The following article is a guest post.
Travel is an inevitable part of growing your business. But what happens to productivity while you’re on the road networking and speaking directly to current and prospective customers?
Your team relies on your leadership and guidance to know what needs to be done and what needs to be done now.
You need to take advantage of the latest technology and management techniques. This way you guarantee that no matter where you (or your team) are working, productivity won’t be impacted by long-distance communication issues and the problems a lack of direct supervision can bring.
Here are three ways your team members can perform at their peak no matter where business takes you:
1. Reliable High-Speed Internet Access.
We live in a networked world and regardless of where you and your staff find yourselves, high speed internet access is the most critical resource for both speedy communications and to conduct daily business. The problem is finding reliable high-speed internet while traveling. Airports, hotels, and train stations have infamously spotty (and slow) Wi-Fi coverage, and tethering to your phone isn’t ideal for sending reams of data. Get around this problem by using a 4G mobile hotspot like Alcatel’s LINKZONE for seamless high-speed internet access wherever you are.
2. Office Chat Apps.
The key to peak productivity for remote team management is communication.
However, these conversations can take place in many different ways: speaking in person, by email and text or online through Skype, Facebook or LinkedIn. How do you keep everyone on the same page?
Enter the enterprise social network or office chat app.
Chat apps let teams collaborate in open forums or just send quick notes in private messages. These chat apps remove the need for productivity-killing conference calls and are great for keeping remote team members in touch.
Here are two fantastic chat apps that will keep your team on point:
Slack: The desktop and mobile app allows your team to chat in channels with conversations segmented by subjects, and you can either chat or share files.
With the standard plan, Slack is free to download and use, but enhanced features like Google apps integration and usage stats will cost between $49 and $99 per month.
Facebook at work: The Facebook for Work app was released at the beginning of 2015 for both iOS and Android devices. What Facebook at work does (that many other apps don’t) is give managers detailed profiles for every employee.
The idea is that a manager can use this app to decide on the right person for a task or even post about it on to a business’ Facebook feed. Of course, the app also provides the built-in Facebook messaging feature that everyone’s familiar with.
3. Personal Communication.
It’s easy to feel isolated when working away from your team. The worry is that staff won’t focus on the tasks at hand without the guiding presence and oversight of management.
Stay engaged with the team by routinely calling team members. Discuss your expectations for whichever projects are in progress, how much work has been accomplished, or to uncover personal concerns that can affect productivity.
By regularly speaking personally with everyone you manage while you’re on the road, you can reduce the ‘psychological distance’ between you and your team to avoid the problems that can come from being “out of sight, out of mind.”