It’s no surprise that advances in connectivity, hardware and software have resulted in workforces becoming increasingly mobile. Gartner recently revealed that smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2010 increased by almost 50 percent over the same period last year.

People no longer have to be tied to their desks all day, every day. As long as an Internet connection is available, people can work from virtually anywhere: coffee shops, their homes, remote offices or on public transport. But while having your staff working from any location is all well and good, how can you make sure that everyone not only remains productive, but feels like part of one organization and one team?

One of the dangers with having a remote workforce and geographically dispersed teams is: “Out of sight, out of mind.” With acustomer engagement team that is always on the road and offices in London and San Francisco, here are some of my tips for keeping your team together:

  • Deploy a standard, business-wide instant messaging tool. Waiting for emails to hit your inbox or playing telephone tag with your colleagues is neither productive nor fun. Rolling out one instant messaging tool across your business will ensure that information can be shared quickly and easily. Presence indicators also give you visibility of who is at their desk, who is in meetings and who is not online. At Huddle, Skype is our default instant messaging tool and when a new member of the team joins they’re instantly added to everyone’s contact list. For any quick queries, it’s a great way for people working from their homes, our London office or our San Francisco office to talk to each other.

Note: This excerpt is from a ‘Remote Workforce’ blog post that I originally wrote for GigaOm’s Web Worker Daily in November 2010. To read the post in full, please go to Web Worker Daily (

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