We all have a deep need for human interaction. Yet as more people work from home, making sure everyone feels connected and a part of the team becomes a challenge for managers.
On the surface, real-time chat and mobility apps seem to solve this issue. But if remote employees aren’t setup to make the most of this technology, working from home can disrupt the team everyone is working hard to build.
While technology cannot ever replace face to face communication, here are some of the ways we encourage our remote staff to stay connected and work together using b-hive Communicator.
“Knock” on your teammate’s door with Communicator
In addition to chat, text, and calling, Communicator has presence settings letting remote workers see when their teammates are at their desk or on the phone, so they can virtually knock on their teammate’s door when the time is right. After a few instant messages, if a quick phone call seems like a better option, they can simply turn the chat into a call with one click.
Our company community uses Communicator to brainstorm ideas, get answers, find and gather research, receive feedback, and even get those signoffs they need to move projects forward.
Extra perks? Communicator has desktop notifications, so remote employees are notified immediately when they have a new message or call—even if the desktop app is running in the background. It’s like the knock on their office door.
Remote can even mean overseas
One of our employees loves using Communicator for a specific reason – international communications. If you have remote employees overseas, SMS texting comes in handy. Staff can easily text an employee’s phone using the SMS functionality.
Encourage team collaboration through group chat, rather than meetings
While brief communication is effective for certain tasks, longer conversations are how most of us brainstorm and come up with solutions. The good news is that we don’t always have to schedule a corporate meeting room to make that happen. Chat-based collaboration is today’s real-time way to bring remote team members together for a group conversation or meeting. Whether it’s the product team, marketing team, or operations, remote employees can join a group chat and talk about the things that matter to get the project done. Our own digital marketing team has a group chat we use throughout the day to discuss ideas, thoughts, and our dad-joke of the day.
Instant access to a company roster
There are times, too, when remote employees must find a coworker they’ve never met before to get an answer or some information. Communicator offers a user-friendly directory that includes names and contact information. If a company is in growth-mode, this can become especially helpful as people are added across teams.
A real world example? Our marketing communications manager, Melanie, was tasked with writing a new customer datasheet that outlines the implementation process here at Broadvoice. Part of her research involved interviewing senior lead service coordinator, Liz. Though she had never met Liz before, she looked her up in the company roster and made a quick phone call straight from her desk – at home.
Bonds through real human interactions
There’s always time for a sense of humor, especially at the office. Keeping jokes alive at the workplace can help us feel more connected and even relieve some of the stress. Yet workplace jokes are usually exchanged in passing, like on the way to the break room, in the lunchroom, or on the way out the door for the evening. To help remote employees get in on the fun, our staff uses Communicator to keep things playful through spontaneous interactions.
The Bigger Picture of Cloud Communications
While technology helps our teams work together – across all locations — it also moves our business forward and increases productivity. Having a cloud business phone system that goes where your employees go is a competitive edge. Having one that is easy to use? Invaluable.
Communicator allows everyone in your company to make all their calls and get their messages directly from their business phone number. They can work from anywhere while maintaining your company presence and keeping communications open.
At Broadvoice, we focus on building a community and a culture that encourages open conversation and collaboration. And Communicator has become an intricate part of the team building experience.
How does your remote team stay connected and experience culture from afar?