The Importance of Tools
With the sudden emergence of the need for interacting remotely, tools like Zoom and other virtual congregation tools have become critical. Zoom was totally unprepared for such an influx of use. Most companies ramp up as their user base increases. But, ramping up by the millions in a few weeks is unheard of and no company would be prepared for that.
This is a time to be Virtual. If you haven’t figured out how to work virtually or remotely, then you are going to have trouble interacting in today’s world. It’s not just something that is going to be used today. This is something that is going to continue to take on more and more of our normal interactions moving forward. Learning the tools of online business is more critical today than ever before and will be a large part of business from now on.
In a way, we’ve been moving business into a more remote world for some time. Between using such tools as Email and SMS Text Messaging, we’ve been utilizing some remote tools for a while. But, we’ve been thrust into a more immediate need now. Remember some important aspects for collaborating online in the workplace.
Provide access to productivity, line of business applications, and communications/collaboration tools. Business today revolves around teamwork using shared knowledge assets including documents, files, reports, spreadsheets, rich media, and both structured and unstructured data. Such assets are created and used with applications that include the usual office productivity suites like Microsoft Office365 and Google G Suite, local content/document management systems, the corporate intranet, HR systems, CRM, ERP, and countless other systems.
Find the Tools
Due to its inherently isolating nature, remote work relies much more on digital communications and especially modern workforce collaboration tools such as team chat (Slack, Microsoft Teams, Workplace by Facebook, etc), enterprise social networks (Igloo, LumApps, SAP Jam, etc.), unified communications/instant messaging solutions, as well as business mainstays like e-mail, phone, and web conferencing/meeting tools like GoToMeeting and Zoom.
Remote Work Solutions
Remote work itself can be quite challenging for people who are either not used to it or where it’s not a good personal fit. Thus it’s usually well worth the extra effort to make remote work easier and more engaging for this cohort, as well as all the others. With coronavirus likely to push people not inclined to work remotely to do so, it’s advisable to consider several outside the box solutions that make remote collaboration feel more like the office or make it more immersive. Some potential innovative solutions to consider:
- Sococo – This online workplace provides chat, voice, and video that offers a virtual office overlay which I’ve found to be especially effective at making people feel like they’re still in an office. Workers can visit each other in virtual dedicated offices of their own and shared meeting rooms by working like they would in a physical space.
- Mural – A visual collaboration tool that provides workers with shared artifacts similar to a whiteboard, Mural gives people higher bandwidth and more direct connection to their teamwork. Teams can organize on an online canvas using lists, flowcharts, diagrams, frameworks, methods, and drawings to help them stay aligned and well-coordinated.
- Status Hero – How is everyone and what are they doing? These are the questions that this tool answers by centralizing the status of workers so that a cohesive team picture automatically emerges. Status is pulled by the app both by querying workers occasionally as well as pulling activity from other systems. It then broadcasts major events and achieved goals automatically so people have awareness of what’s taking place with their colleagues and teammates.
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David WB Parker is a principal of Parker Associates of Jacksonville, Florida, marketing consultants to the real estate industry; President of PTC Computer Solutions, IT Specialist, and an active real estate sales professional with Barclay’s Real Estate Group based in Jacksonville, FL. He can be reached at 904-607-8763 or via email email@example.com.