Running a successful remote company or campaign be quite the juggling act, at times. There are so many moving parts, which can sometimes be working independently on separate continents. There are so many opportunities for things to get lost in the shuffle or not operate at peak efficiency.
Yet remote work isn't going anywhere. 20 - 25% of the current U. S. workforce telecommutes with some frequency
. 50 - 60% of Fortune 1000 company employees engage in remote work at least some of the time.
This trend is just going to rise as freelancing becomes commonplace. Given the prediction that up to 58% of the U. S. workforce will be freelancing by 2027
, it's best we get into the best practices for remote work now.
Conference calls are one of the best ways to manage remote employees. We're going to take a look at how conference calls can help you organize your remote work, and some tips to help you do so.
How Conference Calls Help Organize Remote Work
The first question to consider is how often you need to have a conference call. This will vary from situation to situation.
If you have a traditional office place and only handle remote work occasionally, you might only need to schedule a conference call sporadically.
If your company is made up almost entirely of remote employees, however, you might want to schedule regular conference calls to make sure everyone's on the same page.
How Conference Calls Improve Remote Work Communication
There are many, many communication solutions on the market, presently, and almost as many tools to use them. Why does someone need conference calls when there's email, CMS', and digital messengers?
First and foremost, email is unreliable. There can be long lags in response time. It's all-too-possible for important messages to get lost in the bottomless inbox, as well.
Conference calls are preferable when time is of the essence, or decisions need to be made in real-time.
Conference calls are speech-based, as an additional benefit. All of the other messaging tools we've mentioned involve written language. Writing is linear and sequential, by its very nature.
Conference calls are looser and more organic, being based around the quick, staccato flights of intuition that is human speech.
Conference calls are brilliant for remote work which involves brainstorming and team-work. Rigid hierarchies are easier to break down, and individual team members are more able to be heard.
Conference calls force you to focus and assess your business. They can play an integral role in your project management process when used appropriately.
How To Organize The Most Effective Conference Calls For Remote Work
The first thing you need to assess is what your conference call is about. This will impact how you organize your conference call
as well as how it's structured.
Once you determine the goal of your conference call, you can make a schedule. This is trickier than you might think, however, when you've got employees on multiple continents. Start With A Message
You'll want to start early with an email message, informing employees about the upcoming conference call. Try to get a sense of who can make it and who can't. Aim for as high of attendance as possible (obviously). Remember The (Time) Differences
Keep in mind everybody's respective time differences. Try to send as many personalized reminders as possible, informing that workforce what time the call will be in their particular time zone. Decide On A Format
Next, you'll decide on where you'll conduct your conference call. Web conference calls have a lot of benefits and can organize your remote work and help you realize your goals. Create An Agenda
Creating an agenda should happen almost automatically when you first decided what your conference call was about. You'll want to break this broader vision into smaller, more manageable chunks. These will be your bullet-points during the meeting.
Send an overview of what will be covered in your conference call during the planning stages. This will help your workers be prepared while giving you a better understanding of what you're hoping to achieve.
5 Tips For Hosting A Successful Conference Call
You're all set up and ready to begin. Here are a few final thoughts on how to host the most successful conference call for you and your remote staff. #1 Stay Focused
Conference calls are an excellent opportunity to focus on the task at hand. There are no open tabs on your browser. There are no incoming calls. Make the most of the time, free of distractions. #2 Speak Clearly
Teleconferencing has gotten pretty advanced. It can be almost like sitting in the same room, thanks to the crystal-clear sound quality. Almost.
A good rule of thumb during conference calls is if you can't hear someone else, they might not be able to hear you. Speak clearly, slowly, and loudly. #3 Get To The Point
Time is of the essence during conference calls. Everyone's eager to get back to their lives and their tasks at hand. It may even be very early or very late for some, depending on where they're located.
There's no time to beat around the bush during a conference call. Get to the point and be clear in your communication. #4 Practice Ahead Of Time
You'll want to do a trial run with some of your team. You'll need to work out all the glitches and technical kinks ahead of time. The last minute is far too late to be troubleshooting. #5 Pick A Suitable Environment
Pick a quiet, contained space to attend your conference call whenever possible. Loud noises can drown out everything. Avoid barking dogs, crying children, and street noise.
A crowded cafe is not the best place to conduct a conference call. If you're distracted, odds are that your employees will be as well.
A conference call can be such a valuable tool to make sure that remote employees are on the right track. They can help kindle a feeling of camaraderie and team spirit which difficult when we're so spread out from one another.
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