Numerous companies have staff working from remote locations. Some are freelancers, hired to work on specific projects or tasks. And some are full-time employees working from home, either on an occasional or permanent, basis.
Keeping everyone on task and connected is difficult, especially with the variety of communication needs of each team. To help make sure things stay on track, we asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council what tools or strategies they use to help communicate with their remote teams. Here's what they said:
We love Asana because it helps on assigning tasks, tagging people who should follow the tasks and making sure that deadlines are met and tasks are done accordingly. It's just amazing how easily everyone works and communicates with this app: The deadline is met, and the team works well.
– Daisy Jing of Banish
We have teams in seven locations across three countries. Currently, we use Basecamp across all functions to manage tasks company-wide. We encourage all staff to do meetings via video conference and have found that this has improved communication a lot. We are also implementing company-wide video conferences for team-building purposes
– Michael Kleinmann of The Underwear Expert, Inc.
Our cloud-based Confluence wiki is the nerve center of our business. Our team is spread across four different continents, and the wiki keeps everyone up to date on what needs to be done. You can tag team members on tasks that require their attention, document best processes and product specs, and get email notifications of updates in the wiki.
– Brian David Crane of Caller Smart Inc.
We use an intranet platform called Collab Hub as an internal website specifically just for our staff. Inside the intranet, we have the ability to share files from each department, as well as the company calendar, important links, company announcements and documents, and staff directory. Since we acquired this platform, our internal communication had improved 200 percent, even for our remote staff, on-shore and off-shore.
– Shalyn Dever of Chatter Buzz
Having a tight-knit team is vital to our creative process, but half of our team is remote. We use Flowdock's chat to constantly communicate team-wide (whether in the office or not), and Flowdock's inbox to keep the entire team on the same page with code commits or bugs. We also use the built-in video chat feature for our weekly video calls that virtually places everyone in the office.
– James Simpson of GoldFire Studios
Using technical tools for technical communication is key! Pivotal Tracker is irreplaceable for our remote tech team to communicate with our in-house tech team. Not only does it allow detailed iterative tickets, it has an estimation feature, momentum feature and integrations for productivity tools like G Suite . Plus, developers appreciate it was built for them by other developers.
– Cooper Harris of Klickly
We love chatting in Slack — about work, family and life in general. We've also incorporated custom emojis that represent each person, our values and norms. For example, we have a “GETGO” (good enough to go) emoji that we use to signal when a decision is made. Encouraging people to create and use emoji that are uniquely ours feels special, and promotes elements of our company values and culture.
– Mamie Kanfer Stewart of Meeteor
We use Teamwork for client communication and project management. This allows me to oversee the efficiency and profitability of my remote team, and I can see every project that they’re working on and track the progress. It also allows my team and me to document all of our processes, and create new ones as needed.
– Duran Inci of Optimum7
A company wiki is a simple way to communicate process and company-wide changes to your remote team, and no one does it better than Tettra. When your company is still in its infancy — and processes, messaging and benefits can change on the fly — it is incredibly important to make sure your team is abreast of the latest information. Tettra can make those communications easy.
– Christopher Swenor of East Coast Product
Read more about managing a remote team on Tech.Co