Clearly one of the biggest challenges for remote teams is communication, and ensuring it is flowing enough for everyone to still be productive, feel valued and part of the team and to develop those important personal relationships too.
We’ve put together our list of favourite communications tools (each for slightly different reasons) that we use internally everyday, and recommend to our clients and staff too.
Effective, and easy, technology is critical when it comes to opening up those communication floodgates to ensure everyone is across what they need to be in the team. If it’s not intuitive, people simply won’t use it. If it’s unstable people also won’t use it.
Here’s what we think is the best of the best when it comes to ease of use and reliability:
Slack has fast become one of those tools that we literally can’t remember life before. How did we talk to each other all day?! If you’re not already using this, you’re missing out. It’s a completely free (there is an advanced paid option but it won’t be necessary for most teams) chat system that has both a desktop and mobile app, and is available in your browser too. You can see who is online at any time, and can message directly with one person, with a group of people, or in ‘channels’ which you set up around different topics or teams that are relevant to the organisation.
Our favourite video conferencing software (and trust us, we’ve tried them all!) by far is Zoom. We love it because it seems to be the most stable, and the screen sharing functionality is great. It’s very easy to setup the first time you use it, and the same goes for anyone you invite to a meeting. It’s free for one on one meetings, or for group meetings it’s free for 40 mins. If you need to host regular meetings with more than one person that go for longer than 40 mins, you can set up an account for around $15 a month. Not bad.
An oldie but a goodie. The reason we love and use skype though is for calling out using skype credits. We have the Business Manager setup and each of our team members gets allocated a few bucks worth of credit each month incase they need to make calls to international phone numbers. Skype taps into the local exchange and you pay a fraction of the cost. You can also assign individual skype numbers to team members if the need to receive inbound calls too. It’s simple and it works.
If you’re interested in getting started with (or adding more people to) a remote team, we’d love to chat.