As we announced earlier week, Andy has ventured to the Valley to set up Huddle’s first international office and head up our U.S. presence. With Andy leaving Huddle’s London fold, and two of our sales team not far behind him, the team now finds itself in the same position as many organizations worldwide: Huddle has a geographically-dispersed workforce.

And so we find ourselves faced with the age-old problem of: how do we make sure everyone feels like part of the Huddle team, regardless of where they’re based and what time zone they’re in? How do we solve a problem like inter office communication?

Now, as Alastair has already mentioned, we do practice what we preach and use Huddle rather than central servers and hard-drives to make sure everyone can access the same information, no matter where they are. But, I’m not just here to talk about how great Huddle is!

Technology is a wonderful thing and we’re using many tools to help make sure our UK and US workforces feel they’re working towards the same goals and feel warm and fuzzy about being part of Huddle.  Here are just some of them:

  • Webcams:  Apart from viewing what is probably a very outdated, posed and not-wholly representative website photo, have you actually seen the people that work in your organization’s other offices? Well, for better or worse, everyone at Huddle has a webcam, so members of the team aren’t just an email address or a Skype name. We can actually see each other and video conferencing is standard
  • Big screens and live link-ups:  In the style of newsrooms worldwide, the London and San Francisco Huddle offices have big TV screens and a live link-up.  Luckily for the San Francisco team, as soon as they get in and have breakfast,  the London-team are ready and waiting to wave, say hello and welcome them to a brand new day…Ahem.  Alastair has even admitted that he probably speaks more to Andy now (albeit later in the evening) face-to-face than when Andy sat downstairs at the London office
  • Instant Messaging (IM): We operate one IM tool so that we can share information quickly and simply and presence indicators mean we can see who is online as soon as they login
  • Annual meet-up: OK so this clearly isn’t a tool, but we’ll be relying on technology to transport us to our destination. Every year, the entire Huddle workforce will meet up somewhere in the world to discuss plans for the future

That’s how we ensure inter office communication doesn’t become a problem.

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