Increasingly, businesses are operating out of more than one location. For some businesses, this is because their operations have expanded and now have multiple locations taking orders from the same corporate headquarters.
In other cases, companies cooperate with outside businesses or outsource certain tasks and need cooperation between multiple operations. No matter the setup, cooperation between these offices is essential to prevent schedule and supply issues.
So what causes communication between offices to break down? For one thing, infrastructure is challenging and expensive to install, so keeping everyone on the same page and using the same system can be challenging. However, modern technology is making it easier than ever to sync up your offices and ensure effectiveness. Here are four ways to connect multiple offices.
1. Choose a Mode of Communication
Not all communication methods achieve the same result. While a small company might find that phone calls are the best way to get messages across, this won’t work for a large company fielding hundreds or thousands of messages a day.
The key is to find a method that will maximize the chances of crucial messages getting to their destination effectively without any errors or misdirections.
However, a common pitfall is when a company tries to combine multiple types of communication without ensuring they’re coordinated well. If clients and employees don’t know how they’ll hear back from someone or how to respond, it’s easy for things to get lost in the shuffle. Multiple forms of communication can work, but only if people know which interactions will be reflected in which way. This is the key to effective networking.
2. Consider Modern Internet Phone Services
The old office phone network may have worked well a while ago, but it certainly had drawbacks. It wasn’t always reliable between the frequent busy signals, the full mailboxes, and the chance that bad weather or a technical glitch could ruin the reception. That’s why many offices are taking what already works – their in-office internet and data storage services – and expanding that to their communication with VOIP services.
What is VOIP, or what is a VoIP phone system? It’s an internet-based virtual phone line that uses the cloud to cover all your office communications. The most significant advantage is that it can be used anywhere you log into your office account.
That means that employees in an office, corporate in another office, and employees working remotely in another country can all be on the same system, run off-site through a cloud-based virtual phone number that can be reached anywhere.
3. Standardize Technology Processes Through Social Media
Social media has been a great equalizer for the internet in many ways. Every day, countless people worldwide use the same platforms, communicating in dozens of languages in the same digital space. If your company isn’t using social media to promote its products and services, you’re putting yourself at a massive disadvantage.
When used properly, social media is an effective way to standardize your business. Do you have someone monitoring your social media presence? It’s often the first way you’ll find out about a problem, through comments on Facebook or Twitter replies.
Ideally, all your offices should be monitoring the same accounts and have someone versed in digital marketing to take action and nip any social media issue in the bud before it spirals and causes terrible PR for the larger company.
4. Remain Consistent
Every business is going to have a different approach to connecting multiple offices. The strategy for working between two offices will likely be different from managing a multinational corporation.
However, what sets many companies up for failure is when they switch up their strategy without informing those handling the day-to-day work or assume that staff can adjust at a moment’s notice without it impacting the business.
Ensuring everyone is well-trained in the new systems is crucial to fostering effective communication between offices. This was a common issue during the Covid-19 pandemic when companies had to go remote at a moment’s notice.
While many of those hiccups were unavoidable, they provided valuable lessons for the future as companies could create a better and more consistent system for inter-office cooperation.
A Smoother Future
The odds are that the business world will only get more remote-oriented and more diverse, with many companies operating out of multiple countries. The countries that can evolve are the ones that will succeed. The first step is making sure your communications process works seamlessly.