Growing Your Business? Here’s How to Keep Your People Far and Wide Connected
One of the best aspects of technology’s evolution in the lives of most 21st-century businesses is the ability to connect employees, partners, vendors, and clients with one another, regardless of location.
From the ubiquity of cellphones to the understated power of messaging software, being in the same space at the same time is no longer a requirement for doing business at all, let alone doing it well.
That being said, there are a myriad of ways you could go about keeping your team and the people you’re working with connected, and some of them are more helpful than others.
Here is a closer look at a handful of ways you can keep your business humming across time and distance that should also be able to help your business grow.
With the advent of the cloud, data storage and whole IT departments have effectively left the building and taken up residence in the 0s and 1s that make up the world’s virtual ether.
For businesses looking to collaborate with partners near and far, documents and spreadsheets have done the same. Google has a suite of products — all hosted in the cloud — that allow for real-time collaboration between people and teams so long as everyone has an Internet connection.
So, when a freelancer in Amarillo makes a change to a document that’s in progress, your VP of marketing can literally watch it happen in Fargo.
Regardless of whether you’re working with accounting spreadsheets, presentations, or annual reports, Google’s software in the cloud will keep your team on the same page, no matter where anybody is located.
While not necessary for every business and work application that takes place across distance, telepresence is the crème de la crème of working and interacting together when far apart.
Effectively a set of technologies that allows people to feel as though they and others are actually present in time and space to one another, telepresence incorporates everything from telerobotics and videoconferencing to experiences with a presenter or speaker that can seem like they’re aspiring to mimic the abilities and features of the “Star Trek” universe’s holodeck.
If your business requires collaboration and communication on a level that really allows for the subtleties inherent in being present to one another, look for a Cisco distributor and see how your needs can be met via telepresence applications.
Not too long ago, if you wanted to talk with a vendor or someone on your team who wasn’t in the room with you, you would have just picked up the phone and dialed.
Not too long before that, you might have gotten into a company car or a cab and driven across the county or state for a meeting.
Before that, a telegram or even a letter would have been required for people in different places to stay abreast of work that wasn’t happening at their worksite.
Today, group messaging software allows anyone to immediately reach out to a vendor, employee, or co-worker regardless of where the person being reached out to is. All you need is login information and an Internet connection — or in some cases, an app on a smartphone or tablet.
From simple services like Google’s IM to more elaborate cloud-based software like HipChat that allows users to send group messages, video chat, file share, and create searchable team chat rooms, group messaging has gotten intensely complex and amazingly helpful.
Being apart no longer requires a phone, a manila envelope, or a recording device — you can have all that and more inside a robust group messaging application.
Because of the plethora of ways you can stay in touch with workers, vendors, and contractors in today’s technologically laden world, it can come as something of a shock when all that staying in touch about work doesn’t yield solid project management.
Except: Just talking, sharing, chatting, and working on work isn’t the same as ensuring that the work you’re doing is going in the right direction and at the speed in which it needs to.
Thankfully, project management software can keep you and your people in the loop regarding what needs to get done and when. From predictive scheduling to better resource management, project management can keep your entire workforce on the same page even when you’re all in different time zones.
Stay connected with everyone involved with your business no matter where they are. Thanks to cloud-based project management software, chat, and telepresence, the Earth isn’t too big a place from which to run a company.