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Tools for a collaborative workforce

We’ve focused on meetings over the last couple of weeks—how many more we’re attending as teams grow increasingly distributed and collaborative, and how important it is to find the right strategies and tools to make them productive. But even as meetings remain an essential part of our workplace communications, they certainly aren’t the only way to collaborate. This week, I want to look at a broader suite of strategies that can bridge the geographic gaps between distributed team members and facilitate successful virtual communication.

Conference Calls
While it’s far from the only collaboration tool distributed teams have at their disposal, nothing…

Making the most of your conference calls

Of all the tools we use to collaborate, conference calls are, as I mentioned last week, one of the very best we have in terms of simulating in-person communication. If they’re well planned, well facilitated and well executed, regular conference calls can do wonders for your team’s communication, camaraderie and productivity. Here are a few tips for making the most of every minute.

Consider sound quality
Many a conference call has been rendered more or less useless—and thoroughly frustrating—due to poor call quality. As teams grow increasingly distributed, regular calls are often the only opportunity workers have to hear each other’s…

Supporting the future of collaboration

Last week we looked at some strategies for organizing effective meetings for members of distributed and international teams. In light of a recent study from Ovum and join.me by LogMeIn that surveyed nearly 4,000 professionals about how they collaborate, it looks like we aren’t the only ones with meetings on our minds. Among other findings, the report concludes that while the number of virtual meetings workers attend is increasing, those meetings aren’t being sufficiently supported by traditional web conferencing solutions. Teams are so frustrated, in fact, that 66 percent of corporate buyers are on the hunt for new conferencing…

  • Distributed team member in his home office
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    Organizing business meetings across three continents (or more)

Organizing business meetings across three continents (or more)

The past few weeks, we’ve talked about distributed teams and their future. One thing we didn’t mention is how these largely more fluid, distributed, often international teams communicate with one another. Maintaining clear, consistent communication can be a challenge for any team, whether its members all sit in the same office or work all over the world. As teams become increasingly distributed—often across multiple time zones and continents—it’s essential to find ways to keep everyone included, organized and working toward the same goals. Here are a few of our favorite strategies for effective meetings with international teams.

Google Docs
Ideal for creating…

Strategies for success with distributed teams

We’ve been talking a lot about the workforce of the future, but the reality is, distributed and remote teams are already a big part of the current work landscape. According to Inc. Magazine, at least 2.4 million U.S. employees telecommute two or more days each week. And even among employees who spend most of their time in an office, TECHi statistics suggest that more than 90 percent of workers use smartphones and other portable devices to work remotely.

With these numbers in mind, I want to acknowledge the realities—and challenges—of coordinating and managing remote team members and offer up a…