Many companies are offering remote or telecommuting positions as incentives to draw in talented workers. This allows your employees to avoid the office and take their work on the road. A new generation of digital nomads is springing up, using portable technology to clock in and complete important tasks throughout the day. However, communication can become a tricky process, especially if your remote workers are traveling across the globe through different time zones and countries.

 

Internet-Based Collaboration

 
What happens when a team needs to collaborate, but they are separated by time zone differences? Online communication such as closed forums and shared documents allow you to work on projects together with time flexibility. Changes can appear incrementally, with multiple remote workers accessing the same draft from around the globe. If you do need to speak in real time, there are several free or inexpensive video conferencing platforms that let you see and hear multiple people at once. These communication protocols can help you save on your cellular roaming bill.

 

Cloud Databases

 

How does your company organize and store customer information? Cloud-based CRM software systems such as Sales Force and Zoho help your employees get onto the same page, even if you are located across the globe. These databases are stored on the cloud, which means that they are accessible through secure web-based portals. Your data is stored and managed online, so that you don’t have to worry about maintaining servers on-site at a company office.

 

If your company invests in cloud database solutions, you should consider creating security parameters. Most mobile database apps will auto-log out after a certain period of inactivity, which can prevent unauthorized database use on missing or stolen technology. You should also create a “best practices” guide for remote workers, encouraging them to rotate passwords every few months, enable password locks on their operating systems, and logout of sessions before commuting.

 

Software Standards

 

Streamlining your software processes can make remote employee training much easier. It’s important to create a software license strategy. Since most software companies are shifting to digital downloads or subscription-based services, your remote workers may no longer have to visit company headquarters to obtain software installation disks or updates.

 

You should also keep an inventory of software licenses being used. Using MDM software can help IT administrators push work-related software and documentation wirelessly to your remote workers. These profiles can be removed once a remote worker leaves your team. This can help you maintain your licensed software and keep tabs on your digital inventory.

 

International Toll Free Numbers and Call Forwarding

 

As your customer-facing staff (e.g., sales and customer service) become dispersed to different locations, it’s critical to ensure that incoming customer communications are routed seamlessly to the right person in your organization, wherever he or she may be.  This can be achieved in two simple steps:

 

  1. Establish local or toll free phone numbers in all the countries where your customers live.  Customers are more likely to call you if you have a toll free or local phone number in a format they’re familiar with.
  2. Set up call forwarding rules for your phone system so that incoming calls are routed to the correct person, based on where the call is coming from, the time of day, which staff are available, or a host of other call forwarding rules.