As technology continues to improve and businesses remain focused on cost reduction, there has been a growing interest in telecommuting. Many smaller companies in particular have been embracing this option, as they scramble to maintain a healthy cash flow and stay competitive in this still challenging economy. If your small business is looking to test the waters with telecommuting, then consider integrating your system with these free and low-cost online services:


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  • Skype. Skype offers several attractive features for telecommuting. Aside from its free flagship video calling and internet-based Skype calls, businesses can opt for video conferencing, call forwarding, document sharing, and Skype calls to any landline or mobile number across the world, and all at extreme;y affordable rates.


  • Dropbox. Dropbox is an essential file sharing app for managing an off-site workforce. Not only are business files and documents easily accessible from any computer or mobile device, but business owners can control who has access to this information. A free Dropbox account comes with 2GB of storage, but can be upgraded to 100 GB for less than $20 per month.


  • Google Apps. This suit of online applications includes Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Sites ( a place to create company webpages and wikis), and Google Docs (where files across several platforms can be uploaded, amended, and made available to specific parties). The free version allows up to 50 accounts per business.


  • SohoOS. A new-comer on the block, SohoOS offers a free suite of cloud-based management applications for small businesses and freelancers that includes a unified contact system, free payment processing, a collection of marketing tools, and customize reports. Since everything is located in the cloud, it makes it easy for off-site workers to access what they need. then definitely check it out.


  • Xmarks Sync. For those workers who will be working both on-site and off and/or on a variety of devices, then bookmark syncing is a must. This tool preserves your bookmarks, passwords and open tabs backed up and synchronized across computers and browsers. It currently runs on the four major browsers: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

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