The last two years have greatly accelerated the transition into hybrid work, but that’s not when remote collaboration started. With a growing reliance on digital tools, many of us have been working together across vast distances for a number of years.
Nonetheless, many creative professionals still use collaboration methods best suited for in-person offices. That means that if you’ve been struggling to work together over the internet, it might be high time to upgrade your collaboration methods. Below, get 6 proven tips for making sure your next collaboration works.
✏️ Thanks to our friends at Hightail for sponsoring this blog post!
1. Restriction breeds creativity, so briefs are your best friend
Starting your creative projects off right can be half the battle. Projects can turn unwieldy when even a handful of designers are in a room together. We all know brainstorming is an important part of the process, but so is deciding on a direction for your project.
If you need to level up your briefing skills, study up on a few quick tips for writing creative briefs to get a head start. With a great creative brief, everyone knows their roles and can row in the same direction. The time you spend now on the brief will save you time later.
2. Set up a kick-off call
Some people believe that if you spend enough time on the brief, there’s no need to hash it all out again. However, having a kick-off call ensures that everyone is clear on the direction of the project and its objectives.
It’s also the best place to ask questions – because after all, sometimes it takes an outsider’s eyes to see what we missed. Make sure to open the floor for a Q&A after you go over everything.
Of course, the most important part of a kick-off call is to agree on a timeline. Flexibility is important, but so is finishing a project. Working out a timeline is also the moment to make sure everyone knows which parts of the projects they own and are ultimately responsible for. Do these 3 things before your next kick-off call to set yourself up for success.
3. Go frictionless
Working remotely means that feedback loses its tone and context. That holds true for external stakeholders who might not be used to giving constructive criticism to creatives. That’s why it’s essential to equip everyone with the ability to give clear feedback in an easy-to-use way (even if someone’s not tech-savvy).
Frictionless workflow doesn’t end there. We’ve all been stuck in the feedback phase of a project with multiple stakeholders asking for opposite things. That’s why there’s a clear owner for each step. The buck stops with them, and they will need to give their ultimate approval.
4. Find the right tool
We’re almost a quarter of the way into the 21st century, which means we should all be using purpose-made technology designed to support our work. That includes our creative endeavors.
Having a tool that seamlessly combines feedback, automates the approval process, and gives ultimate version ownership to a project owner will make everything easier.
A purpose-made tool will also help keep track of the work you do, the versions you make, and the time you spend on a project. Plus, knowing what you put into a project helps you know your worth (and helps ensure you’re fairly compensated!).
5. Use integrations
When you’re looking for the right tool, make sure it takes advantage of integrations like plugins for outlook and adobe. With the right integrations, you can receive and review comments without ever having to leave your Photoshop project window.
And as we all know, not everything requires a meeting or needs an email. Sometimes you just need to ask someone a quick question, and using integrations ensures nothing gets lost in the shuffle.
The best integrations are so seamless, that you’ll barely know they are there. That’s especially great for creatives who want to avoid any distractions and get in the zone.
6. Have fun and keep everyone engaged
Let’s admit it, some of us would rather be working with a 200-year-old printing press than a 2-year-old laptop. But just because we can’t get our hands dirty doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy our work. Technology is exciting, and creative professionals should make sure to take advantage of it.
Whether you’re sharing the freshest memes, responding with emojis, or making your coworker into a gif, having fun along the way makes the work easier.
Better collaboration starts today
Go forth and create. With these six proven tips, you have a blueprint for ensuring you can creatively collaborate across the web. Happy creating! ■