Collaboration tools play a crucial role when you are dealing with offices or clients separated by time and distance. They provide an environment where your employees can share and build ideas. There is a myriad of options out there such as Basecamp, Fuze, Sharepoint or Trello to name a few. Google offers free alternatives such Google Drive and Calendar. Whichever software or service you choose make sure of the following:
It is easy to deploy.
It protects your IP.
It integrates with your current systems.
It comes with solid support.
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Make sure the tools are in place to coordinate tasks among all your team members regardless of their physical location and prevent your teams from becoming single-faceted. "Distribute projects between teams in both locations, so that work isn't siloed on one particular side of the country or another. Cross-pollination is really important," says Rosenbaum.
Final Thoughts on Remote Possibilities
Deciding to open a remote office location or allowing workers to telecommute are big steps and ones that should be made with a solid strategy and planning. Technology, however, is making those plans feasible. The current state of collaboration tools and cloud technologies has, in many cases, made geography relevant.