An important aspect of effectively managing virtual teams is the collaboration that goes into the work. Many online tools are available for seamless communication and coordination so that the virtual team manager is always on top of every team member’s tasks, schedule, and work results.
Here are some of the useful online collaboration tools for virtual teams:
Basecamp – Pepper uses Basecamp, an online collaboration tool which can be used to effectively manage projects, tasks lists and team communication. Less complicated than other collaboration tools, Basecamp is easy to use to optimize workflow and project management. For the virtual team manager, the dashboard feature of Basecamp is useful for tracking work progress, messages, file uploads, and work time logged by each member.
Skype – Another communication tool staple for Pepper is Skype. With its simple and easy to use features, not to mention, FREE features, it has now become the standard for voice calls over the Internet, as well as chat, video conferencing and file transfers. Skype is free to use for just about every operating system and mobile device. Skype can be used for training, client calls, daily meetings, and screen sharing.
Google Docs – If you have a Gmail/Google Account, you can make use of Google Docs for free online spreadsheets and document management. The spreadsheet feature is particularly useful when you need to have multiple people working on the same spreadsheet at the same time. It may not have all the features of Microsoft’s Excel, but it’s very useful for collaborative editing of documents (including text files). Work files that need collaborative work by multiple members such as domain management, financial reports, feature suggestions, performance appraisals, directory lists and online resources can be managed with Google Docs.
Dropbox – Dropbox is tool that allows online file sharing. Team members can create their own accounts and invite other members for file sharing. Whenever you add something to your Dropbox folder it will automatically update to the other people that you shared the folder with (or another computer that you might use at home). Sharing training materials, files and back up documents is made easy, and is readily accessible from multiple computers.
Jing Project – For collaboration that needs screen or video capture, Jing allows voice annotation that can help you easily explain something. All you have to do is upload the capture to Screencast.com and it will send a link for the members to view. Just like Skype, Jing is free to use except when you want to make use of advanced features. This online tool is perfect for graphic or design collaboration or any communication that needs visual and vocal instructions.
There are many other online collaboration tools and programs available for virtual team management, and you may choose to use tools other than the ones we’ve recommended here. What tools do you prefer, and why? Please share them with us in the comments.
Before we end this though, we’d like to remind you that there is another post in the series. We hinted at it in the last post, and now we’d like to introduce the next topic: The Pros and Cons of Working with a Virtual Team. Come back soon to learn more!
Check out the other posts in our Virtual Teams Series:
- How to Effectively Work with a Virtual Team
- Online Collaboration Tools for Virtual Teams
- Identify yourself: don’t make it hard to figure out who’s behind your site
- Show me around: make it easy to navigate your site
- Say it, and say it well: make sure you get your message across
About Pepper Virtual Assistants
Pepper Virtual Assistant Services is a business solutions firm that specializes on administrative assistance, customer support, CRM, copywriting, and personal virtual assistance. We take pride in our reliable service and responsive client handling which embodies our team’s optimal performance.