As companies grow, it’s common for employees to be based at different locations. Having staff spread across satellite offices, along with mobile and home working, means communication between colleagues takes longer, and collaboration becomes more difficult.

A constant concern for multi-site organisations is how having employees geographically separated can lead to lower productivity. Projects over-run, mistakes happen and decision making slows down. This means businesses are always looking for ways of improving collaboration across sites, and improving productivity.

One key way of achieving this is to move services into the cloud, where employees can easily access them from any location.

Messaging — Instant messaging allows colleagues to communicate from any location, with messages appearing automatically on-screen. This speeds-up decision making and resolving issues by removing the delays inherent in waiting for people in different locations to check their email, or return a phone call.

Web conferencing — Rather than travelling between sites, meetings can be held over the web, with each attendee sitting at their normal computer, or using a table / mobile device. This reduces travel costs, removes the pressure on meeting spaces (no need to reserve a room with virtual meetings) and means meetings can be held at short notice.

Anywhere email — Email was one of the first business services to benefit from the moving to the cloud. Now it’s taken for granted that employees can access email on any device, with everything kept in sync by cloud services.

Cloud storage — Having a secure business cloud storage service means employees who work across multiple sites can always access their files. Whichever PC they access, their documents are available through syncing or the web browser, with other computers automatically updating to reflect any document changes.

Document sharing — Collaboration is simpler when the same document can be worked on by multiple people. No round-robin emails with attachments, and no confusion over whether the document you’re reading is the latest version.