Communication is critical to remote working success.
Projects can quickly fall apart if you aren’t in consistent contact with your team. Fortunately, there are various great ways to keep in touch with your remote team.
And, for each of those ways, there are multiple virtual communication options.
In this article, we will lay out several essential communication methods and recommended tools for each.
Whether communicating with clients or your team, it’s essential to have face-to-face interaction to maintain that personal touch.
While remote work doesn’t lend itself to in-person meetings on a regular basis, many great video conferencing platforms are available to help you keep in touch and be face-to-face, even if it is digitally.
Here are a few recommendations for video conferencing tools to help your remote teams be more effective:
Zoom – Zoom has seen a huge surge in usage as companies transition to work-from-home situations during the COVID-19 crisis. This platform offers free and paid options, and you can have multiple users on-screen simultaneously.
Teams – Beyond the chat collaboration feature, Microsoft’s Teams app has a great video conferencing feature. The quality is top-notch, and the ability to chat while in the conference is super helpful.
Google Meet – Google Meet (formerly Hangouts) is a part of Google’s business suite. This option offers a secure video conferencing option for small and enterprise-level companies. Meetings are encrypted to ensure your conversations stay in-house.
There is no shortage of options here, but we really love the above tools. So, we encourage you to start with these options.
Whether working in or out of the office, email is obviously a favored communication tool for most working professionals. Perhaps the two most popular options are Outlook and Gmail, at least regarding businesses.
Really, this one is up to the email provider your company chooses. We don’t suggest going rogue and using your own preferred email provider if it differs from the provider your company uses.
To make the most of your email, we recommend the following:
- Create folders to store related emails
- Use the flag option to note which emails require priority attention
- Set times throughout the day to focus on checking and responding to email
- Setup threads to combine emails in the same conversation
You’ll likely be receiving more emails now than usual, so be sure to put the above actions in place to ensure you don’t get lost in the inbox pileup.
Email is, of course, a huge part of successful remote working. Sometimes, however, you need a quicker response or the communication requires more ongoing conversation than a one-off email. This is where chat apps come into play.
Here are a few of our favorite chat apps:
Teams – We mentioned this above in the video conferencing section, but teams has a great collaborative chat feature as well. With the ability to have individual or group chat, share files and more, this app from Microsoft can seamlessly keep your team in touch.
Slack – Slack has been a go-to resource for remote teams for quite some time. Share ideas, collaborate on revisions, create channels to organize communication, and set up alerts to help your team stay on track.
Video Player: Slack in Action – Source
Twist – Twist is a very user-friendly platform. Communication is broken into messages (similar to SMS or Facebook messages), channels to break down specific topics or projects and threads which are similar to your email inbox and allow for tracking of longer-form communication.
Video Player: Twist in Action – Source
Storage and File Sharing
The efficiency with which your team shares both working and final documents are critically important. A file management system and a way to share content is critical.
Check out these tools to help your team stay organized and share content more effectively:
OneDrive – Use this tool to save files of all types. Videos, photos, documents, and more. Create a clear folder system and offer access to specific team members as necessary. If you are saving Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations here, you can set permissions for team members to edit them within the platform.
Dropbox – This is a classic. It has a lot of the same features as OneDrive. Traditionally known as a basic file storage system in the Cloud, now you can collaborate by storing Microsoft documents, Google Docs and Slides, and Dropbox Paper. You can also integrate apps like Slack and Zoom to keep track of conversations.
Intranet – This is not a specific platform recommendation. Still, if you have the resources to create and manage a company Intranet, this is an excellent option for sharing company updates, essential documents, and other content.
With the right file-sharing tools in place and tools to help you communicate more effectively, you will be nicely set up to succeed at working from home.
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