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4 Best Tools To Manage Virtual Teams Effectively

Whether you’re a startup company or are planning to expand the operations of your small business to serve a range of clients, at some point you’ll need to deploy personnel offsite and communicate with them on a remote basis.
However, managing a geographically-dispersed team can present huge challenges. Ineffective communication and collaboration can lead to frustration, loss of productivity, and even a negative result on the company’s profit and loss statement. It’s important to overcome these challenges to lay the foundation of effective success throughout the business.
Luckily, business owners can leverage the following set of tools to improve the productivity and efficiency of their virtual teams:

google drive

Google Drive
Businesses need to align their team on roles, responsibilities and company goals within the first week of deployment. Virtual teams make this a challenge as coordination is inherently more difficult because employees are not co-located.
Google Drive can be used to focus more attention to detail on the tasks at hand and processes that will be required to complete them. All apps offered by Google Drive simplify collaboration on work to a great extent, ideally so tasks can be assigned to any number of team members. Remote users just need to connect to the web and sign in with their Gmail account to get started.
Yammer
Yammer provides a Facebook-like atmosphere to help virtual teams collaborate. While its clients include big companies like eBay and 7-Eleven, it’s a great tool for small companies due to its free basic subscription and advanced features accessible at only $5 per month. Key features include private messaging, file uploads, a searchable knowledge base and robust security.
Yammer will keep you updated with what’s going on, what your team is working on, what has been done and what is pending, all in real-time. With its familiar looking interface, it will only take a while for the management and teams to get used to it.
StartMeeting
This tools enables companies, startups and large organizations to collaborate with online meetings in an effective manner. It also has an international calling feature that allows you to conduct business like never before. Other features like screen sharing and audio conference add to its effectiveness.
StartMeeting spruces things up further by offering a free customizable wall. This feature can be used to customize meetings with contact information, branded logos, photos, and more for the teams before, during and after a meeting. Files can be uploaded for easy access and sharing and attendees can be invited to conference calls.
Basecamp
An effective collaboration tool created by 37 Signals, Basecamp lets you make various projects, share information with virtual teams and collaborate with team members, clients and vendors. It also features file uploads, messages, to-do lists and more. Multiple projects can be created for each member of the team and files and messages can be exchanged within the tool as well as through emails.
With these many features, Basecamp gives you a powerful way to keep things in place and extend the ease of use to the team. Projects can be allocated for clients and internally for your own milestones, and all relevant information can be sorted and stored on a per project basis. Additionally, a user can see at a glance what needs to be done and which projects are moving ahead.

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

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