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Virtual teamwork – how to make it efficient

As you might have noticed, I am in favour of always exploring how to get the best experts working together as a team. My advice is always not just to look inside the company, but also search for expertise outside the company – even globally.

With team members scattered around the globe – or just around the country – how to best work together when actually working apart?

One of the issues often holding people back from tapping into outside experts are technical challenges. However, it can be easy to implement technology that allows for virtual collaboration.

There are a wide variety of tools available on the market for supporting distance meetings. The cost varies from free of charge to quite expensive solutions depending on quality and levels of functionality. Including video can even make your team members feeling closer to each other. You can share your screen with others or view someone else’s screen by using the free tool, join.me

Other virtual collaboration tools include:

  • Glance (share your computer screen over the Internet)
  • Dropbox (share files and access from nearly any computer, phone, or mobile device)
  • Evernote (share and work together on your notes)

I still experience many large companies that put up technical barriers for allowing their employees to use communications technology, that would make it more efficient to work with team members outside the corporate network. The main argument is usually a security issue. I am confident they can find a solution to that if top management were able to understand the real potential for these tools to increase innovation by having employees learning from and working with outside experts. This in turn would lead to higher revenues and cost reductions.

Are you able to use these kind of tools in your company? If not, what are the typical arguments for not using them? I invite you to share your comments.

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