Technology is a catalyst for the dramatic shift in how and where we work. No longer confined to a single physical location, work happens wherever we happen to be. We have access to business tools on mobile devices and many workers are ditching traditional cubicles and board rooms for the freedom and flexibility of mobile work. In fact, the mobile workforce is expected to reach 1.3 billion by 2015 and there are already an estimated 42 million freelancers operating virtually in the workforce. In addition, 71 percent of small businesses have become more mobile in the past two years.
Mobile workers and freelancers do not have to compromise on professional, business class tools when working without walls. Equipped with the right tools, the mobile workforce can work like their traditional counterparts but even more efficiently and cost effectively.
Here are seven communication tips for mobile professionals:
1) Personal Communication is Key – We now post status updates on social networks, snap and share photos on the go, and email before our morning coffee. It seems we’re communicating all the time but it is important to not overlook the personal side of communications. Set up regular meetings with your clients and teams to keep everyone aligned and in the loop. A web meeting or phone call should be in addition to regular written updates. It is important to stay consistent on check in times and be sure to get some face time with teams and clients to build a relationship.
2) Turn Voicemail into a Productivity Tool – Virtual phone solutions like eVoice® provide a call screening feature which allows you to hear the name of the person calling. You can then decide to pick up the call or transfer it to voicemail. This gives you greater control over your time and productivity by prioritizing your calls. But wait, there’s an added bonus, solutions like eVoice allow you to sneak a quick peek at your transcribed voicemails on your smartphone. Now you can keep up on your messages without disrupting a meeting or conversation by dialing into a traditional voicemail system.
3) Polish Your Presentations – A polished, engaging story can set you apart from your competitors. Digital tablets and presentation apps make it possible for mobile professionals to create high-quality interactive displays of information. Rather than a static, stock document of bullet points and content, use the power of these tools to tell your audience a story that will truly engage them.
4) Reduce Communication Costs with VoIP – A virtual phone system with a VoIP app can automatically transfer calls from your network carrier to the Internet whenever WiFi is available – and that means free minutes and no data charges. This helps you stay connected in service dead zones, as well as rural areas.
5) Cut the Contact Clutter – Avoid the confusion of multiple contact numbers by providing clients with one central phone number. A cloud-based phone system provides a business phone number, with professional greetings and menus, that routes to wherever you are – cell phone, home or office –24/7. Your clients will never be frustrated by dialing multiple numbers in an attempt to reach you, or by leaving messages on various numbers.
6) Conference in the Cloud – Mobile professionals can maintain customer interaction without the hassle of booking a conference room, or traveling to attend a meeting. Use eVoice Web Conferencing to turn your desktop or laptop into a mobile office that allows you to maintain business class communications from any location. Perform live demonstrations in real time, share and exchange files, and collaborate on documents with multiple participants. Use web conferencing to schedule a meeting on the fly with a client or collaborate with your geographically distributed team.
7) Get App Happy – There are a multitude of apps available on every device platform. Make smart use of apps to help you stay on task and be more productive. Timer apps can help you stay focused and track time for invoicing. Employ cloud file server apps for anytime access to your files. Use an eFax® mobile app to take photos of your documents with your Smartphone and send them to a fax machine. There are even apps that send emails at the end of each day to employees or team members detailing the tasks you have completed.
By, Mike Pugh, Vice President, Marketing, j2 Global
Mike joined j2 Global in 2000 with the acquisition of eFax, where he held management positions in Sales, Marketing, and Product Development since 1997. Mike currently manages the Company's domestic marketing organization. Prior to this, Mike was the VP of Product Marketing, with responsibilities including product development. Before joining j2 Global, Mike served as VP Business Development for Digital Media International, a developer of entertainment and educational software.