Across the country, more and more people are working remotely, and companies are creating innovative new ways to communicate with employees from anywhere, regardless of location. Remote work is a growing trend in the U.S., and experts think “telecommunicating will approach or even reach 50 percent by 2020,” according to Rutgers. Here are a few tips, apps and tools you can use to make communication among co-workers much easier and more efficient.
Tips for Great Communication
With over half of professional jobs in the U.S. held by women last year, women are thriving in the workforce and taking great remote work opportunities, even when certain industries aren’t hiring as many women as they should be. When working from home, it may take a bit of getting used to, and it will take a while to find a workflow that works for you.
These tips will help you be at your best and find both comfort and success in your remote work experience. It’s very important to establish a successful means of communicating with your co-workers, especially in a remote environment. There are several different forms of communication that remote workers use to build positive relationships with each other.
In cases where workers are spread out across several different time zones and collaborating on projects together, asynchronous communication is seen to be the most effective method. This is performed through messaging apps in which workers can reply when it’s convenient for them. This method, however, is not recommended for projects that are time sensitive, as workers can fall behind in responding and lose track of conversations sometimes.
When tasks need to be completed in a more timely fashion, synchronous communication has been shown to work best. This method is utilized by calling team members by phone or conducting video conferences. With this form of communication, co-workers are collaborating with each other at the same time instead of waiting for a response from them later. Your preferred method of communication depends on how you work best with a team, and figuring that out is an essential part of forming a productive and determined work team.
When communicating with your co-workers and supervisor remotely, you’ll want to make sure you have a designated workspace at home where you can communicate with them most effectively. Pick somewhere that doesn’t have very many distractions or background noise and you can stay focused and energized to do the best work you can.
Tools for Remote Success
Online tools have revolutionized the way employees communicate with one another and developed opportunities for companies to grow. The website EveryTimeZone helps workers collaborate with each other from around the world by displaying co-workers’ time zones. This tool allows for workers to keep track of who’s available at what time, which is especially helpful if you’re working in New York and trying to find out the time zone of a co-worker stationed in France.
When working remotely, it’s vital to make sure you’re keeping track of your projects and delegating tasks correctly. Tools such as Asana are ensuring that companies are well managed and well organized. Employees can create to-do lists through this service and assign duties to other team members. After an extensive website redesign, Asana is being used by more and more companies around the world, and it’s become a groundbreaking tool in office management and organization.
While Google Docs is still a preferred method of document sharing among companies, Quip is on the rise and expanding its platform. Compatible with all Android and iOS devices, Quip is a service designed to make document editing and sharing much easier. Collaborating on a group project in real time can be a stressful task, and Quip is built to assist with completing duties as efficiently as possible. There are also notification tools within Quip, allowing quick responses from employees and conversations displayed alongside documents, making projects run smoother.
Apps to Improve Your Remote Work Experience
As technology evolves, communication is going digital, with “face-to-face communication and phone calls giving way to instant messaging and social media,” according to findings from Arizona State University. There are a variety of apps helping to manage the workflow of a company more effectively and create ease for remote workers. The messaging app Slack is perhaps the most successful and well-known service on this list, used by every kind of group, from college clubs to worldwide corporations. Users can create channels for all of their projects and keep organized by managing conversations. You can also share files on the app and rank your channels in order of importance.
There are several video conference apps available, which allow co-workers to communicate with each other in a more face-to-face and direct way. Here are a few notable ones.
- Join.me: A video conference platform in which users can see what you’re writing in real-time as you scribble on virtual paper.
- RingCentral Meetings: Features interactive screen sharing and easy scheduling capability.
- Sqwiggle: Takes photos of the user every few minutes and keeps co-workers up to date on what they’re up to. It’s built as a way to make users feel like they’re working together in the same place and connecting virtually.
There are many time-tracking apps out there keeping employees clocked in and informed on their work hours. Apps such as Harvest are attracting users through easy-to-use timesheet management and invoice/payment capabilities. It’s incredibly important to learn how to use these tools and several other types of tech to fully succeed in the workforce. With such a diverse number of apps out there, workers are able to work much better remotely and succeed at their jobs at a higher rate.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Avery Taylor Phillips – Avery is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions. Check out her blog on https://www.equities.com/user/AveryTaylorPhillipsby