What is remote collaboration?

A team collaborates remotely from a conference room and on video chat.
Learn more about remote collaboration and ways to effectively take advantage of its benefits in your own business.

Today, it’s more common than ever to work with colleagues who live in different cities, states, or even on the other side of the world — all thanks to remote collaboration. But what is remote collaboration, and why do you need to know? Let’s dive into what remote collaboration means and why it’s an important element to consider in the ever-evolving workplace.

Remote work collaboration meaning.

Remote collaboration means the ability to engage as a team member from anywhere in the world. At the bare minimum, it requires a computer and a reliable internet connection, but it’s often so much more than that. Teams often utilize various software apps, platforms, and other technology to connect and collaborate effectively toward shared goals.

While it’s common for multinational or global teams to work remotely, you don’t have to have thousands of miles between teammates to take advantage of remote collaboration. You can have teammates in the same city — even a few blocks away from one another —and still reap the many benefits of working remotely.

What is remote team collaboration vs. virtual collaboration?

While remote team collaboration and virtual collaboration both happen when employees are working in different spaces, there is a slight difference between the terms. Remote team collaboration happens in any team not present in the same office. Virtual collaboration is one way to handle remote team collaboration, and it involves using tools like video calling to stay in close contact. With virtual team collaboration, you work together as if you were in the same space.

Why is remote collaboration important?

There are many benefits when shifting away from the traditional workplace to a virtual one. Remote collaboration can:

Is remote collaboration ideal for all businesses?

Remote collaboration presents both unique benefits and challenges, so you’ll want to evaluate whether it’s good for your business before you attempt it.

Businesses that have structured expectations and robust leadership can benefit from remote collaboration. Remote work collaboration allows them to find employees without being concerned about geographical limits. It can also be convenient for employees.

Many businesses choose to stay in the office. They may be businesses that require a lot of creative collaboration. They might also notice that their employees have difficulty with expectations or motivation. Instead of going remote, these businesses opt to benefit from physical proximity, which can foster accountability and collaboration.

How to make remote team collaboration work.

It’s important to remember that while working remotely has many advantages, a remote team still operates in a similar way to a traditional team. Here are a few best practices to consider as you’re learning how to make remote team collaboration work:

Remote work challenges to consider.

Many companies have transitioned to hybrid work and discovered the challenges that come with an otherwise convenient setup. Here are a few potential difficulties:

Resources to make remote team collaboration easier.

Remote collaboration can be tricky at times, but the benefits far outweigh the challenges in many cases. Here are additional resources to make your remote team collaboration journey smoother:

Take a moment to discover everything you can do with Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Acrobat online services to keep everyone on the same page. Acrobat has robust tools to allow your team to edit documents, convert file types to PDF, sign secure files, and more.