Whether employees are on shore, offshore or a combination of both, ensuring that there is adequate engagement and communication is important. Preventing misunderstandings and maintaining a sense of team with the local team is critical to the process. There are a number of fantastic tools and software available to increase productivity and there is something to suit every team and their needs.1. Snagit
Sometimes it is easier to explain something to someone or train them in a complex process if both people are looking at the same thing. Using tools that provide screen sharing is fantastic for enhancing training and support. A great tool is Snagit. Snagit allows you to screen share, and even allows you to record the session so that others can view the recording.
The first time a process is being trained it can be recorded on screen as it is done. Both the video and the audio are recorded and saved to an MP4 file. For training offshore staff this can be a real time saver as they can watch the video as many times as they need to get the process right.
2. Instant Message
Being able to communicate instantly with employees is essential to ensuring that communication is timely and delays are kept to a minimum. There are a number of instant message services, most of which are free. Ones to consider include Skypeand Google’s G Suite.
Forget the international call rates and terrible delays on international phone lines. Offshore staff can have an Australian phone number that can either be connected as a hard phone on their desk or as a soft phone through their computer and connected with a USB headset. For those organisations that have a phone system, their offshore workers can be included and given an internal extension. This sort of integration can make communication between offshore and local employees seamless. Good providers of offshore staff can provide a VOIP phone number for the offshore employee and can also provide additional tools to compliment this such as call recording and talk time reporting.
Monitoring of remote staff to ensure that they are being productive is important for managing performance issues. Time Doctor can provide a range of support tools. Employees can log in using time doctor and screen shots will be taken of their work throughout their shift. The manager can login and review these screen shots to ensure that they are working on the tasks that has assigned to them. While it might feel a bit ‘big brother’ offshore workers are accustomed to working in this way, and it gives both parties peace of mind and certainty that the process is working well.
A great tool for video calling, Zoom is similar to Skype. Zoom is particularly good for video conferencing and some users have experienced less drop outs than with other programs. While there are some paid plans, for the user with a small team Zoom is free.
6. G Suite
Collaboration of documents can be tricky. If everyone has their own version they are working on it is often hard to keep track of all of the changes. Using Google docs (part of G Suite.) allows all team members to access the latest version of a document. They can be updated in real time so there are no issues with different versions of spreadsheets, presentations or word documents. Google Sites is another feature included that is perfect to use and customise as an Intranet.
7. Skype Screen Share
When you are working with offshore team members it is important that you spend time training them, and communicating with them to ensure that there is understanding of the task requirements. Tools such as Skype allow you to have a screen share function. This allows you to have a voice call with them and you are both looking at the same screen. By combining Skype and Snagit you can even make your training super effective by recording your Skype training sessions.
Collaboration is the key to a successful team regardless of whether the team is local or remote. These 7 must have tools will guarantee your teams success!