5 Simple Tools for Virtual Workers

By Atle Skjekkeland posted 05-11-2010 17:23



Many organizations are stuck in the "we have always done it like this" way of working: the staff spends 2-3 hours every day commuting to and from work to sit in front of a computer or on the phone. I think future generations will smile (or cry) when they think of how many organizations required staff to be in the office to work in a digital world when we have lots of technologies to support virtual work. A friend of mine spends 2 hours every day commuting to/from work, and she has now worked for her employer for 10 years. This means that she has spent 2 hours x 5 days x 48 weeks x 10 years = 4800 hours commuting, or 1.6 years! This is time that could have been spent working or relaxing with her family.

Below are a few simple tools that I have used the last years to supplement (and in some projects almost replaced) my usage of email and phones.


I use Skype to ping and call colleagues and partners, but also have conference calls and share presentations and documents with screen sharing.

Google Docs

I often use Google spreadsheets, word processing, and sites to share and collaborate on documents with friends and colleagues.


My organization uses Yammer to improve internal communication and transparency. Colleagues share ideas and inform the rest of the organization about projects and new initiatives.

Google Reader

I use Google RSS Reader to be notified about new content, articles, and comments. This is supplemented by Google Alerts that notifies me about other relevant content.


I use Twitter hash tags to keep up-to-date with industry trends and perspectives. Many people look at Twitter as a time waster, but I think I learn a lot about relevant stuff that I may not have found on my own.

There are many other relevant tools out there, but I thought I would share some of the tools I use the most to collaborate with colleagues and industry contacts. Learn about other tools by visiting the free Enterprise 2.0 Buyers Guide.

#Skype #twitter #Knowledgeworker #AIIM #Google #VirtualOffice #TweetDeck #enterprise2.0 #Yammer