Enterprise professionals are often on the move, working on the next big sale or strategizing new partnership negotiations, so they are aware of the challenges that working remotely poses for productivity. Enterprise professionals also need to stay on top of their work in the interim, whether that’s from a hotel room, train station or airport. A major factor to being productive on the road is communication and collaboration.
There’s no magic bullet, but the essentials are to make sure to have the right tools at your disposal while on the move to communicate with your teams in ways that fit your needs, as well as being flexible, clear and direct in your communication (especially when collaboration is asynchronous rather than real-time, as is often the case across multiple time zones). Because reliability and availability are essential for a worker on the move, here’s an outline of five ways to stay productive while working remotely from web collaboration experts LoopUp.
Staying Connected and Productive
Click through for five tips on how to stay productive while working away from the office, as identified by LoopUp.
Work with the Cloud
Not having access to the same tools and information as your office-based colleagues can be a real problem when working remotely. To avoid this, making sure your enterprise incorporates a cloud-based infrastructure that provides employees with access to what they need wherever they are is a must. Because there is no physical equipment to maintain, cloud computing can easily be adjusted to the needs of the specific company, either to increase capacity or scale down. This is particularly beneficial for companies that have heavy seasonal traffic, as well as start-ups, which expect fast future growth. Cloud-based services enable remote workers to operate the same business applications as if they were still in the office.
There’s an App for That
Make the most of apps designed to help you work remotely. Prioritizing online tools and applications can be really useful on your trip. For example, apps that organize your travel itineraries such as the airline’s app may be useful for checking flight status, a weather app lets you check local conditions, time zone apps are useful when traveling far distances, maps will help you navigate once there and translation apps can help cut through language barriers. Also consider productivity apps such as conferencing smartphone apps designed to help you conduct your work with as little disruption as possible, no matter where you are.
By leveraging a useful and usable app, you and your colleagues will have less frustrating conference calls, leading to higher satisfaction and productivity. While these collaboration apps are largely deployed onto smartphones, use of business apps on tablets seems to be steadily increasing, and native apps are strongly preferred (77 percent).
Collaboration Is Key
When you’re away from the rest of your team, clear communication becomes even more important. The fact is, most work involves collaboration with others in some form or another, and when you’re not all in the same place (as is the case when working remotely), you need to be very deliberate in your communication. Decision makers should implement communication tools, which include the common goal of striving for increased employee productivity and efficiency, but also enhanced customer engagement, increased employee collaboration, cost savings, new revenue opportunities and competitive advantage.
Visibility Ensures Security
Although communicating across many different networks and different time zones is a necessary part of working remotely, making sure the tools you use to communicate are secure is an absolute must. For example, conference calls are an everyday activity when working remotely, with sensitive information frequently shared on them. Despite this, conference call security is typically not given much thought. And yet, in a Zogby survey of business professionals who regularly host conference calls, more than 40 percent of respondents admitted that they don’t always know who is on the line. It’s worth noting that these figures only reflect the number of people who admit to this fact; the number is likely much higher.
Look for solutions that are designed to be effortless with no training required upon setup and no IT support needed to get the benefits. Solutions that utilize an intuitive approach can then ensure that you know who’s on the call (and who’s not supposed to be).
Simplicity of Communication
Your collaboration solution needs to be useful and, crucially, usable. Look for a solution that is simple and intuitive, without the need for training, which your team won’t want to attend anyway. Aside from not needing to dedicate additional IT resources towards training, this has the added benefit of increasing adoption and satisfaction with the new solutions. Also, it’s tempting to evaluate collaboration tools based on feature lists – and assume that a longer feature list means a better product – but thinking about features in this way is ill-advised. Instead, you need a solution that offers a feature set that will actually benefit your team, as opposed to lots of features that sound good but add no value.