Technology has changed the way we work. While the physical office remains entrenched in our society, the landscape is changing rapidly.
More teams are working remotely. Operating from the virtual office. Local companies are engaging workers in distant places and corners. From Asia to Europe, Middle East and America teams are working remotely – leveraging on technology for collaboration.
However, while working remotely offers a lot of benefits it also presents unique challenges. How do you communicate effectively, save time, enhance collaboration and productivity? With team members half the world away from the head office, how do you monitor performance?
Fortunately, there are tools for collaboration that enhance working remotely. In this article, we will take a look at the 5 of the very good ones that you need to succeed in your remote office.
This may sound trivial but it is important in view of the difference in time zones. While some members of the team may be rising up from sleep getting set for work, others may be getting set for the night rest. This difference requires that you keep an eye on the varying time zones as you dish out work or responsibilities for the team.
Fortunately, EveryTimeZone takes care of that. The online tool gives you the time in major cities across the globe. You don’t need a collection of analog wall clocks hanging by your wall showing the time in different capital cities.
Slack offers real-time instant messaging between team members. But it offers more than an instant messaging app, with its array of features and flexibility of use.
You can connect with an individual, a group or groups. Slack allows you to set up channels (for a group, topic etc) and set it to private if need be. It allows, chatting, direct messaging, calls, file sharing, searchable archive and other useful functions. Slack brings many of your favourite tools all together in one central place.
A good tool for managing projects is Asana. The application allows you to delegate tasks and assign team members to projects. It allows members to monitor workflow and progress on projects.
Drop Box is a platform that hosts your files and makes it easy to share. Handling files that cannot be sent through email due to size. From video, photo or text documents you can save and share through drop box. Once you upload, all you need do is to send a link to your team and they have access to the file. The application is perfect for remote teams who need to share files.
With team members working remotely, there has to be a way to ensure accountability and monitor performance. One online tool that strives to address that challenge is iDone This. It enables team members to reply to an email and provide daily updates on their activities. The report is then collated and shared the following day. The tool is useful for tracking task and the performance of team members.
Skype empowers you to communicate with your team in more ways than one. Though many see Skype as primarily a video call platform it enables you to text or initiate voice calls as well. Skype has become a staple of TV and Cable Stations who use it to link up and conduct interviews with experts and interviewees in outside the studio or in remote places.
Nothing stops you from deploying it to communicate with your team members wherever they may be across the world.
In a nutshell, there are lots of products out there all of them striving to bridge the gap and facilitate work across space and time. But with this five tools for remote collaboration you and your team can achieve a lot.