White Fuse is a fully remote software company so we’ve learned a few things over the years about working remotely.
This post shares the tools we use and the tricks we’ve learned that help us communicate internally and externally in a remote context.
For internal team communications
One popular way to manage internal communications with a team is an instant messaging app like Slack. The default approach with apps like this is that all communication is open to the whole team, unlike email where you actively need to include people. People can choose which channels they participate in so as not to be overwhelmed with irrelevant notifications.
Slack is good for
For file management and sharing
One of the great benefits of remote working is it can release people to work without the distraction of constant questions. It’s important, therefore, to be careful about how you use something like Slack.
For more long-form, considered communications something like Google Drive can be more effective. Strategy docs, draft content or report analyses can all be created online for everyone to access and discussion about specific documents can be done through tracked changes and comments. This allows a few people to focus on an important task without distracting other people who don’t need to be involved.
Google Drive is good for
For online meetings and video conferencing
Some things require real-time discussion. There are loads of conference calling options available but real-time video is a nice benefit and Zoom is one of the best options for setting up a trouble-free online meeting. If you’re used to lots of face to face meetings this may help ease the transition to using more asynchronous communications.
Zoom is good for
For shared email inboxes
If you support lots of clients, service users, members or customers you may be used to lots of inbound communications. An office environment with a fixed phone line and dedicated support staff and even a receptionist can make it easier to route enquiries to the right place. Going remote requires a slightly different mindset.
Setting up one or more shared inboxes using HelpScout, or a similar help desk application, enables people to email you directly or through a webform but anyone on your team can respond. It’s easy to assign questions to different team members and have internal discussion about them through notes before replying. Everything is visible to everyone in the team so if someone is away or falls ill, someone else can easily take up the slack.
HelpScout is good for
For out of office phone systems
If you want a single public phone line this can cause problems when moving to remote working. Moneypenny offers a simple online system for directing calls and a reception answering service staffed by friendly real people based in the UK.
Moneypenny is good for
Other software useful for remote workers
This post reviews popular forum software that is easy to integrate with your existing website.
This post reviews and compares some of the most popular event management software options.
This post reviews online room/facility booking software. Useful if you have space to rent out.
A comparison of the mostpopular online donation software tools and how much they each cost.