Tools Your Business Needs To Effectively Work With Distributed Teams
By Rylie Holt
The COVID-19 pandemic took the world by total surprise. Almost overnight, businesses were forced to shut their doors and operate with distributed teams.
The work from home arrangement, which was once just a trend, suddenly became reality.
Businesses that were already working with remote resources were able to easily cope with the change. However, those that were in the habit of working out of an office were left without guidance.
Thankfully, the tools needed to efficiently collaborate in a virtual environment have existed for a long time now.
Over this time, these tools have become truly advanced, now offering a variety of features that are quickly blurring the lines between physical interactions and their virtual counterparts.
Let’s look at some of these tools that you can employ to effectively function with a distributed team of professionals working from home:
Time Tracking Tool
A time tracking tool, as the name suggests, enables you to track the daily activity of your employees during working hours. This doesn’t just allow you to take a peek into the workday of your employees, it also instills a sense of ownership within them.
When they know that their activities are being recorded, they will be more motivated to engage in productive tasks. Another benefit of a time tracking software is that it will allow you to measure your employees’ productivity when they are working from home, as a comparison of their productive output from the office.
With that said, some of your employees may show resistance against the implementation of time tracking software. After all, nobody likes being watched all the time.
To overcome this obstacle, it is important for you to communicate the benefits of the best time tracking app to your employees and ensure them that the software will work to reduce micromanagement in your organisation, instead of boosting it.
Speaking of communicating with your employees, ensuring smooth communication within your teams is another important part of ensuring efficiency within distributed teams.
In fact, some would argue that it is the most important aspect of working with distributed teams.
Your communication tools arsenal should contain these tools:
- Group Messenger: A group messenger tool will enable your teams to consolidate team communication in one place. Such a tool can be used for effective delegation and for efficiently communicating teamwide updates and/or feedback.
- Personal Messenger: While your employees already have access to an interpersonal communication channel in the form of email, they will need something that is quicker and less formal. A personal messenger will enable your employees to communicate and collaborate with each other without having to resort to a time consuming or a formal communication channel. After all, you can’t expect them to shoot an email every time they want to ask something from their managers.
- Video Conferencing Tool: A video conferencing tool is again, an important tool for efficient team wide and one-on-one conversations. A video conferencing tool can also be used to conduct client meetings and virtual employee training.
Finally, you will need collaboration tools to well, facilitate effective collaborations.
Tools like online shared documents, web page builders, and content management platforms are all designed to allow multiple users in different locations to work on a single deliverable.
It may not be the same thing as brainstorming with your team in a conference room, but collaboration tools have proven to be extremely efficient when it comes to getting things done.
Without the right tools, ensuring and measuring the productivity of your remote team can be a difficult challenge to overcome.
Did we miss out on mentioning a tool you use to work with your distributed teams or colleagues? Share it with us in the comment section below.
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