It’s no secret that the workforce has become increasingly mobile over the last few years, and the trend will undoubtedly continue as more and more Software as a Service (SAAS) applications are available that allow business owners to streamline their workflow and communication with their staff without the need for a physical space. According to Entrepreneur magazine, nearly a quarter of Americans worked from home in 2014, citing statistics from a Bureau of Labor Statistics survey. Therefore, it is critical that business owners adopt technologies that not only streamline communication but provide practical services and utilities that empower your mobile workforce to stay on task and stay involved. Below are some tools, many of which we use at Matchirl, to help business owners run their remote office from the comforts of their Waikiki beach.
1. Project Management Tools
Businesses live and die with their success or failure to execute effectively. Therefore, it is is imperative, that remote offices utilize cross platform tools that keep their workforce stay on task. Basecamp allows users to manage projects and communicate with your team to stay on top of who’s doing what and when. If you are a technology company that requires a tool that assists with agile development, try Jira, which provides your team with a rich a set of project management, shared documentations, and service desk tools.
2. File Sharing
The practical distribution of company related assets electronically is a critical requirement when exchanging information with mobile staff. Remote users require a virtual location to store and distribute documents, spreadsheets, presentation to everyone who needs access to it. Dropbox is the de facto cloud based sharing solution, while Google Drive serves as a great alternative, especially if your company utilizes Google Business Apps.
3. Real Time Communication
A virtual communication tool with embedded screen sharing software is paramount to enabling your company to meet virtually. A popular well known solution is Skype which is both affordable and allows for voice-based, video chat, or screen sharing. Additionally, it allows for international phone calls which comes in handy for international travelers looking to keep in touch. An alternative screen sharing tool is Join.me which does not require any downloads!
4. Time Tracking
Having a virtual workforce means managers have to track productivity via an online time tracking tool. Toggl is an awesome tool that allows your team to manually or automatically track their time and activities so that your team can get paid!
5. Email Marketing
Time is money, and any business needs an email platform for its marketing and sales teams to keep constant communicate with prospects. Infusionsoft allows small business automate huge portions of your business with campaign funnels, email broadcasts and more. Be sure to use code “a63148 ” if you are signing up!