Can Telecommuters Communicate and Collaborate Efficiently?

One of the concerns that have always surrounded telecommuters, remote workers, and freelancers is the efficiency of communication. But, it is often the opposite case. People who work remotely often have to develop all the other skills to compensate for the fact that they don’t have colleagues doing things for them.

One of those acquired skillset is communication. If you are dealing with a freelancer, then chances are that they already know how to deal with clients and customers, how to gather user requirement details, and then how to convey any concerns or questions. They then have to negotiate the price and then follow-up for payment.

On the other hand, while remote workers and telecommuters do not have to talk to many people on a daily basis because they are basically in a full-time job, they will often have to collaborate with the team, or at the very least report to the team leader or manager.

Main concerns that come to mind are:

  • How do you set about communicating with such a team? 
  • How do you ensure that everyone is on the same page?
  • How do you see to it that everyone is working with all their guns blazing? 

It doesn’t matter if all your employees are scattered. It doesn’t matter if they are in the same city, different cities, or even different continents. What matters is having elegant channels to help communicate better. 

In a regular office, it is very easy to talk to employees and see what they’re up to. It is very easy to get the paperwork or updates done. Any emergency meeting can be scheduled at a moment’s notice, provided the conference room is free or even in a corner of the office between teammates. All of these things might seem difficult with your team is scattered all over the place.

But… but… but…

We live in a digital age. Everything is being revolutionized, every process, every task, every little thing. Yes, you might need to take some extra effort, but working as a virtual team isn’t impossible anymore. 

If you have a decent internet connection and a properly defined workflow, then you can as productive or even more productive than your average office-goer. 

For communication, you have the likes of Skype, WhatsApp, Google Duo, Email, Texting, etc.

For collaboration, you have Google Drive that can very much take care of various collaborative tasks. Files can be accessed off a common Google Drive. 

For working as a team, you have project management tools like Asana, Trello, Click up, etc.

For meetings, a shared Google Calendar makes it easy to schedule meetings. Virtual meetings can be had over Skype, or over more sophisticated channels such as Cisco’s WebEx service.

Final Thoughts

With startup culture become the norm of today’s times, even software giants have started recognizing the need for software and tools that are catered towards online collaboration. Google’s array of trendsetting software – for online presentations, spreadsheets, and wordprocessor – is one of the most used services in terms of the remote industry. It is one of the basic setups that most people start out with and then branch out into more sophisticated software based on their needs. 

Microsoft has followed suit with its Office 365 initiative, which is seeing more and more switched. Even Apple is making a major push towards cloud storage and cloud software. 

The intention behind all of the recent advancements is basically the same – to connect people across the globe and to make virtual collaborations easier.

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