You’ve assembled a virtual team and given each member thorough directions and guidelines to follow. Your expectations are high and you plan to meet every deadline with ease. So how do you make this happen? By being in constant communication with your team and by occasionally checking in on their progress with each task. This requires the right online tools, and thanks to the increasingly growing demand for virtual teams and tools there are a number of helpful collaborative software products that can be terrific aids in both production and communication.
The best thing about the large number of online business tools available, is that many of them come at no cost. Here’s a comprehensive overview of some of the best, free software that can help you manage your virtual team.
My Team Monitor
This first project tool is a free and relatively new piece of software that just recently hit the Internet. My Team Monitor allows project managers to effectively monitor the productivity of their workers. This eliminates the need for worry and micromanagement, and takes away from the more time-consuming aspects that come with installing and using other software.
The unique thing about My Team Monitor is that the boss can know exactly what each member of the virtual team is doing during work hours. It can record hours worked, and most importantly, hours not worked. It can capture high-resolution screenshots of their monitors, and it can even record and take into account the exact number of times a virtual team member hits the keyboard and clicks his or her mouse. This is one of the simplest ways to decipher the slackers from the workers. Also, it’s easy to install and implement, and functions entirely from the cloud.
Every online business has more than likely at one point used Google Docs. And why not? It’s free and features simple to use spreadsheets, making it one of the ultimate sources to creating and managing online documents. It allows multiple users to have access and edit a document or spreadsheet at the same time, and is an excellent place for sharing project information and new ideas.
Skype has quickly become one of the easiest, cost-effective ways to connect instantly with other people from around the world. Through voice calls or face to face chat, Skype is the go-to source for many virtual businesses when they plan to hold conference meetings. It’s even accessible through mobile devices.
To ensure Skype is used for productive purposes during business meetings or conferences, it’s a good idea to make sure each of your virtual team members create their own separate Skype account, so as not to be disturbed and distracted by incoming messages or calls from friends. Also, if you’re in the middle of a text chat session, and each types message starts to go over more than a couple of sentences, then it’s a good idea to switch back to using regular voice chat. Skype is also a terrific way to give new team members quick training sessions, and connect with clients.