When working remotely, the downside is not being able to walk over to your co-worker’s desk and have a conversation or check something on their computer screen. Fortunately, technology has brought us to a place where we can get pretty darn close to that kind of experience.
For example, with Skype, you can video conference as well as share screens. The best part – it’s free! You simply start the conversation via video or voice option, and click the “Share Screen” button. Other free conference systems exist as well, and they may be good enough for what you need. You might find, however, you want some of the paid upgrades, so it’s just a matter of evaluating your needs and your ROI to determine what makes sense.
Sharing computer screens probably won’t be the only thing your team needs to share. You will need to plan a way to share documents. When you’re in the office, it’s easy to log on to the network to access the drive for shared files, but that won’t work for remote office locations.
If you already have a file server, it may be as simple as installing a virtual private network (VPN) so you can allow secure access to the server from outside the office. You can also consider using a cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive and share files that way.
A word to the wise – a service may claim to be secure, but I still recommend password protecting all sensitive files when you put them in the cloud. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry!
See our previous blog on setting up your remote office communication.