Remote work is the new normal these days. And enabling employees to work from home is now a reality for many organizations. As remote work grows in popularity, the need for remote work tools becomes more apparent. How can your team maintain communication, manage projects effectively, and share work quickly when each of your employees is located in different locations, in different time zones? The answer is remote work tools. In fact, there are a lot of popular remote work tools available in the market today. However, the greatest challenge lies in choosing the right tools that best suits your organization and your employee needs
In addition, remote work brings with it new and different challenges. So, is your enterprise ready to manage the growing remote work challenges?
The key here is to transform your enterprise digitally while connecting all your employees in a well-planned, flexible, and connected digital workplace. This is where remote work tools play a greater role.
These tools when chosen wisely as per your business needs will offer immense benefits, be it, greater productivity, motivated employees, better team morale, or better communication. In addition, they will:
- deliver choice and flexibility,
- support seamless collaboration, and
- minimize data risk.
Because remote work comes with a unique set of challenges, you’ll need a unique set of tools to tackle them.
Let’s have a look at the remote team tools that will simplify your business process while keeping your employees productive and engaged.
2020’s popular remote work tools:
Here we’ll walk you through the types of remote work tools you’ll need. These tools have been broadly divided into 6 main sections. And, each of these sections delves into their respective tools. This list will act as a guide for you to choose the tools that best suit your organization.
Let’s look into the most popular remote work tools one by one.
1. Project management/Workflow management tools
Staying on top of your own to-dos is challenging enough! In addition, managing your tasks and coordinating responsibilities remotely can be even more complicated. These project management tools will help you solve this problem by organizing documents, workflows, and tasks for you. Thereby, enabling the managers and their teams to stay on track no matter where they are working from.
Asana today is the most commonly used project management app. It has many features that make it the employees’ and the enterprise’s favorite tool.
One particular feature that stands out is its project templates. Basically, Asana has mapped out standard workflows for marketing, design, HR, IT, and other departments. All you have to do is input your project’s information and follow the predetermined process.
In its simplest form, Asana allows different teams to track projects and assign tasks and sub-tasks. Managers can set up Asana pretty much however they want, using it as a task assignment tool. For instance, a project map, or an ongoing log of company activities. Asana’s big strength is workflow and task management. In addition, it has got the timeline feature where it tracks the project-completion time. Though it is flexible, it comes with a learning curve. So, you have to set the system up – the right way from the start.
Jira is another popular project management platform designed for agile development in particular. Today, it is most commonly used to plan, track, and review one’s work on a daily, weekly, and project basis.
Since Jira is also owned by Atlassian, it offers the Trello app for Kanban-based productivity. And this is most suitable if you’re looking for a lighter task management tool to manage your work or projects in smaller teams.
ProofHub is an online project management tool that is trusted by 100’s of remote teams to bring everything in one place. With this software in place, you can have seamless interactions with fellow teammates and clients. It also comes with plenty of features such as online proofing, discussions, and chat to share feedback.
ProofHub being an all-in-one remote project management software is a must-have for teams that demand a greater level of management proficiency.
2. Collaboration/Productivity tools
Communication issues are bound to occur when the teams are not together in a room. This is where collaboration tools help a great deal. They play a key role in keeping employees productive and engaged.
Slack, without a doubt, is one of the most popular remote work tools. To be precise – the most popular professional chatting program. What makes it so popular, you ask?
This tool can combine text, audio, and video chat features into one convenient package. Isn’t that amazing?
Firstly, it allows you to organize your conversations into channels based on team members, projects, or anything else that’s pertinent to your organization. Also, team members can leave or join these channels at any time, unlike lengthy email chains.
Secondly, it also has a searchable history feature that allows users to easily find past chats and shared information in less time.
Thirdly, speaking of shared information, this communication app will even let you share documents like PDFs, images, and videos.
Moreover, Slack offers fully native apps for iOS and Android to give you complete functionality. In addition, Slack can also be integrated with hundreds of apps and other remote working tools.
Microsoft Teams is similar to Slack in many ways and is the safest too. It provides similar chat and file sharing features and allows remote teams to easily organize conversations.
You can even use Microsoft Teams to host audio and video meetings, web conferences, and even live events for up to 10,000 people. You can even record each of these for future playback as well.
One of the best things about Microsoft teams is its compatibility with Office 365. If your organization uses Office then you’ll love how seamlessly all of your tools work together.
Zoom is one of the most popular remote work tools. And its a widely used group calling apps with an amazing quality of the video. It is easy to use and most affordable with decent pricing. Zoom is a favorite tool for many because, besides standard features for video meetings and presentations, it offers real-time chat, video recording, screen sharing, calendar integrations, and even virtual background and “touch-ups”.
During remote meetings & video chat, you can record any call with a full-length video. You can share your screen with teams for combined discussions. Other zoom solutions include video webinar, meetings, Zoom room, business IM, and voice sharing.
In addition, Zoom can also be integrated with other remote working tools. For instance, Zoom syncs with 10to8 app – making online video appointments scheduling a breeze. And the fun virtual background is the icing on the cake!
3. Cloud storage service tools
Cloud storage service tools are the perfect platforms especially when you have to share documents and multimedia files that are large and cannot be sent via email.
If you need to share documents, spreadsheets, presentations, or other files – the best thing would be to create them in G Suite first. So, that you could then share them with your remote colleagues with ease.
G Suite is Google’s impressive suite of business tools that includes Google:
- Slides and
The Google Docs and Sheets are particularly useful collaboration software for remote teams. Users can use them to edit each other’s written work and add comments to ask questions or clarify ideas.
And Google Drive is perfect for sharing large files like high-resolution images and large video files in the cloud. Let’s look into google drive in more detail
If you’re looking for a way to share large files but don’t need the myriad of tools that G Suite offers, consider Dropbox. Millions of people around the world use this immensely popular file hosting service today.
Dropbox is a modern workspace that offers various features for managing remote employees. All you have to do is upload your file to your Dropbox account and then share access to it with your colleagues. It’s that simple. You can easily sync, share, and collaborate on documents from anywhere, anytime.
For remote workers who want additional functionality and extra storage space, Dropbox Business can be used to better organize team content and store files from other popular tools like Google Docs and Microsoft Office.
4. Time management tools
One of the greatest challenges associated with remote working is – time management. This is where remote time management tools help a great deal.
Kickidler is an employee monitoring software for the next generation. It includes features such as:
- time tracking,
- employee productivity analysis,
- efficiency dynamics as well as an unlimited number of real-time screens, and
- option to record the history of actions on the computers.
In 2020, the software developers released an update called Autokick that helps make staff monitoring more democratic. This update includes automatic notifications and a self-monitoring interface. That is, the program now will automatically notify workers that, for example, they’ve been reading an article for too long. It will also allow them to see their own productivity statistics. Now, isn’t that amazing?
If you use a calendar to carve out chunks of time to work on dedicated projects, Timely is a great time tracking app to check out. Unlike some time tracking systems, which only track time while you work, Timely allows you to schedule tasks and track the time spent on projects in real-time. It works with a calendar interface. To add on, for hourly employees, it also tracks earnings.
Time Doctor is a team time tracking application. It helps to keep track of how each employee is keeping track of their time and hence makes them accountable for their working hours. You can even use alerting and other features to avoid distractions for extra productivity. It includes desktop software, mobile version, and even a chrome app.
5. Work-life balance tools
The key to keeping the remote team productive is to help them maintain a work-life balance. Maintaining this balance is important for one’s health, relations, and also for improving one’s work performance.
This is a simple app that tells you where and when each person on your remote team is. Many global remote employees today are spread across different time zones. With a record of what time remote workers are around the world will help them manage their work and personal life.
10to8 is scheduling software that enables remote teams to arrange virtual staff meetings and online appointments with clients.
As we had mentioned earlier in the ‘Zoom’ section – the Zoom and 10to8 integration allow you to jump on video calls straight from your calendar.
In addition, 10to8 can handle teams spread across multiple time zones and the 2-way calendar sync with most calendar apps ensures that double-bookings don’t happen.
Moreover, the automated reminders will help your team keep track of meetings and show up on time. Thereby, eliminating time-wastage and confusion.
6. Employee reward/recognition tools
Keeping your employees engaged, motivated, and happy is the key to an organization’s success. Though remote work poses challenges to physically celebrate your employees’ achievements, remote employee reward tools make this happen. So, you can now celebrate your team’s accomplishments via these tools regardless of where your employees are working from.
WooBoard is an online platform that recognizes an employee for their good work. You can create reward programs for sending and receiving unlimited recognition. Employees can celebrate their success and initiate conversations through WooBoards social engagement features.
Bucketlist helps HR teams to engage employees through a customizable peer to peer recognition platform that easily integrates with the apps your employees already use like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, etc. They also have a simple mobile and web interface. Rewards in the system can be anything from gift cards, coupons, vouchers, etc.
The remote work scenario has changed the way business functions today. Nevertheless, the remote work tools are every organization’s savior in times like these.
Equip your employees with the popular remote work tools/technology they need to get the job done from anywhere, anytime. Because the right remote work tools will make you and your remote colleagues more productive. They’ll also allow your employees to experience the human connection of office work while preserving their freedom to work from anywhere. This, in turn, will boost team morale.
Now, all you have to do is choose the right remote work tools that suit your organization the best. What are you waiting for? Give your remote workers the support they need!