Communication is vital in today's business world. Teams that communicate well with each other are much more likely to operate efficiently and save everyone valuable time. This in turn creates happier team members, which translates to happier customers and clients.
However, when some or all members of a team work remotely, streamlined communication is even more important. By using conference calls, everyone on your team will stay up-to-speed on goals, tasks and the roles each one of them serves.
Here is what you should know about conference calls and how they can take your remote team's communications to the next level.
In today's world of emails, text messages or messages from whatever the hot team communication app is at the moment, it's easy for team members who work remotely rather than on-site to feel as though they're detached from the actual team.
With conference calls, especially if held on a regular basis, all members of your team - regardless of location - can catch up with each other as a group.
Allocate a few minutes at the beginning of each call to let team members connect with each other. Allow your team some time to check in with one another on how everyone's doing, share exciting news about what they've got going on, etc.
You may find it best to spur conversation with an icebreaker if your team needs help opening up with each other. The Balance Careers has a great list of icebreaker questions that could be asked to kick off a conference call.
It may not seem like much at first, but soon your team will become better connected to each other and more invested in everyone's success.
Problem-solving can sometimes be more effective when there are more people at the table - or in this case on the line.
If a person on your team has a problem that needs solving and knows they have a conference call coming up, then they can ask others for help. Sure, this could be done in a one-on-one phone call or via email (and in some cases those methods could still be better), but if someone wants input from a variety of sources, or if this is more of a big picture topic that could involve more people, then the conference call is a perfect way to bring your remote team together for the discussion.
One important point on this: If you don't already create and send out a conference call agenda, then you should consider doing so. Problem-solving discussions can eat up a lot of time if not properly guided. Encourage your team to get these types of issues on the agenda before a conference call.
Here is a resource from Harvard Business Review with tips on how to best create a meeting agenda. These tips also work well for conference calls and other over-the-phone meetings.
On a related note, if you're using ConferenceTown.com to hold your conference call, then you can enable Question and Answer mode.
As with all of ConferenceTown.com's features, the Question and Answer feature is free. It's a great way to manage everyone's valuable time, while still making sure all questions can either be answered or addressed.
In Question and Answer mode, everyone is muted except for callers asking or answering a question. Call participants must "raise their hands," which notifies the host that they have a question. The host can unmute the person so they can ask their question.
This way, only one person speaks at any given time and everyone saves time because there are no interruptions.
Unlike traditional, on-site teams where everybody is able to communicate face-to-face as necessary, your remote teams don't have the convenience of asking a quick question without picking up the phone or sending an email. So, if there's a question that comes up following a conference call, or if one of your team members is trying to recall a portion of the meeting, they can't easily ask around the office. They'll need to either make that phone call or type up that email message to get their answer.
This will tie up two (or more) people when, if the conference call is recorded, the person with the question can simply reference the recording to get the information they're seeking. It may not seem like much, but when efficiency and productivity are top priorities, allowing a team member to retrieve answers themselves keeps their teammates on task and ready to serve customers and clients.
With ConferenceTown.com, you can record your conference calls for free. You and your team can play back the call or download it to listen later at any time. This feature is also helpful when someone on your team wasn't able to join the conference call as it was happening.
Conference calls over phones rather than an internet connection are more reliable for your remote employees. Maybe your office connection is up and running just fine, while they're having connectivity trouble, or vice versa. Perhaps some team members are on the road or running behind and unable to reach an internet connection.
None of those issues affect conference calls that allow their participants to dial a phone number and talk to everyone else on the call. That means your scheduled conference call is much more likely to take place and won't have to be postponed because too many critical participants are unavailable or unable to connect to the internet.
ConferenceTown.com is a free conference call solution that can help your remote team improve internal communications and save everyone on the team valuable time.
Contact us today to see just how easy it is to start your free conference call anytime, anyplace.
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ConferenceTown.com provides the highest quality, feature packed audio conferencing for free. There are no hidden fees. Our system can handle both small and large conference calls. When quality is what matters, there's just one choice.