Remote working opportunities can make valuable positive changes not just possible, but profitable for many companies. These changes include decreased operating costs, diverse staffing, and better productivity—resulting in an increased bottom line. But not every team experiences these benefits. Many companies do not use effective remote communication tools that provide better working conditions for teams operating from home.
A significant challenge many managers are experiencing is the failure to get everyone on the same page, both virtually and literally. They either have no solid platform in place or too many. To improve communication and create more collaborative opportunities for remote workers, managers must implement essential remote communication tools into their team's daily operations.
Remote Work Brings Productivity…With the Right Tools
Operating remotely is the new normal for many companies. It’s also more productive: A recent report from Airtasker found that remote employees worked 1.4 more days every month in 2020 (16.8 more days per year) than those who worked in an office.
Unproductive time reported was also lower than the average office worker, as a remote setting prevents “water cooler talk” and removes office distractions. This greater productivity is also due to flexible working hours that allow remote workers more breaks during the workday, as opposed to an office setting with stricter guidelines.
Additional breaks and an accommodating schedule promote positive mental health, which leads to a more productive workflow. While remote work brings the potential to increase positive team morale and productivity, many companies are not building a sustainable platform for successful remote operations. As a result, team communications end up scattered across multiple communication platforms. Employees work additional hours to correct errors caused by miscommunication or uneven task assignments. This can easily lead to employee burnout: a significant issue for remote teams.
The key to successful remote operations is balance. Utilizing the right tools offers remote teams a healthy work/life balance that addresses miscommunication at its core. Since most remote communication tools begin and end with email, tools surrounding asynchronous communication are the perfect place to start.
Remote Communication Tools Your Team Needs
Remote communication is carried out digitally, often resulting in numerous internal and external emails. These daily communications can be difficult to manage, particularly with a remote staff operating from different locations and time zones. Daily operations become even more cumbersome without effective tools in place.
With the right implementations, teams can improve internal operations, streamline day-to-day processes, and build better email management habits. Here are some examples of essential remote communication tools your team needs.
A Shared Inbox
If your team operates using individual email accounts or through one company email address, you may have already found this method unsustainable. Since most companies aspire to expand, they need tools that can scale up. Shared inboxes offer increased organization for teams, better communication opportunities, and can scale as a company grows. This is possible because shared inboxes live in your Gmail account and enable teams to manage group mailboxes such as support@ or orders@ together without ever leaving your Gmail. This gives you the complete visibility to see what emails your team is working on and when someone is working on them.
Gmelius offers a shared inbox solution with collaborative features perfect for remote teams. Not only does Gmelius have the ability to support thousands of company contacts within Gmail, it also offers clear accountability as each incoming email can be assigned to specific team members. Each member accesses their assigned box when logging in to access the emails organized there.
Shared inboxes benefit many teams operating remotely as they help resolve confusion regarding who has responded to which email, or if it has been addressed promptly. Gmelius dissolves this common roadblock by allowing managers to delegate emails with a clear status indicating if the email is pending or has been closed.
Additionally, Gmelius offers private email notes for teams to add details or context to the side of an email. For example, if a logistics team needs a status on a shipment, the email can be assigned to the shipping coordinator with a note asking what the status is. On top of that, an “urgent” tag can be applied to notify the manager of the urgency required for this task. Within seconds, an email has been assigned with clear accountability and further context for fulfilling its requirements. No additional platforms are required, and each member of the team has a clear understanding of team expectations.
The ability to visualize projects has become a necessity for remote teams. Without being able to gather in a conference room to discuss the details of a project, remote teams are left to communicate via email, instant chats, or Zoom calls. This can lead to holes in communication as there is no central platform for these discussions to take place.
Visual project management solutions such as Kanban boards facilitate organization and provide a clear line of sight on task completion. Originally created with sticky notes, today’s digital Kanban boards accommodate remote employees looking for ways to collaborate online. Although there are many online Kanban board solutions available, Gmelius is one of the few to offer Kanban boards within Gmail. With Gmail Kanban boards, your inbox becomes a visual workspace you can use for yourself and share with your team.
Kanban boards can be used for teams in any industry. Customer support and information inboxes benefit the most from this useful communication tool. Support departments must manage hundreds of incoming emails each week, potentially more for larger corporations. Using a Kanban board to organize inquiries is the best way to remain on task without potentially losing emails or allowing them to go unaddressed for long periods of time.
The example below displays how a support team can organize emails into columns labeled “to-do,” “in progress,” “pending,” and “closed.” This organization method is guaranteed to improve communication amongst a team while also providing visibility to the entire staff regarding assignments.
Additional emails and Zoom calls can be minimized as Kanban boards provide a bird’s eye view of all support tickets and their status. Managers can assign tasks to specific team members, add sub-tasks, priority levels, tags for clarity, and streamline workflows with powerful automations.
Learn how to integrate a Gmail Kanban board with Trello here.
While most employee communication begins with an email, it often ends with an instant message. This is potentially due to the lack of an initial response, or a solution that requires an immediate response. Whether your team operates using asynchronous or synchronous communication, both are a necessity for a remote team. Instant messaging is a great tool to utilize with a remote team, however, countless messages can be a distraction that hinders productivity. Gmelius eliminates the potential for distractions and expedites workflow by integrating with Slack, an instant messaging app for businesses.
Instead of sending an email and then also formulating an instant message, Gmelius integrates with Slack to sync communications with Gmail. Two steps easily become one, unifying team collaboration and removing silos. Teams can connect their Gmail shared labels with corresponding Slack channels to save time jumping back and forth between platforms.
You can also monitor all inbox activity without leaving Slack. This allows your team to choose their preferred workspace—further optimizing communication and balance while working remotely.
Effective communication drives progress. Without it, companies would cease to see positive results. Gmelius offers a simplified solution that is perfect for remote teams. Whether your team is looking for a shared inbox solution or easy integrations that streamline everyday conversations, Gmelius gives you powerful remote communication tools that help you maximize their benefits.
Are you looking for remote communication tools to improve your team’s daily communications? Check out our features and integrations and learn how Gmelius is built to improve team communication and collaboration. Ready to get started? Sign up today!