Thanks to the internet, the world is smaller than ever. You as a business aren’t bound by geography when it comes to outsourcing your company’s tasks. Whether it’s grabbing a content writer from one state over or grabbing a programmer from two countries over, reaching abroad is now easier than ever. Online hiring tools, like Talent Cube, are able help you find people who fit your company’s needs not just in your area, but around the country.
Even though this opens up a literal world of new hiring opportunities, the process is not without its challenges: things may be easier, but they still aren’t easy. Running a company with employees across the country means wrestling with conflicting schedules, different timezones, and all sorts of other inconveniences. This is all part-and-parcel with the process; the challenges that having remote employees brings is something you will have to weigh against your company’s unique situation in order to decide whether it’s right for you.
If you make the choice that many other companies have made and reach outside of your geographic area for help, these four tools for managing remote workers might help you out.
I found out about Trello not too long ago and now I can’t live without it. Trello is a fantastic workflow organizer that works with the shifting status of the business world. Trello lets you place cards for tasks into different columns for different phases of work. Even better, it lets you attach employees onto the cards so that who’s responsible for what is always crystal clear and everybody receives updates when their projects change and update.
This one is basically obligatory. In spite of some issues with bugginess since their acquisition by Microsoft, Skype is still one of the best and most ubiquitous applications for making voice and video calls over the internet. This endorsement comes with one big caveat; Skype is only better if you actually use its calling features.
If your company has frequent conference calls or video meetings, Skype is still probably your best bet. However, if your situation works with only text communication, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor by switching over to Slack.
Slack is all of the text functionality of Skype with an eye turned towards ubiquitous access and convenience. Groups on Slack can host multiple parallel conversations to help with organizing your thoughts and keeping the conversation relevant to all its participants.
Here’s another obligatory one. A common problem with organizing remote teams is making sure everybody has access to the same files. To date, dropbox is the best and most convenient cloud storage service I’ve found. Simple and robust, Dropbox is one of the best tools for managing remote workers available.
Coordinating people across the face of the earth is one of the greatest challenges that a manager can face and communication is their best tool. These tools may help to bridge some of the distance between you and your remote workers.