About 43 percent of the American workforce telecommutes occasionally, and the figures are set to grow. With companies shifting towards a labor force that includes remote users, it is critical you find ways of keeping these workers connected and productive. For a small or mid-sized business, you need to focus on solutions and tools that will help facilitate effective communication.
Telecommuting is a reality of modern business that offers you access to a bigger pool of workforce talent and flexible schedules. Fortunately, technology brings a set of collaboration solutions that can help improve the productivity of your workforce.
Below are some tech tools that will help remote workers feel even less remote, while fostering teamwork.
Project Management & Visibility Software
When you have to complete important tasks over the weekend on a client’s website, a project management tool and a mobile workforce will keep information flowing and avoid unnecessary delays.
One of the emerging challenges of having a telecommuting workforce is the ability to observe what’s going on. The manager requires visibility into what the workers are doing, while remote workers have to understand how their tasks affect the overall business picture.
No matter where your staff is working from, they need to have complete visibility. A cloud-based application allows integration of project data and documents for transparency purposes. In fact, businesses with real-time visibility tools tend to deliver faster results in 83 percent of their projects.
Instant Messaging (IM)
IM is the most efficient and less intrusive way of briefly getting in touch with your headquarters for fast and simple questions. For instance, employees can use IM to get a one-off request like a link to some specific business file.
While IM offers chat function and mobility aspects, it can also be used for more functionality, such as getting business-critical log info available directly in Slack.
Furthermore, the best IM software provides you with situational awareness through the GPS feature in a user’s device. Other messaging programs are capable of connecting to employee calendars and automatically change the status to “in meeting” when there is a meeting scheduled. Other programs have collaborative features like group chat and screen sharing.
The ability to access online storage via the cloud has made file-sharing technology a major focus when integrating remote workplaces in organizations.
Sharing information virtually makes it possible to sustain long-term remote working arrangements. In addition, file sharing allows for more secure and faster transactions.
Video Conferencing and VoIP
Teams working remotely require you to find innovative ways of doing things such as reinventing your typical conference room meeting and ensuring that you can reach your workers wherever.
Voice over IP (VoIP) and video conferencing are two technologies you should be considering. These solutions give you unified communication via your local connection.
VoIP gives remote workers a single office line for routing calls to their mobile phones, delivery of voicemail to email and taking telephone connections everywhere. This makes it easy to stay connected anytime you have to make or receive a call.
Video conferencing allows for you and remote employees to be connected visually. With a camera and sufficient bandwidth, your workers don’t have to at a meeting physically. With video conferencing, you can build relationships that were previously only possible between people in the same physical office!
Technology brings you an entire set of tools that will allow your organization to create a reliably talented team that spans the globe.
You may never meet some of your workers, but the proper platforms allow easy collaboration on projects for guaranteed success.
By using the cloud, collaboration platforms, and video conferencing, you create new avenues for collaboration.