Remote and still effective


Tips for collaborating in remote teams

At the MSF Japan Innovation Unit (JIU), we have spent several years working on different projects remotely. For instance, we are supporting MSF Korea through remote collaboration and workshops to use design thinking techniques to develop their Strategic Plan. We provide remote support to MSF Spain as part of a Creative Problem Solving project. We also run regular remote workshops on both organizational/systems design and neonatal medical innovation – two of the four specializations here at the JIU.

Today there are plenty of tools that can support remote collaboration. Many good ones are available in our Microsoft O365 package. However, in our experience, having the right processes and clear roles can be just as important for successful remote collaboration. These can be easily learned.

With everything going on with COVID-19, we’ve received a few requests asking if we can add any of the lessons we have learned from this experience to some of the excellent ones already shared across the MSF movement.

We are not communication experts, nor are we up-and-coming YouTube stars, but being in Japan we do know a thing or two about collaborating on projects with people a long way away.

The following are some very simple tips that we think can help make remote teamwork more effective. They are based mostly on how remote working actually limits communication. You can’t catch up over coffee in between meetings, you can’t really rely on much non-verbal communication, and so on.

Over the next short videos, we present some of the things we have found useful to overcome these restrictions and so make sure that remote meetings and collaborations are as productive as possible.

We hope it’s useful.


MSF Japan Innovation Unit

MSF Japan Innovation Unit is providing innovative ideas of solutions to the MSF activities. If you, either as a company or as a professional, have an idea that would be beneficial to our projects as well as patients, please contact us. Your innovative proposal is always appreciated.