When it comes to collaborating with international team members, you have a number of great choices including instant messaging, web conferencing, online file-sharing tools, interactive whiteboards, and more.
Teleconferencing has long been the gold standard for team collaboration, and it continues to deliver.
Teleconferencing is especially helpful when teams are geographically dispersed as the entire group can come together to brainstorm in a real-time, voice centric environment.
In a world filled with technological marvels and the latest apps, the humble international conference call may not have the wow factor of its competitors but it shines in its simplicity. For example:
- Just about anyone can easily participate in an international conference call. All you need is a telephone, mobile or landline or even Skype. There’s no special software to download or equipment to buy.
- With a voice call, you can hold dynamic group conversations and gain a deeper understanding based on verbal cues such as tone of voice, pauses, and pacing. With instant messaging, email, and threaded discussion boards, nuances are often difficult to catch and misunderstandings all too common.
- You can call into the international conference call from virtually any location on earth. Whether you’re assigned to a remote outpost or traveling on business, a quick phone call immediately connects you to your team – even if you do not have Internet access or a computer.
As with other team collaboration tools, international conference calling is only effective if teams are empowered to use it.
With this in mind, many worldwide companies make it as easy as possible for team leaders to hold scheduled and impromptu global conference call. One way to do this is to set up easy-to-use international conference calling accounts for your teams.
Reservation-less conference calls can be held at the spur of the moment, allowing your team leaders to hold a group conference call any time the need arises. If a team leader would prefer to preschedule an international conference call, this is easy to do.
You can even set up the conference call so that the system automatically dials each participant if desired. Using automated dial-out is a great way to reduce the per minute cost of the call as well as help ensure that each participant is promptly connected. =
Many international conference call service plans are available including pay-as-you-go so no prepayment is required.
Help your team leaders choose the right collaborative tools for the task at hand by holding a basic collaboration training session. For example, your design team may find that using an online collaboration tool is best for task management and file sharing but cumbersome for requirements gathering, brainstorming, and problem-solving. You may find it helpful to create a matrix detailing the various collaboration tools available and when to use which one.
Finally, the golden rule of choosing a worldwide team collaboration tool for any given situation: When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with an international conference call!