As the world of work evolves, remote working has become increasingly popular among a generation who are seeking more from their work/life balance. Small businesses understand more than most the nuances of remote working and are increasingly taking advantage of the flexibility it provides. However, in order to fully capitalise on this growing revolution, small businesses require technology to ensure that their team is just as connected as if they were in the office. Here’s how technology can help your small business go remote.
Maintaining open lines of communication
Regular and effective communication is an important trait for any successful business; small businesses included. Without face-to-face contact that comes with an office environment, it is imperative that regular and easy communication is maintained for remote working to be effective. Take a small design company, for example, with numerous designers, working on numerous projects, across Australia. A typical workday involves interacting with others in the team to discuss briefs, complete projects and liaise with clients on specifications and brand guidelines.
Email isn’t always the easiest or quickest method for team members to convey information or ask questions. Instant messaging software allows employees to create internal networks to discuss briefs and coordinate with both the team and external, client-facing networks to request quick clarifications or approvals on a piece of work. Instant messaging is designed around speed and ease of use so that team members, wherever they are, can communicate just as easily and effectively as if they were meeting in person.
Virtual meetings to the rescue
Email or instant messaging doesn’t always provide all of the necessary information. Sometimes, hosting a meeting is unavoidable – especially when dealing with important situations or when you might need to present something to your colleagues or clients. That doesn’t mean that your team needs to rush into the office from wherever they are, though. Instead, virtual meetings provide a great platform for a deeper connection. With a live video link and the ability to share your screen to present work, they’re just as effective as a physical meeting. In addition, they are more cost- and time-effective than convening in one location, and you can invite your entire team, no matter where in the world they are based.
Making collaboration key
Operating remotely from the workplace, away from your co-workers, isn’t always easy. When the workload is heavy, and a team member is working remotely, it’s easy for them to feel cut adrift and under pressure. But that’s where collaboration software – which helps teams ideate, assign tasks, and work together, from any place, on any device – helps. Through Zoho Connect, for example, a team member can invite colleagues to collaborate on a project, assign tasks, set reminders and deadlines, share files and track the progress of everyone’s work throughout. Even better still, it can be done on the move on a mobile, which is great news for a remote, travelling team.
Today, with increased precedence placed on the pursuit of a better work/life balance, a job is becoming a thing people do, rather than a place they go. However, far from making a business less connected, technology is presenting opportunities for businesses to facilitate a remote, and increasingly motivated and productive workforce.
Vijay Sundaram, Chief Strategy Officer, Zoho