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Expanding your company’s footprint? Here’s how to keep employees connected for maximum productivity

Effective collaboration helps expand your business, no matter where your employees are located.
By AT&T Business
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

If you’re the executive of a growing midsize company, you may not know where all of your employees are at any given time—and that’s a good thing.

Your sales force is traveling around the country landing clients, while your customer service team is providing support around the clock thanks to your new office on the West Coast. Meanwhile your direct report is buckling down from her apartment to finish that earnings report. Providing a flexible environment where employees can excel from the office, home, or road allows you to tap into your workers’ full potential.

But as your workforce grows increasingly decentralized, it becomes essential to ask what software and systems are needed to maximize their productivity. The first step according to AT&T Business? Providing digital solutions that let colleagues link up whether they’re based down the hall or in another state. In fact, data suggests that when workers are able to efficiently collaborate, they’re happier and more productive, as well as more likely to feel connected to the organization as a whole.

An uptick in the number of company workspaces is a clear tipping point to update your collaboration tools, from efficient file-sharing to robust mobile connectivity. Here are the signs to watch and solutions to deploy when your midsize business is ready to widen its scope.

Research demonstrates that telecommuting can boost productivity. During a recent study, a group of employees that worked from home displayed a 13% average improvement in performance over the office-based control.

Three signs you’re ready for new collaboration tools

Growing midsize businesses should be on the lookout for clues that it’s time to invest in scalable collaboration solutions. Here are three indicators that you’re due for an upgrade:

🔍 You’ve got more file-sharing and video conferencing applications than you can count.
Your employees based in New York use a different file-sharing program than the remote team in San Francisco. Meanwhile, you’re struggling to justify the cost of six different video conferencing vendors.

🔍 Remote employees are dialing into meetings or hosting calls via devices that aren’t securely connected.
The portable nature of smartphones and tablets make them an essential part of any remote employee’s toolkit. While working from the corner coffee shop may be the new normal, logging into company documents via multiple devices requires the same secure connection that you have in the office.

🔍 Your distributed employees are juggling multiple devices on a daily basis.
The marketing team tends to use laptops for remote brainstorm meetings, the sales team prefers to take client calls from their phones, and the product team likes to use a dual-screen setup that includes both a tablet and a desktop. It’s not the most efficient—or scalable—arrangement.

Three ways to get your workforce on the same page

If you’re facing these signs, it’s time to seek out progressive collaboration tools to help distributed workers serve a more effective role in your organization’s continued growth. AT&T Business offers a flexible, cloud-based solution that makes it possible for employees to log in from anywhere to access near real-time integration of communication services like desktop sharing and web conferencing.

To upgrade their collaboration ecosystem, companies need to develop a comprehensive, integrated plan. AT&T Business has outlined some strategic guidelines for your expanding midsize business:

💻 Adopt a single, cloud-based solution.
Using one provider for services like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), instant messaging, video conferencing, and file-sharing means simplified, centralized management. When these services are housed in the cloud, the user experience is virtually seamless, scalable, and cost-effective, regardless of physical location.

💻 Minimize security risks via VPNs.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) mitigate the risk of security incidents. Urging remote workers to use a VPN adds an extra layer of protection for those overseas or who frequently use unsecured connections (in a coffee shop or in the airport, for instance).

💻 Ensure your collaboration platform supports all devices.
Prioritize a system that lets workers switch devices easily so that they almost never lose track of projects or drop calls when jumping from one device to another. Flexibility is another consideration—opt for tools that will be adaptable to new mobile technologies as they emerge and evolve.

As distributed workforces continue to rise, midsize companies stand to leverage their expanding geographic footprint. But in order to benefit from this tipping point and the productivity of satellite offices and remote workers, employees need the collaboration tools to succeed: efficient file-sharing, robust mobile connectivity, and coordinated software upgrades. AT&T Collaborate offers a flexible solution that makes it simple for companies to scale with a dynamic workforce. By staying agile and improving communication, businesses can forge a pathway for growth among teams, between employees and customers, and even across oceans.

To learn more about how to improve collaboration across your employee network, visit AT&T Business online today.

This article was produced on behalf of AT&T Business by Quartz Creative and not by the Quartz editorial staff. Sources are provided for informational and reference purposes only. They are not an endorsement of AT&T Business or its products.

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