January 30, 2017
Running a business online has numerous benefits. Not only is it cheaper than brick and mortar businesses, but it also allows companies to cater to international customers. Additionally, online businesses have access to the global pool of talent thanks to freelancing marketplaces like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr. Remote teams are more cost-effective than in-house teams. However, a managing remote team presents issues especially in terms of collaboration.
Remember, a solid brand identity requires a tightly-knit remote team that functions together as a unit. Each member must be familiar with each other’s work and how they contribute to the organization’s mission. To make sure the distance barrier doesn’t impede your team’s collaboration, here are five tools you need to use:
The first thing you need as an online business with a remote team is a virtual workplace where employees can communicate, share files, and keep track of ongoing projects. Basecamp is a comprehensive project management platform that can fulfill these needs.
With Basecamp, you can easily delegate tasks to specific team members, post announcements, and run regular “check-ins” that request feedback from team members. It also features a calendar view that lets you monitor all your company’s activities in a glance.
If you think an all-in-one project management platform like Basecamp is excessive, then you should try Trello. This simple tool allows you to organize tasks into “cards” and sort them into lists. For further segmentation, you can create different “boards” for specific projects or clients.
For collaboration, Trello allows you to assign cards to other team members. You can also leave comments, upload attachments, and set due dates to emphasize urgency.
Although project management platforms have integrated communication features, Slack will help bring your team even closer together. It is a dedicated messaging app that accomplishes the simple task of organizing your company’s conversations – be it via direct messages or discussion channels.
To stay ahead of conversations, you can download the Slack mobile or desktop app for your device. This enables team members to collaborate in real-time. You can also choose from these alternatives if you think Slack isn’t a good fit for your business.
One of the challenges of hiring remote workers is introducing them to your existing business processes, workflows, and technologies. That’s why you need an on boarding and knowledge mapping strategy to ensure newcomers can fit right in. To save time, you can use a tool like Zapier to automate repetitive tasks, streamline complicated processes, and let your workforce focus more on specific roles.
With Zapier, you can connect different services into automated workflows called “Zaps.” For example, you can link Gmail with Trello automatically turn emails received into cards. With hundreds of integrations available, there are virtually endless ways to take advantage of automation for your online business.
When collaborating with a remote team, it can be difficult to get your points across through chat conversations alone. To let them know exactly what they need to do, you can use an online conferencing tool like Zoho Online Meeting for brainstorming, knowledge transfer, and presentation purposes.
The app works through a downloadable “meeting session” that can be launched from the desktop. Just remember that the free version only allows you to collaborate with one person at a time.
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