Flexibility and opportunity
Employees and contractors in startups are the soul of the company and generally have different requirements than "regular" company employees.
Startups are traditionally risky ventures, requiring leaps of faith, however with technology today, entrepreneurs are able to access incredible resources in an "on-demand" manner, while highly sought after people are able to offer their services to a global nation with minor infrastructure changes.
Sites like Freelancer.com and hireacoder.com have changed the pool of talent available to startups, (the controlyourcomms.com logo was developed by two Palestinian designers sourced from freelancer.com).
In today's environment skills are acquired on an as needs basis and your communications and processes need to be flexible enough to accommodate this flexibility, incorporating new members as part of the team, while ensuring that the company's IP and assets are secured.
These can provide online chat and project monitoring and management. (Internally we use Asana but have worked with the others).
Quite often things can be sorted out with a phone call.
Things to consider
A VoIP solution, including the ControlYourComms.com Business Pack, provides three accounts enabling three employees to have their own internal number and short calling functionality.
Calls can be transferred between parties as well as be parked for pickup.
The system can be configured to ring in certain hours, ensuring that timezones are respected.
Phones can ring simultaneously or in a specific location regardless of the location of the phone.
New users can be added in under 10 minutes and new accounts can also be set up in 10 minutes.
The VoIP solution provides local numbers for your new contractors and employees to call.
When communicating between various offices, whether they be home or physical, you should always be using a VPN, to secure your communications.
You should also be encrypting any digital assets that you store in the cloud.
The best cloud solutions are the ones that YOU control.
There are open source services which our partner okoIP offers, one which we use is called owncloud. This can be accessed from all common applications using WebDav, and will do synchronisation from your Mac or PC.