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Stay Connected and Collaborate from Home

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you'll be able to:

  • Set up your online profile.
  • Use collaboration tools to stay connected with your colleagues.

Because Work Happens Where You Are

When most—or all—of your coworkers are in different locations, it can be easy to stay heads down, focused on your work. However, if you don’t stay in touch, your colleagues may not readily know or understand what you’re working on. And you’ll miss out on developing good working relationships with your teammates.

So let’s talk about staying visible and active on your team. Because work happens, no matter where you are.

Raise Your Profile

Most software applications you use for work have a profile page you can customize. You can typically add a photo and information about yourself. In Salesforce, this is your Chatter profile, and it’s a great place for you to share more about yourself with your colleagues.

Chatter profile showing photo, name, title, and location

Using your Chatter profile, you can share your photo, name, title, and location. In the About Me section, provide information about your core working hours, time zone, how best to reach you, and your working style. Fill in your contact information, so that people know how to get in touch with you.

Make it a practice to fill in your profile for all of the software applications you and your colleagues use regularly. 

Here’s a handy tip: Use the same profile photo for all of the applications you use, so your colleagues will easily recognize you, no matter which application you’re using.

Start Collaborating

Use your company’s communication tools to stay connected. Use your calendar software to see when others have free time, so you can request and schedule meetings. Or, use it to take a peek and see if a colleague is free before sending an instant message.

Salesforce offers communication tools suited for both formal and informal communication, depending on your need and audience. We primarily use Chatter and Quip, and for additional virtual collaboration, we use email and instant-messaging apps.

Profile pictures on a variety of devices

Different teams often have their own communication tools. Get to know yours, and use them. You have lots of ways to stay connected to your coworkers and cross-functional teams. 

Here’s another thing to try: Whatever collaboration software your team prefers, whether it’s a group chat, Chatter, Quip, or another tool, log on first thing and start a good morning thread with your colleagues. It’s a simple way to say hello and stay connected, no matter where you’re working from.

Make Use of Chatter in Salesforce

If you’re using Salesforce, you should be using Chatter. Chatter is great for posting updates, asking questions, having discussions, and making announcements.

One of the most useful features of Chatter is Chatter Groups, where you can find information about a specific team or topic. To keep up with everything that’s happening in Chatter, you can control and customize your notification preferences. For especially important groups, you can receive a notification anytime when someone posts.

Collaborate in Context with Quip

At Salesforce, we make good use of Quip. It’s mobile-friendly, allows for quick collaboration, and helps reduce meetings and emails. Quip is one application that allows you to create and share documents, spreadsheets, chat, and tasks, all in the cloud. Quip allows simultaneous editing by multiple people at the same time, and it has deep integrations to the Salesforce platform. 

One of the ways we use it here at Salesforce is to get feedback and make decisions on a new policy. We create a Quip doc, describe the policy proposal, and create a list of stakeholders who must approve. Collaborators can edit and comment right in the Quip doc, and when they’re ready to sign off they simply check the box next to their name. Decision-making in a snap—and without a meeting!

We’ve made the Quip Starter version free for you and your team to try until September 30, 2020

Bottom Line

Make sure to fill in your online profile for the software applications you and your team use to do your jobs, and check in with your colleagues online. Use collaboration tools to get work done as a team. These are some of the ways you can stay connected and collaborate, no matter your work location.

Up next, we talk about how you can make the most of your experience working from home.