4 Great Software Tools to Work Better with Your Remote Employees
Maybe you’re used to having all of your employees in the office where you can easily guide and communicate with them. You aren’t used to managing a team member who works from their Minneapolis studio apartment when your company is headquartered in Austin, Texas.
If you are hiring millennials, however, you may find that many of them want the ability to work remotely at least part of the time. This means, of course, that there are going to be times where you are not going to be able to instantly speak with all of your employees when you feel the need arises; you are going to need alternate forms of communication.
Your quick answer might be, “I’ll just call them on their cell or text them, and if that doesn’t work, I’ll email.” And while you can have success here, there are more direct ways to communicate directly with your remote staff.
Slack is great for chatting. It reminds us of AOL’s ancient Instant Messenger in a way, and it provides a direct link between you and whatever recipient team you decide to set up. Like a group text, multiple parties can simultaneously communicate, and this informally presented and the very cool app is very easy to use.
Don’t dismiss this tool just because it has been around for a while. Skype allows you to collaborate and communicate with employees, vendors, and clients for free—no matter where in the world everyone is located. Skype blazed the one-on-one communication trail tears ago, and it is still widely imitated.
If you have an employee or a customer that is having problems with their hardware, you can use Join.me to actually log in to their machine and take control as you attempt to solve the problem. It also can be used for one-on-one and group meetings, and with a few clicks, you can engineer a quick staff meeting even if everyone is in a different country.
Task and project management by text or phone definitely can have its own set of drawbacks, but with tools like Asana, you can stay on top of all project phases. You can share documents, designate tasks, track due dates, check on progress and basically know what is happening with each project at all times.
We have presented your four ideas, but here is one more:
In places like law firms, for example, many different persons and/or groups may revise documents. If you send a Word document to many project participants, you may find that at some point you have nine different document versions saved in your document management system, and if they haven’t been labeled or dated properly, it may be very difficult to locate the current version. An app like Basecamp, however, will support file versioning and allow you to keep different iterations of the same document separate.
As you can see, there are many innovative ways to better communicate and work with your remote team. We do suggest that you take advantage of software trial versions to make sure that you do not commit to a system before you are sure that it will work for you.