If your company is taking advantage of talent around the globe, you are going to be managing people in a very different way to a manager of a team in an office. More companies are taking advantage of software and applications such as VOIP (Voice/Video Over Internet Protocol – the best use dedicated servers for speedy and secure communications), to work with people, no matter where they are. You might have your people working on separate projects, or you might have them working on scheduled shifts for customer support. Whatever the case, there are a number of software applications that can make your job a whole lot easier. In this article, we look at some of the new software available, and some of the essential communication tools for all managers to use to make communications better, and to improve the quality of work being done.
- Video and Audio Communications.Video communications can make your face-to-face communications just as good as being in the office together. Conference calling is the norm for most VOIP applications. With more advanced solutions you can even have each of your remote workers on an extension, so if your clients call from outside to your company contact number, they can be put through to an extension, which is actually someone on the other side of the planet. This can be the case, whether your remote employee is using a soft-phone (such as a laptop) or they are using a business mobile phone.
- Shift Planning.Cloud-computing has opened up the world of collaboration and sharing like never before. We are seeing a range of applications that are based on the internet, and allow all of those who have access to retrieve and manipulate data. Shift planning, time clocking and payroll software is available for companies to assist with time and shift management over long distances. An employee can access their account, login, clock in for work, and working times can be recorded on the fly.
- Google Docs.Google Docs provides a free and very effective way to do any of your basic word processing and other Microsoft Office tasks online, and all files can be simultaneously modified by more than one user at any time. All you need is a Gmail account to take advantage of Google Docs. Microsoft is about to launch Office365, which is a cloud-computing based advanced version of the world famous Microsoft Office. This paid version will soon become the norm. Gmail is still offering Google Docs for free, and there is no reason not to be taking advantage of it.
- Virtual Disks.There is always an issue when you are backing up work. If you lose a computer or smartphone, you will have lost that work. Online storage is an excellent solution for all individuals and companies that want security and access from multiple locations. There are a number of paid solutions, such as Apple’s iDisk. Google also offers a limited amount of space for free, and this can be increased for a nominal fee. Storing and sharing files with virtual servers just makes sense. Dropbox is an excellent way to share and store large files online.
- Yammer.There are a number of applications and online applications to help you to communicate and have an ongoing conversation among your remotely located employees. Yammer is used by many of the world’s big name companies because people are very used to using Facebook. You could also use Google+ and other Groups tools available online.
Each year we are seeing far fewer reasons to have an office to house your workforce. It just makes sense to reduce costs and take advantage of a larger pool of professionals from around the world.