Maybe you have a team operating on both coasts of the U.S., as well as a branch in the British Isles. Or perhaps you're managing freelancers who are scattered around the globe. Regardless, you have a project to manage and you need everyone to be on the same page. After all, miscommunication can mean the wrong work gets priority or your staff works toward the wrong goal. And distant teams may mean distant connections: If all your employees know of each other is an occasional voice on the phone, they may not feel any deep connection to the company. This can hamper productivity and cost you talented workers who won't think twice about jumping ship from a faceless group.
Online meeting applications can help create a sense of unity, as well as streamline information flow. You can more easily keep track of workflow and make sure projects are being handled correctly. And the ability to see the faces or hear the voices of multiple team members can mean better morale and reaction time across the board.
So what programs work best for fostering connectivity? Below, nine members from YEC talk about their favorites and why they work for them and their teams. Here's what they had to say:
1. Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts is free and easy to use. It's good for handling multiple video attendees, and people can access it on both mobile and web (without downloading more software when using the web version). Google has announced that it is now investing again in this system, so there should be more updates coming soon. - Adelyn Zhou, TOPBOTS
GoToMeeting offers responsive and reliable online meeting software that has always worked when we needed to connect this way. It offers good quality picture and sound for all our remote teams, no matter where they are. - Peter Daisyme, Due
Features like group chat, video chat and screensharing make HipChat's meeting software perfect for keeping remote team members connected. Unlike other software, it is very lightweight and won't slow down your computer. HipChat’s mobile app allows our team to stay connected, even if we are not all at our workstations. - Patrick Barnhill, Specialist ID, Inc.
Without a doubt, Slack, hands down. It keeps our team engaged and connected with one another. We take advantage of a number of integrations (including Trello) to not only manage the business priorities, but also stay updated with what everyone is working on. In addition, Slack enables our team to remain connected socially by sharing news, industry insights and fun things that are happening personally. - Corey Eulas, Factorial Digital
Simply put, Skype is the easiest tool to connect with all teams across the globe. It is easy to use, everybody already has it, and it includes features such as screensharing, chat and voice, all for free. I've never had a problem with it and have never felt the need to switch to another platform - Jacob Tanur, Click Play Films
After trying various online meeting software, I have found that UberConference does the job without too much hassle. We’ve had issues with previous software applications where the connection would get lost or the software would just crash. After switching to UberConference, we haven't had any of these issues. - Duran Inci, Optimum7
We utilize WhatsApp to stay connected virtually throughout the day. We have created specific groups related to operations and sales, and can utilize functions such as voice notes, text messages and videos. We can now have video calls on WhatsApp that add another dimension to how we can stay connected to our team. It is also free, so that is an added bonus. - Ali Jamal, Stablegold Hospitality LLC
While it has been around for a long time, WebEx offers increasingly more features that make it convenient for our company. It's fairly priced and flexible in how we can use it. - Cynthia Johnson, Ipseity Media
As a mostly remote team, we regularly connect through video chat for meetings. Zoom has been a reliable, easy-to-use service that has allowed us to stay connected. As a result, it has contributed to a greater company culture and better support for the team. - Mark Krassner, Expectful