Setting up a telecommuting environment where your employees stays virtually at the heart of your business while working remotely, it is possible thanks to a various set of communication and collaborative tools.
These tools allow the remote employees to stay informed about the company activities and participate in real time to current projects in the same way as a normal employee would.
Many inexpensive and easy to use tools to convey information, instruction or files between collaborators are available:
- Email: Common to all professionals, for the transmission of documents, including attachments.
- IM: send and receive real-time instructions, rapid communication on the progress of work and maintain crucial contact. If you or your employees have a webcam, video calls are possible.
- MSN Messenger, Google Talk
- Softphones or IP telephony: free calls from PC to PC. These virtual phone software can be download and install directly on the computer. After downloading, simply provide an email address to your employees. Some softphones include other functions: file sharing, instant messaging, video telephony.
- Skype, Windows Live, Wengo, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk
- VoIP: Most of the Internet service providers offers VoIP service to make free calls to landline phones.
- Webconference: to conduct virtual meetings. Features of web conferencing solutions: application/documents sharing, web browsers, presentation and editing documents online (including powerpoint presentations, powerpoint Article read shared), chat, instant messaging, virtual whiteboard.
- WebEx, Office Live Meeting, Raindance, Genesys.
- Collaborative tools: allow the teleworker to participate and monitor in real-time the progress of projects.They allow multiple people to work remotely on the same documents.
- The wiki is a website that can be freely be edited by its users. In business, wikis facilitate collaborative writing of documents.
- Forums are another tool for telecommuting. Telecommuters can find their collaborators around this exchange platform to share ideas, exchange views on the progress of a project.
Tools to access information
These tools allows teleworkers to rapidly access corporate documents and information.
In addition to being a place for the sharing of information, it allows the free flow of information between all employees of your company. It may include project schedules, meeting minutes, files and papers, contact base, description of existing products and services.
- Shared address book you can share the contacts held by each member of the company.
These management tools help you to track tasks and projects:
The shared calendar allows telecommuters to access the agenda of their collaborators. The shared calendar is updated in real time.
Platforms for telecommuting exist, they include many of the tools mentioned above. The use of these platforms is not free.