More businesses are changing their perception about having remote teams. Technology has changed how we work- a lot. Today, people can work on the same project simultaneously from anywhere in the world. A poll conducted near the end of 2020 shows roughly 58 percent of Americans now work from home.
If you are currently transitioning to working from home, choosing the right remote tools is critical. It can make all the difference when it comes to completing things from your home office.
Here we’ll walk you through different remote work tools you’ll need. We have placed them under different categories, you’ll see.
But first, why work remotely?
What are the biggest benefits of a remote workforce?
Here are some of the best reasons why remote work is becoming a thing.
- Better Work-Life Balance. Because remote work comes with flexible schedules, you can choose when to work. That means being more available to attend to personal needs.
- Less Commute Stress. Commuting to work takes about 27.1 minutes. Most people spend 90 minutes or more on commutes to and from work which can be stressful. Remote work takes all that away.
- Location Independence. Remote work allows you to work from anywhere. So you can live in areas with a low cost of living and avoid paying high rents or mortgages.
- Money Savings. Working from home helps you cut down expenses like transportation costs, lunches, car maintenance, petrol, and more. Savings like these add up and put more money back into your pocket.
- Positive Environmental Impact. Do you know who else is happy with the idea of working from home? Mother earth. An impressive 7.8 billion vehicle miles are not traveled each year for remote workers, avoiding 3 million tons of greenhouse gases (GHG).
- Increased Productivity and Performance. Contrary to popular belief, people who work from home experience more productivity. A survey from Flexjob showed 51% of the respondents were more productive working from home during the pandemic
There are many advantages to remote working but not without challenges. So, let’s have a look at some tools that can help you overcome these challenges and be successful in the long run.
What are the best Remote work tools to work successfully?
Best Project management Tool
Virtual teams use project management systems to organize documents and tasks. So here are some of the best out there you might need to build an effective remote team.
Basecamp is popular among managers, teams, freelancers, and agencies. So it’s something you might need. It’s simple to use with a clean design and neat functionality. It is a remote work tool solution that enables you to organize projects and communicate with clients in meaningful ways.
It offers features and tools to brainstorm, organize conversations, and keep everyone on the same page throughout the project.
At the same time, you may experience downsides such as lack of time tracking, inability to archive topics, absence of subtasks, absence of professional group hierarchies, etc.
The truth is, no tool is perfect. And Basecamp is worth giving a try.
Like most project management software, ProofHub helps remote teams to bring everything to one place. The tool allows team members to have seamless interactions with fellow teammates and clients.
ProofHub has features like online proofing, team discussions for feedback and approval, and remote project management in a single central location.
There are some drawbacks to using the tool. Currently, ProofHub integrates with many file-sharing apps- Google Calendar, iCal, and Freshbooks. However, for some teams, this list needs updating.
Also, notifications might be a big turn-off. There have been complaints about too many notifications without options to control them.
If you want an all-in-one remote project management software, ProofHub might be the tool you need.
Best Team Collaboration Tools
Communication issues are bound to happen when the teams work together from remote locations. These collaboration tools can help you avoid that.
Troop Messenger is a convenient remote work tool for small, medium, and large businesses. This tool allows remote team members to communicate and keep updated with the rest of the team.
Teams can interact via instant messaging, audio and video calls, share real-time location, and create unlimited groups on the go.
There is more. This tool allows you to add suppliers and freelancers as orange members with limited access to the workspace.
Troop Messenger can integrate with Dropbox and Google Drive. This means your team can share files, documents, and much more.
One major flaw of this tool is that it cannot integrate along with any email application.
Are you looking for a software solution to improve the way you communicate with your team members? Look no further than Troop Messenger.
You can talk about remote messaging tools without mentioning Slack.
Slack allows remote team members to share ideas and comments in real-time. This tool is simple for new users to jump right in without too much hassle. The interface is understandable, allowing teams to sign up and start talking right away.
You can create channels within the company. For example, you can have a dedicated Slack channel for a project and include all those working on it.
Slack is integrated with apps like Google Drive to allow team members to work on a file simultaneously.
One issue with Slack is its minimum file storage. You only get as much storage as you choose to pay for.
- Google Drive
Google Drive has earned its mention. This remote work tool allows team members to create, edit, store and collaborate on documents. Indeed it is more than just a cloud-based storage service. Whether you are building a virtual team for the business or a freelancer, Google Drive is worth a look.
Another strength of Google Drive is its Integrations with third-party services- from Slack to HelloFax to Pixlr online photo editor.
A massive drawback for this tool is its Privacy concerns- it offers no password protection for shared files.
The Dropbox tool is simple to use. It’s a reliable file-syncing and storage service with enhanced collaboration features.
This remote work tool allows collaborators to share files with others. From the Dropbox web application, you can create new documents, to which partners can add videos, images, tables, emojis, and stickers.
A worthy collaboration feature, called File Request, lets you set up a folder and request that people put stuff into it. Imagine a Team Lead who wants team members to upload reports rather than delivering them by email. It’s also a convenient way to collect documents from job candidates.
Another fringe benefit to using Dropbox is that it integrates easily with virtually every other app and web service.
If you plan on using the free version, this might not sit well. The free version has limited storage. And the paid plans are more expensive in comparison to Google Drive, iCloud, and OneDrive.
Best Quick Feedback Tool
When working with remote teams, remote feedback is as critical as collaboration. Receiving feedback brings about team growth. It also improves your professionalism.
This remote work tool allows employees to drop weekly anonymous feedback. It’s a happiness meter for checking the team for better results. Chimp or Champ can help you maintain team productivity and retention.
Best Time Management Tool.
When it comes to time management, working with teams is challenging. Remote time management tools offer a better way to manage a team. Productivity is a vital part of remote work. Organizing a team from remote locations goes a long way to ensuring that everyone is as productive as possible.
Kickidler is the next-generation employee tracking software. It has a robust set of tools that help increase the loyalty of your team members.
Kickidler features include time tracking, employee productivity analysis, and performance dynamics. It also has an unlimited number of real-time displays and the option to log computer history.
A recent update of the app called Autokick helps make staff monitoring more democratic. The update includes automatic alerts and a self-monitoring interface. For example, the program will now automatically notify employees if they have been chatting for too long. It will also allow them to view their productivity statistics.
Hubstaff is an easy to manage, feature-packed time tracking tool. Its focus on productivity makes it worthy of evaluation for remote employees and teams. This remote work tool excels at both time tracking and employee monitoring. To add to that, it also adds project management and task tracking for both managers and their teams.
With Hub Staff, you can track where employees spend their time and what tasks they perform at any given time. Some eye-catching features you will find include web pages, employee scheduling, activity feed, timesheets, reports, To-do’s, GPS tracking, online billing and project budgeting, and more.
Best Video Calls and Screen Sharing Tool
What is the best video calling and screen sharing tool for remote teams? When you work remotely, video calling is a thing. Here are some tools you will be needing.
Nextiva is easy to set up, and the portal is easy to navigate. The video calling tool is very reliable and has several valuable features and tools for calling, collaboration and mobile. The Nextiva mobile app enables employees to make and receive phone calls on their business lines, make video calls, chat via instant messaging with colleagues, access the company directory, and update and modify call settings. Plus, you can initiate calls on a desk phone and transfer them to a mobile phone and vice versa.
Here is where Nextiva comes in handy for you. It combines a vast unified communications system with a robust built-in CRM. You can also integrate the tool with a third-party CRM if you want.
There is more. Nextiva has a conference calling feature. With the conference bridge feature, each employee can hold their conference call.
Zoom is a group calling software with the incredible video quality. It is easy to use at the most affordable price. During remote video conferencing and conversations, you can record any full video call. You can share your screen with team members for discussions. Other zoom solutions include video tutorials, meetings, room zoom, instant business messaging, and voice sharing.
Best Work-life Balance Tool
The key to maintaining a remote productive team is work-life balance. Maintaining balance in both is essential for personal health, relationships, and improving job performance. These tools can help.
If you have a team across different time zones, it might be hard to manage time and personal life. Timezone.io is a remote work tool that helps teams know the hours of their teammates. So you don’t have to waste time manually checking the timelines of team members. The tool gives you their location and time zones.
10to8 is a scheduling tool for remote teams that want to make appointments. 10to8 allows team members to organize virtual staff meetings and online customer appointments. In addition, the built-in Zoom lets you make video calls directly from your calendar.
This remote work tool can handle teams spread across multiple time zones. There is two-way calendar sync with most calendar apps that helps you avoid double bookings. Automatic reminders help your team keep track of meetings and be on time, eliminating waste of time and confusion.
Best Note-Taking App
To ensure quality work, taking notes makes for a beautiful experience. It’s a must-have for remote workers.
Notion Offers a powerful, database-driven note-taking experience different from most apps out there. It allows you to write in Markdown or use regular keyboard shortcuts and UI elements to format your text.
You’re probably tired of having your notes disorganized. But with Notion, you can turn a set of text into a dropdown and roll them up when you don’t want non-immediate information in the way.
That’s not all. Notion has a template engine that lets you turn almost anything into an easily duplicated template. It also has excellent multimedia integration and preview tools, including a photo and video gallery view.
There is one hiccup- you need an internet connection to use Notion.
Evernote is a great note-taking solution for remote teams. You can keep all your notes organized, automatically syncing them with all your devices. Evernote is a notetaker, PDA, to-do list, and pocket notebook app.
This tool integrates well with your favorite apps like Google Drive, Outlook, Salesforce, and Slack. So you and your team can be more productive from brainstorming to execution.
One more thing. You can record audio in meetings from your phone or tablet—even if you’re offline.
How can you make remote work more effective?
To successfully navigate the remote work landscape, you must have the right resources. Productivity is a critical criterion for remote workers. If you want to stay productive from your home office, implementing one of the tools mentioned above can help.