The Ultimate Guide to Working Remotely: Part 3/5

Third post in The Ultimate Guide to Working Remotely: The Series.

Skype and how to use it properly.

Open group chat

The Skype group chat is the direct correspondent of the open space in an office environment, with some nice extras.

Each domain group can have its own group chat, so messages don’t get mixed up.

When a team member needs to focus he can turn Skype on Do Not Disturb and stop receiving chat notifications.

Skype stores the messages on every client and automatically makes sure the chat session is synced among the participants. If the team is chatting in a group chat and all by one leave the session afterwards, the remaining participant Skype client will automatically broadcast the chat history to all group chat members that were offline at the time of the chat, but come online at a later date.

Screen sharing

Skype offers a cross platform screen sharing solution. This makes activities like remote pair programming and live discussions on design wireframes convenient and accessible.

Sometimes it’s easier to show something on the screen and make the modifications on spot as opposed to moving files back and forth and discussing via email.

Conference calls

Conference calls with up to 25 people can be easily done for free via Skype. By using the Skype-Out feature one can include in the conference landline or mobile phone numbers too, at the expanse of call credit.

Adding new participants in an existing conference is an easy as drag and drop from the contacts list.

One on One video calls

Connecting between team members requires personal communication done on a regular basis. With emails and group chat providing clear and efficient communication, video calls will be used between team members to better connect with each other and discuss topics that can be misunderstood otherwise. In a perfect world such video calls would not be necessary, as they are more time and energy consuming, but sometimes they also help at getting faster to an agreement.

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