Nowadays it is common to talk about virtual collaboration, to hear things like: “the videoconference starts in 15 minutes” and you may be thousands of kilometers away, in different time zones and despite this, everyone, present and not physically present, they are going to be participants in a meeting.
Virtual collaboration has opened endless opportunities such as: telepresence, the home office, international collaboration and constant communication. But what sounds like a dream to many employees and employers can turn into a nightmare if certain things are not planned before starting to implement virtual collaboration within an organization.
One of the main things to anticipate is, what are the official communication channels and what will they be used for? One of the great benefits of the digital age is that now there is a program (app) for everything, but not everything is rosy, as there is a wide range of alternatives for each solution that make our decision a little more complex. To make the situation a bit easier, we present you a series of questions that could help you define the appropriate communication channels:
- Who will use this communication channel?
Defining the agents who will participate is the main thing and the first thing to do. Although it is not always the most recommended, previously probing the actors who will be using these channels before implementing can guarantee the success of the communication channel.
- What resources (additional or not) does the person require to be able to access the channel?
Some communication channels may require additional resources, such as video cameras, microphones, having a Smartphone, having a high-speed wired or wireless internet network, specialized hardware, etc. Therefore, it is worth checking in advance if you have the necessary resources to make the channel as efficient as possible.
- What is the objective of this communication channel?
Adding new communication channels just because new tools have been developed or created is not the right thing to do, saturating channels and duplicating information generates confusion and inefficiency among work teams. You have to set a goal, what information will be being transmitted through this channel?
- What is the available budget and the cost of the solution?
Solutions often have significant costs to implement due to the cost of licenses and the potential investment in hardware, so it is important to make an initial budget to evaluate the feasibility of the solution.
- As a substitute for which communication channel?
Finally, to avoid channel saturation and duplication of information, it is important to define in substitution which channel the new one enters. It can be to unify communications, to make groups or share files, taking into consideration the objective: What channel will be stopped using, cell phone, email, WhatsApp?
We recommend that you ask yourself these questions before implementing a solution. It is a simple task that will surely help you a lot to anticipate problems and save on implementation costs.