Communication is Key

Communicating is a part of life. Whether you are at the grocery store, a sporting event, or work, at some point in the day you communicate your likes, dislikes, needs, and wants. Effective communication is important, especially in the workplace. So why is it that we are still trying to figure out how to communicate in 2016?

Setting individual personalities aside, poor communication often comes from the use of incorrect tools. Using the right communications tools to help you communicate with coworkers and clients is key. The problem is finding the tools that work best for you.

I am by no means an expert in collaborative communications; however, I am a part of the remote work pool which I joined in March 2016. I now have seven months of telecommuting under my belt, and I have found my own pros and cons of working remotely, which I discuss here. Communication is a very important part of my day as I need to interact with coworkers located across the country.

So how do you decide between the hundreds of communication tools at your fingertips? That all depends upon what you need to accomplish. When it comes to web-based video conferencing, I prefer Zoom to Skype for Business because I have experienced more stability with multiple callers with Zoom. There have been many times that call participants have issues with audio or sharing content when using Skype for Business. Granted, there most likely is an element of human error occurring, but that occurrence decreases significantly with my Zoom calls. Skype for Business works as a great IM platform, but there are other ways to online chat with coworkers such as Google Hangouts or Slack.


Project management goes together with great communication. Check out the top communication and collaboration tool lists for Raconteur and PCMag. Recently, Facebook has announced Workplace – a platform to connect everyone in your company and collaborate. I have not had the pleasure of working with Workplace yet, but the idea of it is interesting considering the success Facebook continues to have since its inception in 2004.

I’ve worked with a handful of online project management tools and the key to success is finding what works for you and your team. If a program or processes feel too cumbersome, then that tool is not working for you. You might have to experiment with a few different platforms to find the one that fits your team. While learning new software can be a pain, especially when it is your busiest time of year, the time saved because of increased efficiency is invaluable.