I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how productive you can be when you are working remotely with people all over the world. As someone who does this every day, I am of the opinion that you can be very productive when working in a remote location. Not only have I worked on very successful teams at work that have been disbursed all over the planet, I also managed to get my Masters degree remotely by collaborating with other students and instructors in different parts of the country and the world. In some cases, I worked with military people stationed in South Korea and consultants shipped off to India during our classes.
The most important part of working remotely with other people and companies is that everyone commits to taking advantage of the best technology available to make everyone as productive and successful as possible. When this happens, a remote team can be just as successful or even more successful than a team that is together in one place. The team members learn how to communicate differently using online tools like IM, email, and newsgroups, and because everything is in writing, miscommunication is less likely. I believe that communication actually improves in successful remote teams. The proper tools mean all the difference in the world when it comes to working remotely.
I wrote about online collaboration tools back in May 2005, and that post is still very relevant today.Â In a post coming soon, I will investigate using Google’s suite of web applications to collaborate with people all over the world.Â Stay tuned!