Future Energy Solutions CEO Daniel Gold featured in Entrepreneur
These days, people working on teams are rarely in the same time zone, let alone the same room. However small companies have found plenty of innovative ways to keep teams connected and on the same page no matter how far apart they are thanks to mobile technology. Check out these forward-thinking examples of how some business are keeping their employees linked:
Save money, suit clients.
Comunicano, Inc., a brand strategy and communications specialist, uses several collaboration tools, including GoToMeeting,UberConference, WebEx, and Google Hangouts. “We need a variety of services because our client mix uses different ones,” says Andy Abramson, the firm’s CEO. This grab bag of choices also affords for personalization—some tools simply suit the work style of certain people better.
These collaborative tools have resulted in better communication—and lots of savings. “We’re a virtual agency,” Abramson says. “We pay no rent. The tools over time have made it even more logical to have no fixed office space, and just operate virtually—in the cloud, all over the world. That’s a savings of $60,000 a year or more alone. So I think you can call that a massive payback.
Clean up your inbox.
Silicon Valley PR company Sterling Communications replaced internal emails with Slack, a messaging app built specifically for teams. “We use it like a chatting service, but we also use it for company-wide messages, sharing funny videos and helpful articles, reviewing work internally, and more,” says Rosie Brown, a creative project manager. “It’s great because Slack only lets you chat with people who share your email domain, so it won’t ever get cluttered with junk mail, subscriptions, client or vendor emails.”
The app also provides a search feature to find any mention of a person or keyword. “You can also easily see all files ever shared within your team, which makes finding attachments much easier than traditional email,” she says.
In addition, the company uses Asana project-tracking software to organize files (such as website mockups, photos or videos to add, music licenses, and files for videos) all in one place by project. In the past, the team members had to “to sift through emails where subject lines like ‘here you go’ or ‘mockups’ are not helpful,” she adds. “Asana and Slack have cleaned up the inbox”—and made collaboration among dispersed teams easier.
Build your own.
Daniel Gold, CEO of South Florida-based Future Energy Solutions, says he was “obsessed” with creating a tool to keep his fast-growing technology company and its 100 employees connected and to assist the sales affiliates on the road. However, he could not find any program that met his needs. So he and his team went ahead and created their own.
The company developed a custom Android app that guides sales affiliates through all the data and information needed to present to potential clients. The information also allows the company’s procurement and warehouse teams to prepare inventory.
The app also manages commissions, invoicing and other pertinent project information, regardless of time zone, letting team members stay connected no matter where they are.
Turn memos into stories.
Meetings are the bane of any office worker’s existence. Karma, a New York City-based company that provides cellular connectivity in the form of personal Wi-Fi signals, did away with a morning meeting altogether thanks to a tool called IDoneThis, which provides 140-character updates on their projects. The entire team receives a full summary of what work has been completed, regardless of time zone.
The nature of the technology can bond coworkers, even if they are in far-flung locations. As the company explained in its blog: “Instead of writing dry, humdrum items that sound like checked-off errands on a to-do list, [workers] approach the updates as an opportunity to share stories of what’s going on and what stood out about the day—including what you got done, funny things that happened, or a Customer email that makes or breaks your day.”
Paul Miller, a Karma employee, says the updates can be like a serialized story, such as his coworker explaining her struggles to get charts to function correctly. “It was the most entertaining saga,” Miller notes. “The most interesting things are these internal struggles that people have.” It also engages people, and lets managers and coworkers know what everyone is up to without spying on them.
Use the right device for the job.
All these apps must be combined with strong hardware. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Note5, a large-screened smart phone with a 5.7″ Quad HD Super AMOLED display, provides a sleek stylus. The S Pen can be used to effortlessly navigate between screens, as well as jot a quick note or number, or edit a PDF file for work while on the go.
For optimal storage, add up to 200GB of additional storage with a microSD card (sold separately) on the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, and stay powered throughout the day with increased battery capacity and faster, more efficient wireless charging. IP68 water and dust resistance also protects the device from full submersion in water in the field or on the go.
Get the ultra-mobility and freedom of a Galaxy tablet with the productive functionality of a full-featured Windows device in the Galaxy TabPro S. This 2-in-1 tablet is purpose-built for the unique needs of a highly mobile workforce, combining the innovation of Galaxy with the productivity of Windows.
Compelling apps with a compelling device are the perfect way to keep teams aligned and productive, no matter where their members are located.