YOUR OFFICE IS ON THE MOVE
One of my favorite things about today’s work environment is that it exists anywhere and everywhere. Due to improvements in miniaturization and the Internet, mobile technology has become unbelievably powerful, allowing people to be more productive than ever before while on the move.
Gone are the days where companies require all of their employees to be present in the office to complete their work each day. The trend of offering flexible workspace locations is growing rapidly, and you can even find businesses right now that have shifted to a completely mobile work force (e.g. Buffer).
Not sure if your business should consider a remote work force? Check out these four important reasons to consider hiring mobile employees:
- Happier and more productive employees
- Recruit and retain top talent
- Promote healthier workers and bottom-line
- Create superior long-term business performance
Workspace provider, Regus, released a survey of over 6,000 business individuals in the U.S., exposing that remote-working is becoming a common business practice. HR Daily Advisor explored the research and highlighted that “over half of workers in the United States now work from outside their company’s main offices for half the week or more. When asked where they work when away from the office, 41% said they mostly work from home.”
The report also found that:
- Only 14% of remote workers are full-fledged, home-based workers - spending an entire week working from their home office
- Business centers make up a fifth of the most popular locations for remote work (19%)
- 7% of people surveyed say that they usually work abroad when working remotely
- Only 11% of business people would settle for noisy cafes while working on the go
(Source: HR Daily Advisor)
Remote Teams Need A Central Hub For Communication
With the working world changing to a mobile landscape, there is still a great need for a designated “headquarters” that all employees can call a home - and that place exists online.
People are consistently accessible online, so creating a digital space for all employees to interact with each other, to get the answers they need, and to stay up-to-date on all things happening with the company is crucial to a successful remote workforce.
Rather than relying on a group text message thread, or requiring people to log into an online portal to your business’ website, I recommend utilizing a team communication app - yes, there’s an app for that!
Team communication apps create a sense of connection for your entire company through an interactive and powerful experience. These apps can be used to release and discuss company information, further develop specific projects, and even serve as the digital “water cooler” station for all employees to have some fun by sharing images, stories, and the ever-popular memes and gifs.
Let’s check out some of the best team communication apps on the market that your small business can start using today!
5 OF THE BEST APPS TO IMPROVE TEAM COMMUNICATION WITHIN YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
Probably the fastest-growing workplace software in the past few years, Slack is a messenging app with so much more to offer. Not only is it visually-appealing and offer a very user-friendly interface, it also can be used as an all-in-one communication and project management tool for teams large and small.
- A sleek and customizable chat interface with options for voice and video calling
- Create channels for public, private, group, and one-on-one chats - all stored securely
- Drag and drop file sharing from your desktop, Dropbox, iCloud, etc.
Designed as a business-specific messaging system, HipChat offers a fast and secure messaging experience. The service is available on pretty-much every platform, including Android, iOS, Mac, Windows - even Linux! There’s also a web-based application for “people who hate installing things.”
- Unlimited chat rooms for projects, teams, clients, or even the lunchtime basketball league
- Simple drag-and-drop file sharing from your desktop, Dropbox, email, or anywhere
- Screen sharing made easy for when you need to show, not tell, and collaborate in real time
If you are a Microsoft Office user, you’re gonna love Skype for Business. This app combines messaging, meetings, and screen sharing all in one convenient place so that your entire team can stay connected.
- Connect with up to 250 people (even if they're not on Skype for Business) with just a phone or internet connection
- Increase productivity by starting conversations from apps like Word and PowerPoint
- Conduct group audio and video meetings on your favorite devices
If you’re looking for a consistent and high-quality video conferencing solution, then Zoom is exactly what you need. Providing access from your desktop and mobile devices, as well as the conference room, this app provides a reliable solution for your next digital meeting.
- Supports up to 500 video participants simultaneously
- Offers a full suite of collaboration features, including screen share
- Features calendar integration and mobile scheduling
I haven’t spent much time with this application, but it does A LOT. Combining social collaboration, communication, sales and management tools for organizations, Bitrix24 will help your team of remote employees feel truly connected.
- Provides an internal social network for easier, faster and more efficient collaboration
- Group chat and video conferencing solutions
- A task and project management system, with document sharing and management options, calendar and planning features, and so much more
By using these apps, your team will stay connected no matter how near or far your team members are. I hope you feel a bit more comfort about deploying your remote workforce within your small business. As technology continues to improve, I'm sure we'll be experiencing even greater solutions for mobile workforce opportunities.
(I can't wait to attend the first RedFork Virtual Reality meeting 😶)
If you have any more solutions or suggestions on how to keep your mobile employees connected, leave a comment below!
Also, feel free to share this with you colleagues, family, and friends who are working for a small business, or thinking of starting up one of their own. As always, the RedFork Team and will be here to help in any way we can 🙂
- A Shift in Workplaces: 52% of U.S. Employees Work Remotely, by HR Daily Advisor
- 4 Reasons Why Smart Companies Are Going Remote, by Peter Gasca of Entrepreneur
- 7 Challenges And Considerations Before You Go To A Remote Workforce, by Craig Bryant of TLNT / ERE Media
- 9 Most Effective Apps for Internal Communication, by Scott Gerber of Business.com
- Slack Alternatives: 10 Best Tools For Team Communication, by Beebom
- Team Communication Apps: Top 5 For Business Messaging, by Cullen MacDonald of Handshake