Technology, protocol keep global teams going without face-to-face meetings

By Lionel Laroche and Catherine Mercer Bing
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/24/2001

In the wake of last month’s terrorist attacks, many corporations may respond to employees’ fears by reducing air travel to an absolute minimum. As a result, global teams with members located in several countries need to learn to work effectively in the absence of face-to-face interactions.

Technology offers global teams alternative methods of sharing information, discussing ideas and making decisions, and in fact, remote communication tools have multiplied recently to the point where choosing the right one may become a challenge.

From telephone and videoconferencing to a variety of online and Web-based options, with so many tools to choose from, it is sometimes difficult to determine which is the best for the current situation. In many cases, staff in the IT Department should be able to provide useful information and help make that decision. (Table 1 describes some of the tools HR managers can recommend to their global teams, along with some of the key advantages and limitations.)