Technologies to Improve Remote Workforce Communications
HR Advisor feature article | November 2010
Technological advancements have evolved to help employers enhance their operations, become more cost-efficient, and more engaged with their workers.
If you employ a remote workforce, technology can help and often is crucial to bridging any communication lag.
Research studies have indicated that employees who work off-site (i.e. home, hotel, airplane, etc.) work longer hours because there is little separation between their professional and personal lives. While attitudes and motivation may vary depending on the familiarity levels of employees (and managers) using technology, proper employee trainings and clear work expectations from management can help.
Some accessible communication solutions you may have already adopted or have yet to consider using include:
- Emails are ever-present and clearly essential in conducting modern business.
- Instant messaging/chat provides immediate feedback and interaction for two or more users to communicate with each other and even quickly exchange documents and files.
- Phone-/video-conferencing allows for real-time response and interactions with individuals to communicate over verbally over the phone and, if available, visually to personalize the communication experience.
- Web-conferencing leverages the cost-effective on the Internet for virtual meetings, presentations, or similar forums to be conducted for trainings or other informational and collaborative purposes.
- Social media also can mimic informal interactions which commonly occur when employees are located physically near each other. For example, a company can use:
- A wiki to allow employees to collaborate.
- Blogs for employees to share knowledge and observation while allowing others to comment.
- Microblogging (e.g. Twitter) to replicate the employee “water cooler” experience of casual work conversations.
- Social networking (e.g. Facebook) to network and build relationships.
Upon effectively leveraging such technologies, many businesses have found a variety of residual benefits:
- Cost-savings due to a decreased need in the amount of office space;
- Greater access to a larger talent pool of job candidates;
- Added flexibility in project management initiatives and efforts; and
- Expansion of your company’s client reach to hopefully build even more business!
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