Having remote workers is no longer the exception to the rule. In fact, many businesses today let employees work from home or another off-site location at least occasionally.
One study found that two-thirds of U.S. companies now allow for remote work at least part of the time, and 16% are fully remote—meaning all of their workers are in different locations. Many workplace experts have projected that the size of the remote workforce will skyrocket over the next decade.
As you embrace the flexibility that remote working offers, you can’t overlook the business challenges it also presents: Collaboration, communication and productivity can all suffer if the right technologies aren’t in place. Given this, it’s essential to think about how technology can help your remote workers. Here are three types of remote collaboration tools worth exploring:
Conference tools for remote teams
Need to jump on a quick brainstorming session? Prep for an upcoming client meeting? Conferencing tools are easy to use and all offer a range of features that make meetings more fruitful, whether participants join by computer or phone—or both. Here are a few conference tools that are great to keep remote teams feeling connected:
With these conferencing tools, you can set up a video or audio conference on Zoom and use screen-sharing to have everyone on the team review the same documents at the same time. Most solutions also let you record conferences and may integrate with other technologies you use. Prices and features between solutions vary, but products geared for small teams typically start around $15 per user per month.
Communication tools for remote teams
Email and traditional instant messaging tools are no longer the fastest or best communication tools for remote teams. Many workers’ inboxes are flooded, so it’s easy for high-priority emails to get lost in the fray. Moreover, following conversations around specific tasks or topics is challenging via email. Here are a few communication tools that help remote teams stay in touch more efficiently while making it easy to search for and retrieve older messages:
These platforms also allow you to upload and store documents related to the conversations, and some have basic, built-in conferencing features. Free versions of these tools are available, but small-business plans typically cost around $6 per user per month.
Project management for remote teams
The ability to easily create project-focused to-do lists, assign tasks to teammates and upload and collaborate on key documents using the cloud is invaluable in a remote-working environment. The last thing you want is people searching through their email inbox for, say, the latest version of a Word doc or presentation. Here are a few platforms that give you a one-stop place to compile and collaborate on your documents and task lists:
Many offer a vast range of features, but the core ones are meant to help your team stay organized using the cloud as your main information-sharing portal. Pricing models vary and many offer free, very basic versions, but a company with five people using the platform might pay around $45 per month.
If you have remote workers, the right technologies can help your team stay connected and communicate freely—just as they would if everyone worked together in the same office.
As your business technology needs grow, your internet service has to provide adequate bandwidth and speed to keep you and your remote workers productive. Spectrum Business Internet offers plans starting at 200 Mbps and up through Spectrum Business Internet Gig. To learn more about our plans and additional features, contact us at 855-299-9353.
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