At one time, businesses were limited to a local workforce of people who could commute to the office every day. Thanks to technology, however, hiring managers can choose from a pool of workers located across the globe. Using a combination of collaboration and communication tools, companies can combine workers who are in the office with team members located on the other side of the world.
However, the increasing reliance on remote workers means managers need to know how to really take advantage of available technology to improve communication with teams across time zones and around the world.
Here are a few tips to help leaders use effectively use technology to collaborate with their remote teams.
Make it easy to meet
Meetings are an inevitable part of the workday, so make collaborating as easy as possible. Invest in solutions that make it simple for international users to participate no matter where they are calling in from. GoToMeeting recently expanded its Call Me feature to additional international countries, letting meeting participants join the meeting without having to dial in.
The point is to have the right solutions that make hopping on a call, launching an impromptu video meeting, or sending a quick instant message easy and painless. Getting in contact with a remote team member should be as easy as walking over to a co-worker’s desk for a quick chat. Such solutions are just a small step but can make a big difference for the health of an organization. Just remember to keep different time zones in mind! There are tons of apps and calendar features that can help you schedule meetings across time zones.
Invest in technology to increase visibility
Remote workers can feel disconnected from their teams, especially if they’re never able to visit the office in person. Make sure each employee has the tools necessary to communicate and collaborate with everyone on the team and help them test those tools in advance of any important meetings. These include messaging tools, project management platforms, and of course online meeting solutions. In a remote work setting, err on the side of over-sharing and visibility.
Include everyone in the fun
Working remotely makes it more difficult to get to know team members on a one-on-one basis. Do everything you can to facilitate personal relationships through the use of icebreakers or informal chats to get to know your teammates. Be sure that you promote the use of a chat solution for work and non-work related subjects to help facilitate easy communication and camaraderie. It takes just a few minutes and can make a big difference.
Integrate your solutions
Technology is everything when workers aren’t in the office. Make sure your tools work together, with scheduling plug-ins and software integrations making it easy for workers to schedule meetings and move from one platform to another.
Communicating in the modern workplace can be difficult, especially if your team is dispersed across the globe. Having the right tools in place is essential, but it’s also important to know how to interact with team members to make them feel included. Both technology and real-world action will help you as you go.