Digital & Social | 3 minute read
Prior to COVID-19, there were lots of news articles about smartphones making us more isolated. Yet one of the positive stories to emerge during lockdown is the way technology is bringing us closer together. Can you imagine working from home or keeping up with family and friends without it?
By eliminating the main obstacles to communication – time and distance – technology has made our planet smaller. The latest communication and collaboration tools are designed to keep your remote employees in touch in real-time while helping them to develop interpersonal relationships with clients, co-workers and teams from all around the world.
So, which technologies should you be rolling out to keep your workforce connected?
During anonymous audio-only conference calls, people may be tempted to multi-task if they’re not expected to participate. That’s why you often hear things like the loud clattering of a keyboard, which can be distracting for whoever’s speaking at the time.
The beauty of video conferencing is it creates a more human connection and removes distractions. Your employees are less likely to be typing, checking Facebook or making a cup of tea if other people can see them onscreen. Plus, being able to look at clients or teammates in the eye and observe their facial expressions results in significantly more meaningful and productive conversations.
Team collaboration platforms
These hubs have been specifically designed to provide a more efficient and productive way for remote teams to collaborate via things like live chat, instant messaging, project scheduling, virtual meetings and file-sharing. A major benefit of these online platforms is they allow individual team members to keep tabs on the progression of a project and gain a better understanding of the contributions their colleagues are making.
In addition, this team-building technology enables the kind of casual chat between colleagues and clients that ultimately leads to stronger working relationships.
Whiteboarding is another useful tool for improving collaboration and an ideal platform for virtual brainstorming. Encouraging the sharing of ideas (using software like Slack’s Sketchboard, for instance) is a great way to engage your whole team. It will also help you to increase levels of trust and respect among your remote workers as they develop and critique each other’s ideas.
If you don’t have any of these technologies in place, there’s no time like the present. Major collaboration and video conferencing software providers, including Microsoft, Google and Zoom, are now offering their products for free due to the huge upsurge in home working.
Author: Marcela Bohorquez, Senior Developer