So you own a business with far flung employees, remote contractors, and a multitude of folks that telecommute. The question is, how do you get them together for regular strategy sessions, gatherings or “get-to-know-you” days without breaking the bank? As a small business owner, this might be a chief concern for you.
Conference calling is the simple answer for many small businesses. By allowing their employees to schedule regular meetings via conference call, whether they are strategy sessions, brain storm sessions, or just a weekly check-in to see how things are going, a weekly conference call can bridge all sorts of gaps for a company that telecommutes.
More and more these days, companies are going to telecommuting either partially or in full in order to save time and money for themselves as well as their employees. If your employees know that help is only a phone call away, and it has become standard procedure for your employees to phone their colleagues for advice with a sticky problem, or when they are stuck for an answer or thought on a proposal, you will find that they begin to work more as a cohesive whole, to the benefit of the company. A team that works together to find solutions, draft proposals, or meet client expectations is a team that will succeed. And this naturally will fuel the success of the entire business.
While telecommuting does have its benefits, it also has its downside. When working in a regular office setting, your employees are able to go to lunch, chat back and forth, or just walk over to one another’s desk or office. This helps when it comes time to work together as they will be better able to read one another’s body language. With teleconferencing, you do not have the body language to rely upon to ascertain the person’s underlying intention. It is also harder to build team spirit when working solely by telecommuting. The solution to that is regular conference calls. Schedule a weekly call with all members of each group and a bi-weekly or monthly call with the entire company, and leave time for a bit of socializing at the end in order to facilitate an easy and comfortable flow to the conversations. People who talk with one another more often are apt to find it easier to speak up when they are talking about work as well.
Schedule that weekly brainstorm session, and don’t cancel it for any reason. Keep them going, and you will see that the regular and productive flow of conversation will increase productivity, team cohesiveness, and a steady flow of ideas to better serve clients and the business as well.