Communication Tools for an Agile Workforce

Most organizations these days have either multiple offices, a main HQ with some remote employees or a combination of the two. With the growing trend of flexible work schedules and remote workforces, it’s become increasingly clear that organizations need to have flexible communication plans to fit changing business needs. By using a variety of tools to fit different types of communications, companies are able to be more agile in their approach to corporate communication, external communication, and also appeal to prospective new recruits.

Today, I thought I’d take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to chat about the communication tools we use at SparkPost to keep our teams aligned and operating efficiently. None of these tools are groundbreaking or revolutionary in the slightest, but the ways in which our teams use them for different purposes might strike inspiration for others out there who might be navigating communication challenges of their own.

Email

We’re an email company. I’m pretty sure I’d be in hot water if this method wasn’t at the top of our list. While many claim email is dead, the fact of the matter is that email remains king in communications. It’s easy to keep conversation threads and topics separated and also archived for reference at a later date. Additionally, I can’t count the number of times I’ve been able to save a colleague from another 30-minute meeting just by sending an email with the highlights and key points they needed to know.

 

email meme

 

Plus, our CEO has a few rules around meetings at SparkPost. First of all, don’t meet if you don’t have to. Anything that can be communicated via email or Slack, should be! That brings me to our next tool…

Slack

Internally

Slack plays a large part in our company’s communication strategy. We use it on a daily basis across teams. It’s an invaluable tool for quick and cross-functional messaging. There are channels for each team, channels for different projects, special interests and more. On the social team, it’s an easy way for us to post questions and get quick resolution on common support FAQs to relay information back to external folks quickly. It’s also an easy way to connect with remote folks and quickly check-in, or just say ‘hi’ to keep the sense of camaraderie going in the workplace.

Externally

Our entire company was super familiar with Slack just in time for us to launch our external slack community. Our community slack has completely changed the way we are able to do business and support our customers. We can get feedback from users in real-time, and help with any sort of troubleshooting issues they might have. On top of that, it’s a great place to build community, and a forum for others to connect with like minded people who are sharing advice on other projects and technologies in their stacks.

Phone/Virtual Meetings

We wouldn’t be a tech company if we didn’t have a virtual meetings tool. With so many people spread across so many time zones, having a platform to talk, share slides, video conference and see people face-to-face is key. The face-to-face meetings are an especially great way to keep our devrel team connected, as they’re spread across the country and beyond! We use RingCentral, but there are a lot of other tools out there for all different virtual meeting purposes.

So that’s it! Like I said, nothing groundbreaking here, but I always find it helpful to hear how others are using different tools in different ways — sometimes inspiration will strike to try something new!

What did I leave out? Any communication tools you can’t live without that help manage remote teams? Feel free to reach out on Twitter, or in community slack — just don’t send me a meeting invite 😉

Jen Lacey

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