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Tech Tips

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Use video chats to stay in touch with off-site workers

Perhaps you use the new iPhone 4’s FaceTime feature to talk with (and see) faraway friends. This same technology works wonders for managers who want to keep close tabs on a far-flung workforce.

If you have a relatively new laptop or desktop, it probably has a webcam built into it with a camera and microphone. Download a free program such as Skype, open a user profile and make sure employees have a compatible computer on their end. Frequent video chats enable you to read their nonverbal cues, engage in more substantive conversations and share memos, photos or whatever else is on your computer screen.

Team up to integrate new technology at work

Before you purchase a new technological application that will affect your employees’ daily work lives, involve them in decision-making. Invite them to planning meetings with the tech vendor. Solicit their input in evaluating and selecting the best product.

Workers tend to embrace tech tools more readily when they’ve participated in the process from the beginning. Even if their job duties don’t directly pertain to the nature of the application or they lack a tech background, let them chime in along the way.

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