Breaking the Remote Barrier: 8 Innovative Technologies for Connected and Productive Remote Teams
As the workforce shifts to a high portion of remote work, it is critical to identify solutions to keep employees engaged and productive. Focusing on the tools and solutions that promote effective communication is crucial for mid-sized businesses. As your company expands, you will most likely have more remote workers located in various places. Moreover, workforce talent is increasingly seeking flexible schedules and efficient work platforms. Whether your company is made up of remote employees or you’re putting together a technological stack to assist your teams on the road, collaboration technologies are vital. A variety of collaboration solutions have emerged to boost employee efficiency. With the appropriate technology, managing a remote team will be as simple as managing a team in the next office.
What do remote workers need?
Businesses that want to establish a remote working strategy or option for their workers must carefully assess the strategic implications. While remote working may allow a firm to minimize the size of its physical space, it must prepare for additional IT infrastructure investments, such as cloud platforms, to enable employees to work and communicate successfully from home.
Below are a few digital toolkits that might make remote employees feel less isolated and boost cooperation.
- A secure VPN: Remote access is often done through protocols such as the Windows Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). It’s what allows employees working from home to connect to the company’s network through a ‘remote desktop’. However, allowing access through an RDP exposes your network to the whole internet. Fortunately, there is a solution to continue using protocols like RDP without exposing the company network – VPN. A VPN is an acronym for a virtual private network. It’s a safe, online Ethernet cable that links a remote user’s PC or smartphone to a company’s internal network. VPNs are encrypted “tunnels” that connect a user’s PC or mobile device to an internet-connected server. Data sent through a VPN is therefore protected. No hacker or cybercriminal can intercept or access data while it is sent from one location to another. The use of a VPN eliminates the requirement to leave a network exposed to all outside traffic. Cybercriminals will not be able to hack communications and get access to private data if they cannot view your company’s remote server.
- Video conferencing tools: When it comes to meetings with remote staff, video is the way to go nowadays. Since these employees are usually unable to attend in-person meetings, videoconferencing has emerged as one of the most “beneficial technologies” for both in-house and remote staff. Smart video conferencing cameras, such as the Meeting Owl Pro, GoToMeeting, WebEx, Fuze, and much more- make remote employees feel as though they are in the meeting room with their colleagues in the office. People may communicate with one another in real time from wherever they are working. You provide your team members with exceptional face-to-face interactions by updating your workplace with a high-quality videoconferencing system. Observe how much of a difference it makes in terms of cohesion and production.
- Project visibility and management tools: Productivity-boosting project management software like Asana and Bitrix24 assist keep track of work progress and send simultaneous reminders to the entire team for a project with several team members with varied roles. These technologies also assist in analyzing the task quality of each team member and promote transparency in project evaluation. Your employees require clear insights regardless of where they choose to work. Integrating project management data and documentation into a cloud-based application removes the issue of a lack of transparency. A project management tool’s goal is to enable a team to manage the status of an assignment from anywhere, at any time.
- Unified communication tools: Unified communications refers to the capacity to connect multiple channels to expedite and simplify access and use. It gathers all the business communication programs found on different users’ devices and unifies them into a single location. This results in a powerful and efficient solution for customer support teams that want to unify all their conversations. Unified Communications, when done effectively, gives all users with a single interface and experience across different devices.
- File sharing: File sharing is most typically used by project managers to collaborate on papers, view files from any device, and convey changes to their team. The best part is that the most of them are free. Cloud computing improves security and allows users to access a remote virtual work environment. File-sharing technology has become the primary emphasis for integrating a remote workspace into your business when you have access to an online storage unit such as the cloud. It would be hard to maintain long-term distant work arrangements without the capacity to transmit information online. The ability to share files provides for more mobility, faster transactions, and more secure documentation. Leading file-sharing systems also include essential capabilities for remote teams, such as the ability to collaborate on a document in real-time on a shared screen and quickly review document modifications to determine who contributed and made particular changes.
- Time management tools: Working from home has numerous advantages and disadvantages. The most significant disadvantage, though, is the difficulty in properly organizing your time. While this may be done manually, there are tools and technologies available to assist you and your team make every minute count. They frequently enable you to manage time more efficiently and effectively throughout your business. Most time management programs provide both individual and group time monitoring, as well as tools for tracking hours and minutes. This is excellent for tracking billable time, internet usage, personal timesheets, and time allocated to a certain project. Most time management applications provide goals or a general study of how time is divided throughout the day. These elements help in the identification of “time drains” and slower moments when you may be more productive. You can apply your newfound knowledge to better manage your own time.
- Performance Engagement tools: When managers and employees don’t meet in person daily, performance reviews can be much more challenging. For example, how can a manager assess and reward the development of a remote employee? Previously, this would have been accomplished through time-consuming and sometimes inaccurate company-wide assessment or evaluation meant to measure the status and rhythm of their employees once a year or once every quarter. With today’s performance monitoring systems, appraisals, goal setting, and staff assessments may all be completed in real time. This provides managers with insights on the company and their staff, allowing them to better identify areas for development as well as insights that employees are performing well. The best technologies now provide on-demand employee feedback and real-time insights to supervisors, team leaders, and HR experts, allowing them to make day-to-day choices and modifications without having a face-to-face meeting.
- Instant Messaging tools: Instant messaging (IM) has quickly evolved as one of the most effective and least invasive ways to communicate quickly or get a basic inquiry answered. For example, IM may be a great way to get a response to a question. Several messaging apps can connect to an employee’s calendar and will alter the status to “in a meeting” if a meeting is planned, or “presenting” if someone is sharing their screen. You must be able to speak with everyone as a group to truly cooperate with a team. The best chat apps will enable teams to collaborate by providing real-time messages and updates. Microsoft Lync, for example, provides group “chat rooms”, making communication seamlessly and efficient.
Working from home does not imply being alone. Technology has brought a set of tools that enable a business to create a workforce that can span the world. You may never see your coworkers, but with the right tools, you can cooperate on a project and manage it to completion. You open up new channels of collaborative possibilities by leveraging the cloud to exchange data, collaboration platforms to share thoughts, and video conferencing to share with each other. Choosing the tools, however, is only the first step. Not every employee in your company is technologically competent. With most organizations undergoing digital change, many such people 1are being left behind. It is vital to give employee training to ensure that everyone understands how to utilize them effectively.