We’re all living in a new reality, and for many teams across the globe, that reality has manifested as a sudden shift to remote work.
If you’re new to working from home, you’re probably starting to appreciate some of its benefits; every day is casual Friday, and you can’t beat the commute. But you also may be experiencing some new challenges, as do many remote teams, whether they’ve been at this for a week or for years.
The good news is that you can make this work, and having a central workspace like Confluence for all of the information your team needs can help. Here, you can keep everything – plans, goals, announcements, and more – organized and accessible for everyone, anytime, from anywhere.
Here are some of the core benefits of Confluence, and how they can keep your team connected and on track.
A single source of truth makes it easy to find what you need
You may have recently realized how much you valued stopping over at your colleague’s desk to ask where you can find the agenda for next week’s all-hands meeting.
Plus, working from home (especially if it’s a change that happened suddenly) means you might not have access to all of the same resources you had in the office – like those dozens of sticky notes stuck to your office computer monitor.
Many teams use Confluence to organize all of their internal knowledge and documents online, so they’re easily accessible from anywhere and by anyone. Confluence offers “spaces” that group related pages so they’re easy for others to find – each team can create their own space to store and organize their work. Each space comes with an overview page – which is a quick snapshot of your team – so anyone, anywhere can understand what your team is working on and find the documents they need.
For example, the overview page for a marketing team could show pictures of the group, articulate their mission, and offer links to their most important work, such as marketing plans, goals, or personas. If someone is looking for a specific doc, they can use the search feature to find that thing they know so-and-so created by hitting the search icon in the sidebar, typing keywords related to the page, and selecting the contributor or space.
A collaborative workspace makes cross-functional projects smoother
When you were all working side-by-side, you had inherent visibility into what was happening throughout the company, like the overall vision of a campaign or the goals another team was focused on.
Now, you might feel like you’re working in a vacuum. You have no idea what everybody else is doing, and suddenly your big, hairy projects that involve multiple teams (like that website redesign you’re in the middle of) seem nebulous.
While Confluence spaces are great for teams within your organizations, you can also set them up for large projects that have a lot of moving parts and cross-functional collaboration. So, you can create a space for your website redesign where you’ll keep goals, schedules, mockups, copy, and more.
You can assign tasks, @ mention team members, and set due dates to clearly manage expectations and push projects forward. Need to collaborate with your team in real time? Use collaborative editing to jump into the same document with your team and work on the page together.
Open pages support a transparent culture
When there is so much uncertainty about the future, it’s important to keep employees aware of how plans are evolving day-to-day. Ideally, it’s a two-way street, where the workplace is so open that it empowers everyone to ask tough questions and voice their concerns.
Confluence pages are open by default, connected like a website. This makes it easy to distribute information, and for anyone to search and discover it. Leaders, or the teams that typically share policy changes (such as human resources, corporate communications, and operations), can quickly do so in Confluence. Employees can immediately receive vital updates, ask questions, or express concerns right on the page.
At Atlassian, we have a dedicated space called OneSource where our leaders share the state of the state and let us know about policy changes. They even post videos so that no matter where we are, we can hear their thoughts and feel reassured about the company direction.
Integrations keep your workflows streamlined
Understandably, working remotely means you need to rely on a bunch of technology. And, while all of those different tools are helpful, you’re concerned that things are going to slip through the cracks. What if an important status update gets buried in your instant messaging platform and is totally forgotten?
Confluence integrates with a bunch of the other virtual collaboration tools you might already be using, like Slack, Trello, Jira, InVision, and more.
You can drop links from those tools into your Confluence pages to provide even deeper context, so interested parties can not only read about what’s in progress for your website redesign, but also click through and see the wireframes.
A social intranet combats feelings of isolation
It’s one of the biggest drawbacks of remote work: it can be plain ol’ lonely sometimes.
Your dog isn’t the most scintillating conversationalist, and you’re surprised by the fact that you’re actually missing your deskmate’s habit of humming whatever tune is stuck in their head.
Staying connected to your team (not just for work, but for fun stuff too) is more important than ever for keeping morale high and spirits up. Having a social intranet can be the remedy for the isolation many feel when working remotely.
With a social intranet, anyone can kick up a back-and-forth discussion across the company. The ability to leave comments and likes on pages makes people feel heard, valued, and connected no matter how far away they are.
Confluence also offers Popular and Activity feeds that show the most commented-on and liked pages across your organization, so you can easily stay up to date on important information and announcements.
When it comes to the just-for-fun stuff, Confluence makes that happen too. You can easily create internal blogs where team members can share lighter content, like their Netflix recommendations or favorite at-home workout routines.
At Atlassian, our Workplace Experience team sends out a weekly newsletter to the company that highlights what’s happening in the office for the week (lunches, workouts, foundation events, learning opportunities). Many of the events are streamed, so we can participate with our teammates from across the globe.
You can do this
You’re not complaining about working from your sofa or being able to crank your favorite productivity playlist as loud as you want. But, you’ll admit that collaborating with a remote team introduces some challenges – particularly if you’re used to being in the office together.
As with anything, figuring out this working-from-home thing will take some adjusting and a little bit of trial and error. However, a tool like Confluence can help you make it over some of the common bumps in the road that remote teams experience.
Ready to streamline the way your team collaborates? Get started with Confluence today.