is a kind of information hub or database where information is stored. Modern knowledge bases use cloud-based storage and can be accessed from various devices online. Most companies use SaaS (software as a service) tools to develop their knowledge bases.
There are two main kinds of knowledge bases. Internal knowledge bases are best for remote team collaboration. They act as knowledge resources for a company’s employees. They include information that’s private, confidential, or otherwise shouldn’t be accessed by the public.
Internal knowledge bases usually include:
- Onboarding and new employee information
- General company data
- Guidelines and regulations
- Documents related to specific departments or projects
- Employee handbooks
Other knowledge bases are used externally. That means they’re often feature-rich and used for interacting with external parties, often acting as help desks or customer service solutions. While they’re essential tools for customer experience and can be useful to remote teams, we’re talking about internal knowledge bases here.
Basically, internal knowledge bases make sure that all remote team members have access to the information they need at any time.
Since internal knowledge bases act as sources of truth, you can rely upon the fact that employees will always be able to find what they’re looking for.
Whether you’re looking for a tool that can help you with software documentation, technical documentation, product documentation, project management, or onboarding, you can count on an internal knowledge base.
2. Perfect Asynchronous Workflows
Asynchronous work happens when remote teams collaborate according to their own schedules and across different time zones. Since the vast majority of remote companies have employees working at different hours of the day to some extent, getting in the process of creating and perfecting asynchronous workflows is essential.
Asynchronous work refers to work that doesn’t happen at the same time.
In an asynchronous environment, communication, responses, progress, feedback, and other work-related activities get done on different schedules.
Because it’s so different from a traditional office environment, getting used to asynchronous work can be challenging. Nevertheless, we believe that it poses some unique advantages.
Allows Colleagues To Rethink The Way They Work
Tasks often feel rushed and urgent in an office environment, even when they don’t have to be. Asynchronous work allows employees to communicate and work more thoughtfully and thoroughly, often producing better results.
Forces People To Communicate Better And More Explicitly
We have to say that asynchronous work improves people’s communication skills. When you lack an in-person environment where you can communicate informally, you quickly enrich your writing and virtual expression skills.
Fosters An Organized Work Environment
If you’re working asynchronously, it’s essential that your employees can access the information they need on their own time. This encourages remote teams to review, organize, and formalize guidelines, step-by-step internal documentation processes, and resources that might otherwise be ignored.
As you can see, good documentation software like Document360 is the perfect tool to help remote teams collaborate better because it accomplishes all of the above. It allows them to communicate thoughtfully and at their own pace in an organized, streamlined workspace, no matter the time of day.
3. Access Up-To-Date Information Anytime, Anywhere
Because of the nature of remote work, team members need to be able to access the information they need anytime and anywhere. They might be working at home, in a co-working environment, in a library, or even in a lovely outdoor space if they’re lucky.
Whatever the case, they’ll need a system where they can get the information they need with nothing more than an internet connection.
Documentation software is perfect for facilitating this. The best options on the market will make it easy for team members to access up-to-date information and find what they’re looking for at any time. Let’s take the popular Document360 software for example again:
- Any changes made to documentation are made in real time. If you ever need to check out the information included in a previous version, they have multiple article versions and rollback features.
- Backups are automated daily and restore functionalities ensure that none of your hard work ever gets lost.
- Files, documents, images, videos, and more are easy to store and file, ready to be used whenever necessary.
- Rest assured that your information is safe no matter where it’s accessed. Document360 uses SSL, database encryption, enterprise SSO, and auditing to keep your data secure.
4. Produce Better Documentation With Excellent Collaboration Tools
Let’s face it; great documentation is the lifeblood of remote organizations. Without it, you’re sure to encounter plenty of difficulties.
However, gaining the necessary skills to produce excellent documentation again and again takes time. It’s even more difficult if people are used to collaborating and reviewing documents in person.
Luckily, documentation software helps remote teams produce top-notch documentation time and time again with their useful collaboration tools. Trust us; once you get used to collaborating on documentation remotely, you’ll never look back.
Some great features that help remote teams produce better documentation are:
- Visual layout: It might sound silly, but it’s true. It’s much easier to write great documentation if it looks sleek and is well-organized. Documentation software ensures that all your documents are aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate, and consistent.
- Great editing options: Document360 has both Markdown and WYSIWYG editors, which makes it easy for teams to work together regardless of their personal preferences and abilities.
- Special elements: Documentation software allows teams to add more than just text into their files. Inserting links, images, videos, code blocks, and more is easy.
- Commenting, notifications & review reminders: You’ll never miss a beat, even when working asynchronously. Documentation software sends you notifications and review reminders when something needs your attention.
5. Keep Your Remote Team Organized
Last but not least, many remote teams have difficulty keeping everything organized when they never meet in a physical office space. It’s too easy for information to get lost between platforms, chats, email chains, and online filing systems.
Documentation software is an ideal solution to address this problem. First, excellent documentation brings all professional documentation into one central workspace. You can forget about searching for lost files in many places because you’ll know where everything you need can be found.
Documentation software goes even further in helping remote teams stay organized because its features and customization options are designed to do so.
Document360 has a great categorization system that makes storing and accessing information simple. You can create up to six levels of categories and subcategories, and they can be rearranged and moved seamlessly with their simple drag-and-drop interface.
In addition, if you need to create multiple knowledge bases, you can stay organized by assigning them their own branding and domains while staying within the same portal.
Discover what documentation software can do for your team
As you can see, you’ve got nothing to lose when using documentation software for your remote work needs. It truly helps remote teams collaborate better, and we all know that collaboration is the name of the game for long-term remote business success.
Whether you build an internal knowledge base, perfect your asynchronous workflows, access up-to-date information anytime and anywhere, produce better documentation overall or take your team’s organization up a notch, we’re sure that you’ll see a big difference in how well your remote team works together if you give documentation software a try.
What are you waiting for?