I am writing this blog as I am sat in beautiful Portugal, after being hit by a Tornado (yes, Tornado!!) that was moving at 100mph. luckily, nothing too serious besides a friend with a broken rib.
As I have been away in Portugal for over a week, I have had to find ways to contact my staff that isn’t going to cost an arm and a leg. Here are some great tools I have been using to work with my team remotely.
Working remotely can be a challenge but as long as you are dedicated and flexible with you time then you should be able to achieve all that you would in a normal working environment. As I am only in Portugal, the time different isn’t an issue for me but for those that are in different time zones, you need to use the time as a way of getting work done without any distractions and when you and your co-workers are able to communicate, use this time to discuss any queries within your team.
An application that I use on a daily basis (and have done for over 3 years) is Dropbox. This is a great cloud storage service that allows you to hold all of your important documents. You can also share your Dropbox folders with your work colleagues where you can both amend the documents. As a team, we find this very helpful as we can go into the said document, make changes and save for everyone else to see, as opposed to a constant email conversation going back and forwards (only on Gmail, obviously). You get 2GB memory space free when you sign up with the opportunity to increase this as you invite people to share your folders. Like Dropbox, Do.com is another cloud application I use. The difference between the two is that Do.com allows you to assign tasks to certain people and create events, unlike Dropbox which is purely a storage system.
How do you store all of your contacts? We use Highrise as our CRM to manage our database. This application allows you to enter all of their details including; name, company, phone number, email address and even twitter usernames. The great thing about Highrise is that it allows you to add tasks and leave notes for every contact which is a great way for me and my team to keep up to date while I am out of the country. There is three price plans for Highrise which can be viewed here. Also worth noting that you get a 30 day trial to see if this is the right platform for you.
As I can’t hold a physical meeting with my team, I have to use an online face to face application. The only two applications I use for this is Skype and Google Hangout. Skype is great for instant communication as it is not only an application to call someone, you can also IM them too. You can also share your screen with one of your contacts, allowing you to work with one of your colleagues. Google Hangout is slightly different as you can only chat to someone who is within your circles in Google+. This, however also works for me too, as a Social Media Expert, my team has utilised the tools available, including Google+.
When travelling for business, pleasure, it is important to keep up to date with your colleagues. If you have a Smartphone, make sure you have all of the available apps installed so that your team can reach you from anywhere.
Are you ready to work remotely with your team?