10 Tips For Communicating With Your Remote Workers

10 Ways to communicate with remote workers

Most CPA firms shy away from offering flex options involving telecommuting and remote workers. Whether the reason is due to the lack of infrastructure, concerns with security or unwillingness to embrace new technology, trying to convince a CPA firm owner to offer these types of flexibility can be a straight uphill battle.

However, there are some tactics you can utilize to try and convince your boss to allow you to work remotely. Here are 10 extremely cheap ways you can communicate with your boss as a remote worker.

Let’s dig in.

1. Skype (Free)

Skype is an incredible communication tools that is highly recommended for small to medium size accounting firms. On the free plan, you can utilize the chat system, calling system and video chat/call option if it’s all through a Skype-to-Skype call.

If you pay a little, you can utilize Skype as a telephone, access WiFi or send texts. You can pay as you go or buy a subscription, whatever works for you. And in the workplace, this means you can bring your entire ecosystem of workers, partners and customers together to get things done.

2. Hipchat (Free)

Hipchat’s slogan is “We’re here to make work life awesome” and to be honest, that’s exactly what they do. Hipchat is a private IM network for your company. It is an improved collaboration of persistent chat rooms, real-time file sharing, and searchable chat history.

You can host private one-on-one chat conversations or join the team in on a group conversation. Plus, you have the ability to send files to and from your co-workers that stays 100% private through Hipchat’s security system.

3. Whatsapp (Free)

WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for iPhone, BlackBerry,Android, Windows Phone and Nokia and yes, those phones can all message each other!

Because WhatsApp Messenger uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and connect with your remote team.

In addition to basic messaging WhatsApp users can create groups, send each other unlimited images, video and audio media messages.

4. Slack (Free)

Slack is similar to Hipchat as it is also a team communication application providing services such as real-time messaging, archiving, and to search for modern teams. It offers one-on-one messaging, private groups, persistent chat rooms, and direct messaging as well as group chats organized by topic.

But here is the best part of Slack. All content inside Slack is searchable from one search box and it integrates with a number of third-party services, including Google Docs, Dropbox, Heroku, Crashlytics, GitHub, and Zendesk. This means if you are trying to send over Google Spreadsheet, working through it with your team, it can all be sent and hosted within Slack. Makes thing a lot easier than having to go to multiple platforms to complete your work.

5. Facebook Messenger (Free)

Yes, you can use Facebook to not only chat but all make phone & video calls. I know it sounds a little strange, but more and more people are turning to Facebook to connect with remote workers and have begun to limit the amount of personal stuff shared on the site.

This being said, if you are are in a jam and need a quick way to communicate with a co-worker, try utilizing Facebook Messenger app. Messenger is just like texting, but you don’t have to pay for every message (it works with your data plan). It’s also not just for Facebook friends. You can also message people in your phonebook and just enter a phone number to add a new contact. Boom!

6. Go-To-Meeting (Paid)

GoToMeeting is the extremely simple, powerful web conferencing service from Citrix. It integrates HD video conferencing, screen sharing and audio conferencing, creating a face-to-face collaboration environment on your Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone or Android device. And you can hold unlimited meetings for a small fee.

Plus, GoTo-Meeting also has another platform that hosts webinars for your teams called GoTo Webinar. The self-service webinar tool that makes it easy to host large-scale online events. This allows customers and your remote workers to join a presentation together, without the confusion of logins.

7. Google Hangouts (Free)

Google Hangouts allows anyone with a Google+ account to quickly and easily connect with co-workers throughout the day. You can video chat with up to 9 different people at once, much like Skype. It’s free, making it a good choice for small, social teams.

Hangouts works on computers, Android and Apple devices, so you can connect with everyone, and no one gets left out.

8. Apple Facetime (Free)

If you happen to have an Apple friendly team, than utilizing Facetime for Video or phone conversations can make communication a whole lot easier for your staff.

Plus, if your team also utilizing Apple’s Macbook or IMac, than Facetime is able to come through on the computer, without having to communicate via a phone. All in one place, this app is perfectly seamless and it all works in either portrait or landscape view.

9. Campfire (Paid)

Campfire is a web-based group chat tool that allows its users to set up password-protected chat rooms in a short time period. It’s a global company that enables users to invite a client, colleague, or vendor to chat, collaborate, and make decisions and allows them to link to a room on their intranet for internal communications.

But be aware, the first 30 days are free, but the following months will cost at least $12, depending on your size.

10. Zoom (Paid)

I first heard about Zoom when I was listening to a podcast from a company whose team is 100% remote. I believe they have upwards of 300 people. The way the company communicate with their remote workers, and stays on top of what’s going on, is they require each team member to host video conferences and meetings so you can communicate face-to-face. This is where Zoom comes into play.

Zoom unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, group messaging, and a software-defined conference room solution into one easy-to-use platform. Zoom developed a people-centric cloud service that transforms the real-time collaboration experience and improves the quality and effectiveness of communications forever.

Have any more team communication tools you are utilizing with your remote workers that you would like to share? Leave a comment and let us know!

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