1. The Internet encourages team members to communicate more often and in more detail, helping to form closer working relationships. Any difference in time zones is unlikely to be a critical factor. E-mail reduces paperwork and office time. But it can also bog you down with the sheer volume of messages. Tips for using e-mail effectively include the following:
- Block junk mail
- Read “priority” messages first and try to answer them the same day
- After you reply to a message, delete the original or move it to an appropriate folder as a permanent record
- Don’t mark a message “priority” unless it’s urgent
- Send messages and replies only to the person or people who need to know
- Avoid sending replies to a group of users unless it is absolutely necessary
2. Personal communication devices include cell phones, pagers, and personal digital assistants (PDAs). They provide communications regardless of location. Tips for using personal communication devices effectively include the following:
- Consider the urgency of each call before you make it. Unnecessary conversations are costly and can interfere with productivity and safe driving.
- You can make the best use of team members’ time by paging them and letting them dial in to only the relevant part of team meetings.
- PDAs give you access to information and workspace on the road and at home. Keep them synchronized with the information stored on your main computer. Don’t forget batteries and a spare stylus.
3. Teleconferencing is a form of a telephone call that a whole team can be involved in. Make sure you talk about any major changes to the schedule at the beginning of a conference call, since any changes related to them can affect the agenda items, the flow of the call, or even the project schedule. Ensure that teleconferences are well-structured, with
- time limits
- open discussions at the end of the meeting
4. Videoconferencing is remote communication that includes voice and body language. Tips for using videoconferencing effectively include the following:
- Locate all participants at prearranged receiving and transmitting sites
- Remember that not all sites are readily accessible for videoconferencing
- Remember there’s a delay in videoconferencing due to the amount of bandwidth it requires