Remote working is the new normal in this COVID-19 era, and the situation is less likely to improve any time soon. As we learn to live with coronavirus, businesses have now accelerated the process of allowing their employees work from home and protecting themselves.
However, some businesses are skeptical about employees’ productivity during work from home. Fortunately, that is not the ground reality, and employees have adapted to the new lifestyle and are thriving because of it.
Setting up an active communication channel for a distributed workforce can establish trust in your employees. The transition has been made smoother by cloud-based remote working solutions for businesses who never entertained work from home culture.
Not only for distributed team communication, you need a reliable and secure channel for communicating with your customers and clients to offer uninterrupted services and support continuously.
In this post, we will explore 6 ways to enable effective communication for distributed teams during COVID-19.
Let’s get started.
1. Cloud-based communication solutions
In-office employees can book a meeting room or walk straight to their colleague’s desk to collaborate on a project and communicate their ideas. Cloud-based communication solutions replicate this experience and allow teams to work seamlessly
For teams handling customer service and support operations, cloud communication is a must-have tool as it allows them to work remotely and handle calls even from their smartphones.
Businesses must keep entertaining their clients with uninterrupted services. Cloud telephony is paving the right path by allowing business owners and managers to efficiently manage the flow of calls by simply login to their admin panel. With just a few clicks, they can set up how they want to handle calls.
There are numerous features of cloud-based solutions for better telecommunications such as:
1. Auto-attendant or Virtual Receptionist: With this feature, you can eliminate the receptionist’s requirement to forward calls to the right agents. With a sound auto attendant phone system for your business, you can play a recorded message or use advanced text to speech features to handle the client’s call with IVR systems.
2. Automatic Call Distribution: It lets you transfer customer clients to agents based on their skills, department, and other such factors.
3. Hosted IVR – IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response, and it allows businesses to automate repetitive client operations such as booking a demo, seek product information, latest news & updates, etc. Customers interact based on your IVR script and press buttons to select a particular option.
4. Call Forwarding – This feature allows you to forward clients’ calls to your agent’s extension, ring group, call queue, or cellphone.
5. Call Barge – Listen to the live conversations between your agents and customers and take control of the call as soon as you think that your agent cannot answer the user’s query satisfactorily.
6. Call Recording – Record the calls of your customers for future analysis and quality control programs.
7. Live Call Monitoring – See the total number of live incoming, outgoing, and missed calls.
2. Team collaboration tools
Investing in the right team collaboration tools is crucial for effective communication between your remote and distributed workforce. The tools should be easy to use with essential features such as file sharing, remote desktop control, team messaging, video and audio conferencing, and critical security features such as end-to-end encryption and two-factor authentication.
Cloud-based communication tools have also evolved into full-fledged unified communication platforms and can effectively bridge the seamless communication demand between your distributed workforce.
Features such as team messaging, cloud-based conferencing, and video conferencing make cloud communications a popular choice as team collaboration tools among businesses as they can also handle customer operations with it.
3. Video conferencing system
Business meetings are essential for the free flow of ideas between different stakeholders and make crucial decisions. With a distributed workforce, it is far from reality to organize physical meetings between team members, clients, vendors, or other entities due to lockdowns imposed on international travel.
Fortunately, cloud-based video conferencing systems are coming to the quick rescue for this purpose and can allow businesses to host online virtual meetings. The number of participants supported on the video conferencing platforms differs for various providers. However, you should choose a video conferencing system with the following essential features:
- Screen sharing – Ability to share the screen during video conferencing so that presenter can demonstrate key points with proper illustrations.
- In-meeting chat – Being able to chat during video conferencing.
- Security – Fully encrypted video conferencing rooms with other critical features such as pin-based authentication.
- Meeting Recording – The option to record an online meeting and access it later for review.
- Virtual Waiting Room – Manage participants’ queue before allowing them to join the video conferencing.
4. Audio conferencing tools
Sometimes overuse of video conferencing can be a hindrance in productivity rather than providing any value. For that, quick audio conferencing tools can serve the best purpose as call conferencing offers abundant benefits in terms of accessibility and flexibility.
Call or audio conferencing is easy to set up and organize. With just a few clicks, you can set up a call conference meeting and share the pin with participants and ask them to join at a particular time. If the number of participants is less, then you can also organize a 3-way calling.
5. Project management tools
Project management tools make it easier and efficient for business owners and managers to track their projects and see the progress. For a distributed work team, project management tools are of utmost importance as they organize different tasks, their status, who is responsible, and deadlines.
Without a project management tool, this critical information can be easily lost under tons of team messaging and online meetings, which can create miscommunication between team members later. Hence, it would be best to use useful project management tools to keep things organized and proper monitoring.
6. Team engagement activities
Apart from productivity, companies should also focus on the mental well-being and morale of their team members who are giving their best shot while working from home. Therefore, recreational activities through the use of technology discussed above become more than necessary.
A highly motivated and positive team will communicate effectively and develop personal bonds, which will help them to get together and work towards the success of your company.
Setting up a clear and effective communication between your distributed team members should be a priority for your organization. Here we discussed various ways to enable hassle-free and open communication between remote teams. In case you are exploring cloud communication solutions for remote work, connect with us, and claim your 10 days of free trial.