:: By Jona Jone, @jonajone1 ::
Today’s workforce has drastically changed in many ways. With the dawn of multifaceted technologies, most businesses are moving further into virtual structures. Telecommunication, latest communication equipment, globalization and continuing cost-cutting business scenarios have made virtual management a norm to each and every corporation. Research studies show that 80 percent of managers deal with managing virtual teams. With the growing figure of businesses turning to this scheme, it is a challenge for every manager to be more effective in unknotting the standard of virtual management.
Thanks to the ever-changing technology, there are digital tools that will always help virtual managers lessen backlogs and deal with daily outbreaks efficiently. By just flicking their fingertips and downloading these eight business apps (some Web based but mostly mobile apps), handling virtual teams can be a whole lot effortless.
Virtual managers often say that communication is the trickiest part of managing virtual teams. Aside from putting a face with a voice in your communication practices, Binfire is also designed to assist both the traditional and virtual teams to work collectively. With its advanced technology of creating a virtual office environment for team collaborations and managing tasks, you can be certain of your team’s outstanding productivity. Through its social and Web 2.0 tools, which include reports, permissions, starring, tags, and search options, virtual manager and the team members have a better outlook of outstanding tasks and, basically, get stuff done quicker.
Gone are the days when you need to be in front of an aged desktop just to edit some of your Microsoft Office documents. By installing Quickoffice app on your mobile platform, you can edit, import and export files in Microsoft’s ubiquitous .doc and .docx formats. Quick Office's biggest advantage is its ability to edit Microsoft Office documents that aren’t stored on Google Drive. This app offers a great way for virtual workforce to access documents on the go.
Another app that can be of assistance to your work as a virtual manager is none other than Siri. It’s capable of sending voice message, scheduling meetings, placing phone calls, making recommendations and performing virtual tasks. Siri makes your everyday virtual assignments less taxing. (Note, there is a similar Siri-like offering for Android.)
Receiving tons of emails is inevitable to a virtual manager’s daily job. In one way or another, you have doubts in missing important emails and still have a hard time opening your typical email app. Once you have the Go Email Widget, you can send and receive emails directly on your screen. No need to be bothered because GO Email Widget supports most of the popular email boxes in the world.
Culture on Demand – Business App (Android) (iOS)
As a virtual manager, being culturally sensitive in a virtual environment, where members are based around the world, is even more essential than in face-to-face situations. Culture on Demand App is a ready-to-go tool for travelers and business people. It’s a one-stop application to find information on customs, traditions and laws, verbal and nonverbal cues of different countries. It also provides vital business tips on how to approach business in each country and which communication style to use. This app will help develop your intercultural communication knowledge in managing virtual teams.
Cisco WebEx Meetings (Android) (iOS)
The Cisco WebEx Meetings app lets you schedule, host and attend meetings from your mobile device - wherever you are. Through the WebEX app, you can be of any Web conference through two-way video and a camera switcher. What’s superior about this app is that all files can be attached to a meeting space. This means that you can give a presentation or discuss documents in real-time while video chatting with your contacts. You can also record meetings for sharing or viewing later.
Evernote is more than just the classic note-taking app you think it’s been. It’s the extension of a long-established notepad but compacted with more bunches of different features. You can type audio-recorded reminders, create to-do lists, capture documents, save favorite Web pages and it even allows you to sync your notes, Web clips and files on every device and computer you make use of. Evernote allows you to remember notes, whether small or big, from your day-by-day tasks using your mobile platform.
You must be wondering why Skype is one of the apps every virtual manager should have. It might seem obvious, but well, nothing can hold up a business like not having access to people when you require them. Skype can be quite effective. It allows face-to-face video conferencing over the Internet without hurting your pocket. The ability of Skype to be accessed via any platform from whatever device it’s adjacent to makes it a convenient communication tool for businesses and virtual teams.
Despite the fact that there's an app for almost everything, the app marketplace is so jam-packed you might not know which fits your needs best. The best common denominator of every app mentioned above? Almost all are free and some are remarkably less than a coat and a tie.
Jona Jone has been a mortgage originator, a business and a property specialist in Philadelphia, PA. She has been writing articles about real estate investment, business, parenting and living. To know her more follow @jonajone1