Communication is critical to the achieving of objectives in the workplace. It is crucial to communicate to all the team members to make them aware what is required of them in a project and the timeline in which they have to deliver. Communication has to be instant to prevent delays in the workplace that result from late receipt of information by the persons it is intended for. Communication in the past used to be done using hardcopy mail and telephone conversations. Working as a team could only be possible if the members of the group were in the same locality and met face to face as often as possible. In the present, communication has become faster, cheaper and efficient due to advancements in information technology. Some systems have been developed primarily to enable communication between the members of a team working on a given project. Currently it is possible for a group of people to collaborate on a project even when they are located in different places and time zones.
Teleconferencing and video conferencing are useful when working in a team that includes members from distant locations. It saves a lot of time by enabling the team members to hold a meeting on short notice and does not consume time to traveling to certain locations for face to face meetings. They also ensure that the team members observe punctuality by having the meetings scheduled at fixed time frames. Teleconferencing saves on travel expenses that would be incurred by the team members if they were to meet physically. Most of the companies that have a global presence expend a lot of resources to cater for the travels of their associates. Teleconferencing and video conferencing remove the need to travel thousands of miles resulting in savings. The technologies have made meeting easier and faster to execute.
The use of conferencing technology makes it easier to record the proceedings of the meetings without any need for human monitoring. The computing devices that facilitate the conferencing record and track every detail of the meeting. Every aspect of the meeting is preserved and can be retrieved at any time in the future whenever needed. Teleconferencing ensures that all the members of a team are in constant communication with each other. There is efficiency in the sharing of information and also prompts the various members of the team into action. Keeping in touch motivates the members of the team to continue working optimally. Also, it also ensures that they can access the information they need to work on their portions of the project. Teleconferencing and video conferencing have become very reliable over the recent years because of the advances in communication technology. The modern conferencing equipment is easy to set up and does not experience any downtimes due to stronger and better access to the internet.
Google File Sharing
Google drive file sharing makes it possible for all the members of a team to make their contributions on a project without having to meet physically. The files are stored in the cloud and can be accessed anywhere in the world as long as one has access to the internet. The additions or changes made by each of the members on the project are attributed to them and automatically updated in the drive. Whenever any of the team members access the file, they find it with the latest updates and changes. Using Google file sharing makes it even easier for the supervisor to keep tabs on the progress of the project without having to contact every member of the team to ask them about their progress. He/she is also in a position to make recommendations to each of the members on the same file and have them informed instantly. The collaboration that is enabled by this file sharing is amazing and comes at no cost.
Some of the instances where I have been involved in team projects that did not make use of IT tools include when doing group assignments and doing fieldwork. The group assignment required that each of the members do a part of the assignment and then have the inputs of the members combined in a single document. The group assignment members held several meetings that were time-consuming. If my group had made use of the Google file sharing technology, we would have been updated about the progress made by each person and the work would have been completed much earlier without the need to hold group meetings for updates on the assignment.
The field teamwork required holding meetings every morning to communicate the expectations for the day and another meeting in the evening to give feedback on the work that had been done. Teleconferencing would have saved the team time and the costs incurred traveling to the meeting venue. The members of the team would have made use of smartphones that have internet connectivity to do teleconferencing using readily available apps such as Skype. This app would give each of the members an opportunity to update the supervisor and the rest of the team about their progress in the field.
Teleconferencing, video conferencing and google files are some of the tools that can be used to enhance team work. They ensure that all the members of the team are in constant contact with each other and make the work of the team leader or supervisor easier. Time and travelling costs are saved by this technology, boosting the bottom-line of the organization. Accessible hardware such as smartphones and laptops can be used for teleconferencing and google file sharing. The Internet is a requirement, and the applications needed are also readily available. Some of the applications include Google Drive and Skype.