It’s no surprise, the American workforce has embraced remote work as a result of the pandemic. But with much of the country back in full swing, and high rates of vaccination among Americans, returning to the office is now an option.
However, remote work rates are still very high, as many workers and companies would prefer to keep the trend of remote work going.
While productivity is often enhanced, and employee satisfaction rates increase with remote work, it doesn’t come without its challenges. Team communication is still the biggest issue for the dispersed team, making it difficult to converse and solve problems right away.
But there are countless communication tools like secure fax service available to help remote teams stay connected, whether they are a few blocks apart, or across the planet from one another.
What are the best tools for remote communication? Read on below to find out now.
Two-Way Radio Systems
Many white-collar companies are content to use digital messaging tools and conference calls. And while it might work for teams that are all using computers throughout the day, it doesn’t work for every type of company.
Some companies might have remote in-house teams managing appointments and customer calls. But they might depend on their service department to visit client locations, such as homes or businesses, to provide professional services.
In these instances, wireless solutions in the form of two-way radios can make for the most efficient communication channel. As team members are providing services, they don’t have time to check their cell phones for text messages or voicemails.
They are usually working with their hands or in very loud environments. To reach them, you need an instant communication tool like a radio. And not only do you need radios, but you need a license in order to use them properly.
Having a license for your business radios helps you to maintain your own clear line of communication, without getting interference from other local businesses. More information on the licensing process is linked here.
For teams in similar situations, where voice communication is ideal but doesn’t need to happen immediately, the Telegram app is a great choice. This is a free app that anyone can download on their cell phone. You can create different channels for your teams to interact in.
You can send text messages, images, or voice messages. And depending on how the channel is set up, it might be read-only, or you can allow members of the channel to also interact with one another.
Many teams find it helpful to have an announcements channel that is read-only and a separate channel for team communication.
Using an app like this, to organize all business communication and keep it separate from personal communication channels like text managing can be very effective.
Slack is one of the most popular business communication tools in the world. It streamlines communication for teams that are either working in the same building or working across the planet.
Many companies use it as their digital headquarters for their company, keeping almost all internal communication inside the app.
You can access your Slack channels from your computer, tablet, or smartphone to ensure you are always able to connect with your team.
It’s easy to create many different channels inside the app. You can have a company-wide channel, a department-wide channel, or a much smaller channel for specific users, such as team leaders, managers, and so forth.
Messages are saved and can be searched in order to reference something later on. You can also share files and host conference calls within the app.
There are many integrations as well. You can hook it up to a tool like Zapier, and create Slack notifications when a certain action takes place. For example, if a new order is placed, you can configure it to alert a member of your team to reach out to the customer directly to thank them for their order.
It also integrates with Google Drive, which makes file sharing a breeze.
Zoom has become synonymous with remote work. Just because you can’t sit face to face with your coworkers or clients doesn’t mean you can’t see their faces and hear their voices.
Zoom is the most popular platform for video conference calls. You can use it to host collaborative work meetings, where every member can share their screen and communicate, just like during an in-person meeting.
Or you can host announcement-style meetings, where only the hosts can speak and share while everyone else tunes in. There’s also a chat feature, so those in the audience can communicate with each other without interrupting the meeting. This also allows for a live QA session.
You can record meetings and store them for future reference, or to allow those who are in a different timezone to watch later.
Distributed teams need a way to store, share, and access documents and resources. And Dropbox is one of the best tools for the job.
Storing your important documents, assets, and files in Dropbox means that all of your stuff is stored securely in the cloud. That means that anyone (who is invited) can access the files from any device.
No more having to send huge files in emails. Just share a link to a Dropbox folder where the recipient can download the files they need. Even people without a Dropbox account can download Dropbox files that you send their way.
This is especially helpful for businesses sending information to clients or customers.
Dropbox is especially helpful for remote teams who need a centralized, virtual storage space for their projects. Dropbox makes collaboration and updates a breeze, so you always know who is working on what.
There are countless project management tools online that remote teams can utilize to stay on track with tasks and projects. But Basecamp is one of the most popular, thanks to its profound ability to customize and tweak to fit your company’s needs.
Basecamp functions as a task management tool, collaboration hub, communication tool, and milestone tracking system.
When you work as part of a team, everyone needs to know what the overarching goals are. and everyone needs to know what their specific task is, so they can contribute to the team’s success.
Project management software like this keeps everyone accountable, moving forward, and organized.
Trello is another project management tool that works great for remote teams. It uses a kanban board style workflow that helps teams to create a production-line environment.
For example, if you’re part of a marketing team, you might have a Trello board for blog articles. Articles can move down the production line, moving from one person to the next, to ensure constant flow and progress.
So a new article might come into the queue and require keyword research. Then, it gets passed to the writer. After the writer is finished, it gets passed to the editor. After it’s been edited, it might get passed to the website manager, who can post it on the website.
A tool like Trello makes is it simple for teams to work together in this style, streamlining communication and cranking out projects at a faster pace.
Gather: Team Communication Made Fun
Gather is a browser-based video chat platform that makes the communication process much more fun and relatable. It’s a gamified platform, that allows users to create their own spaces with whiteboards, files, and games to play together.
The tool actually encourages impromptu communication and is a great way to foster connection among smaller teams. It works great for collaboration, or just taking a break and sharing a laugh with a coworker, which is what we all miss when we think back to our physical offices.
It’s the perfect tool for making virtual interactions less awkward. And there are so many different ways you can customize the experience for your team. Bring the magic and fun back into the office with a tool like Gather.
What about communication for developers, where the conversations are a lot more complex? That’s where a tool like Codeshare comes in handy. Codeshare allows you to open a real-time development window where your entire development team, or just two individuals, can collaborate or learn from one another in a code-writing environment.
Codeshare works great for private mentoring or hosting conference-style meetings. Sharing code in emails or messages is very annoying. But with Codeshare, your dev team can stay up to date and on track with one another.
World Time Buddy
The normalization of remote work means that companies can start hiring employees from all over the world. Or it means their employees can sell their house and move to another country since they can continue doing their job.
But timezones can make scheduling meetings difficult. A tool like World Time Buddy makes it simple to see what time it is for various members of your team, to ensure you aren’t trying to schedule a meeting during their much-needed nap time.
Make Remote Work Work For You
Remote work is a blessing. But without the right tools in place, it can feel like a curse at times.
Team communication is essential for every business, and thankfully, countless tools exist to make it easy and seamless for teams to stay connected.
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