An anonymous reader writes: A friend and I are on the verge of starting a small company. It will begin small (around 5 employees and and advisory board) and slowly grow to small/mid-size (around 20 employees plus advisors and consultants). While we expect the employees to normally be located in the same office complex, we foresee a few telecommuting from home or afar and expect much of our advisory board to be spread about the country. In the opinion of the all-knowing slashdot reader, what is the best way to keep everyone in step and available for communication without becoming overbearing? Is on-demand email/phone enough? Should we schedules regular conference calls? Should we utilize IM (and if so, which services shine and which fail)? Along a slightly different line should we adopt and enforce email signing and encryption policies from the beginning? A simpler question, perhaps, is what kinds of communication policies have YOU experienced: what was lacking, what was annoying, and what did you love?