In this day and age, practically every business works with employees in the office and at least a handful of external workers. These external workers could be either freelancers or full-time, but they are always remote employees. In such a mixed ecosystem, enabling your team to work successfully and seamlessly is a prerequisite for business-wide success. You shouldn't perceive it as an isolated investment, but instead a step towards company growth.
Helping your workers become more productive requires introducing or upgrading some of your tech tools. Still, too many companies aren't sure how to prioritize their expenses and allocate their funds appropriately to pick the most suitable and effective options.
Instead of treating your remote workers the same as your on-site employees, you need to consider the unique problems your remote workers face. Put yourself in their shoes to understand what you can do to help them work more efficiently and to make it easier for them to collaborate with your employees at the office.
Thankfully, technology is particularly apt at helping, so you can select a few tried and tested tools to help your remote teams succeed as your on-site employees.
Tools To Manage Your Remote Workers
1. Enhance communication with chat tools
In addition to the optional email and PM platforms, businesses often need to use technology to help their remote teams build stronger relationships with their on-site teams. Chat tools such as Slack are designed precisely with that idea in mind.
They enable your business culture to expand beyond the office walls and embrace anyone who collaborates with your workers. Chat tools give an entirely human, real-conversation vibe to your interactions, and they inspire people to communicate about more than just work, which will bring them closer.
2. A spotless internet connection
Some regions of the world are notorious for their unstable internet connections and slow networks, such as Australia. As a result, the government has rolled out the National Broadband Network, a solution to many of their communication issues. That is one of the main reasons, so many companies are switching to NBN plans that have greater stability, much more bandwidth, and it ensures a reliable connection for all of your team members.
This, in turn, makes it much easier for your teams to communicate without any delays and interruptions. A reliable and fast internet connection allows your workers to use all of their digital tools without causing connectivity issues for other users. With this new network infrastructure at hand, any Australian business can run more efficiently, especially in terms of remote team management and online communications.
3. Video conferencing software
Hiring remote workers already suggest a need to interview them in the first place, which means that you need a reliable video conferencing tool. This is certainly not new technology that will disrupt your workplace or require any major training. Still, you'll need to adapt your regular meetings to enable your remote teams to participate with the help of these tools.
Quality image and sound are both a must, while screen sharing is also beneficial for when you're giving a presentation or having a team workshop that your remote team should be a part of. In fact, your remote teams should also be able to use the tool on their other devices such as phones, so opt for a tool that won't disappoint you under any circumstances.
4. Cloud-based collaboration
Some businesses don't like project management tools, but that's usually only if they already have access to a robust ERP cloud system with so many built-in integrations that you truly don't need yet another external tool. Even the simpler, more streamlined clouds available with your email providers can be of great help when you're running a smaller business.
In such instances, using the cloud storage platform as a communication system to collaborate on projects in real-time makes your remote workers' lives much simpler. Existing chat tools make it easy to interact while working on the shared files, which in turn provides that real office collaboration feel.
5. Project management for better workflow
Even before you start worrying about your business' scalability, proper task management can become complicated when your employees are working from various locations. Some companies still rely on email communication to exchange ideas and assign work, but that can be time-consuming and cost you hours that could have been better spent.
Instead, using a project management tool such as Basecamp makes much more sense, no matter the size of your business. Built with simplicity in mind, it's a highly intuitive tool that gives you a clear overview of tasks and projects, letting your teams collaborate seamlessly.
Your budget limits might mean that you should go for a smaller-scale PM option, but luckily, there are so many different tools out there that you’re bound to find one your business will thrive on. However, they all depend on your internet connection, so it’s vital that you combine this particular choice with a speedy network at your service.
Technology can only get you so far – it's up to you to select the right tools that are available and suitable for your industry and then implement them to help your remote workers become more productive. Selecting the right tools has yet another dimension to it.
Tech helps your remote teams connect better with your on-site staff, and it allows your remote workers to experience and contribute to your company culture. There will always be innovative ideas meant to help companies improve their day-to-day operations.
Some will be better than others, but you will quickly learn that your particular culture responds to specific tech solutions, enabling you to invest only in those that make sense for your team. The next time you're about to pour your funds into a major tech upgrade, think of your remote teams, too, and your business will have a much greater chance to evolve.
About the Author: Jolene Rutherford is a marketing specialist - turned blogger, currently writing for technivorz.com. Interested in digital marketing and new technology trends. Love sharing content that can help and inform people.