The remote team is here, and it is here to stay. From new startups to well-established groups such as Xerox, Dell, and American Express, businesses around the world are embracing the possibilities that come with telecommuting and remote working.
Working remotely offers businesses new opportunities. Employees can choose to work where they are most productive. Businesses can hire the best candidate for their project, regardless of their geographical location.
A recent survey from SHRM suggests that almost half of respondents said that they could and would use technology to eliminate barriers that would otherwise seriously impact their businesses. They also said that using virtual teams is a good way to bring together team members who are spread out geographically.
These teams are only becoming credible working alternatives recently. This is despite the internet revolution that makes remote working possible being long underway.
This is because it takes more internet connectivity to bring together a remote team. Remote teams need some of the same support that office based teams do. The use of new technologies based online is essential for managing and empowering your remote team.
These technologies offer new alternatives for teams who do not regularly meet in the office. From collaboration to time keeping, remote team managers can use several tools to boost productivity and help keep the team organized and motivated.
Collaboration is one of the most important parts of working as a team. Yet, it gets tricky when you’re not all in the same place.
Yammer is a collaborative online platform that offers teams the ability to chat, share documents and post status updates. This platform is accessible on smart phones, tablets and computers so teams can keep in touch on the go.
Another useful collaboration tool is Slack, an online platform that allows its users to create messaging channels, both private and open, share documents and track Twitter feeds.
Collaboration doesn’t stop at message platforms. Online meeting platforms make video conferencing easier. Try WebEx or GoToMeeting to collaborate with multiple members of a team from different locations while video or screen sharing.
Project Management Technology
Project management tools are important in the office but they are crucial out of the office. When your team relies on chats and emails, it is easy for things to get lost in the crossfire.
Applications like Asana and Basecamp offer easy solutions for remote project management. Both applications have an online interface and are SaaS-based. With online project management solutions, you can create to-do lists and keep track of bigger projects. You can also schedule meetings and keep all your conversations in one place. These sources are a great way to move away from a heavy reliance on email
Time Management Technology
One of the biggest concerns that non-believers have about remote teams is time management. No one wants to spend money on people who aren’t really working.
Remote teams can take advantage of time management technology alongside using product management technology. There are several productivity and time-tracking applications that teams can use that record the work activity.
Time-management technology, like Toggl, is especially great for teams of freelancers. With Toggl, team members can turn on the application to log work hours. When you’re done, you turn it off. You can also use it to send time reports over to the team leader or to team members.
Online Meeting Technology
Face time is still an important part of working as a team. It does not matter if your team is a few miles apart or a few thousand miles apart. Remote teams can use internet based tools to virtually get together.
There are plenty of different online meeting spaces. The most common of these are Skype and Google Hangouts. However, these are not the only two tools available. There are also meeting resources available for larger meetings, including conferences and training sessions.
GoToMeeting is a desktop application that has several functionalities. You can use it to host meetings, webinars and training sessions. You can also use it to record, draw, and share your desktop with the other people in the meeting.
Remote teams are not like other teams. However, that does not mean that they cannot be as connected or productive as traditional office based teams. With the use of the new technology available for remote teams, managers and leaders can help their teams remain empowered, no matter where they are in the world.