The coronavirus pandemic has made remote working the norm for businesses everywhere. However, despite this unprecedented disruption in the workplace caused by COVID-19, the silver lining is that business leaders have developed heightened sensitivity for the workforce. In fact, the year 2020 has fundamentally reshaped the way people “work” altogether.
A unique sense of compassion within teams has slowly unfolded since clients and colleagues are getting a new perspective of who people become once they are outside the workplace – A side few have ever seen before despite working with the same people for years.
Whether we are conscious of it or not, we are sharing more of ourselves at work. Formal attire has been replaced by pajama bottoms, parents are taking care of children while working, and household chores are being tackled alongside daily business objectives. Working remotely has made us more empathetic and workplace collaboration has taken on a whole new meaning.
In such a situation, fostering an optimal environment for remote work becomes crucial to maintain productivity and work satisfaction. Tools that facilitate remote working are a necessity for managing a distributed workforce, therefore it is necessary to implement a new system for any company that has transitioned out of the office.
Here’s a list of 10 essential remote working tools to help you ensure your team is always performing at their best.
With segmented and distributed teams, it is very challenging to keep track of tasks and projects that require constant communication. In an office environment, this would not nearly be as much of a problem, because you can work with team members in person. However, while working remotely this challenge becomes amplified. In order to solve this problem there are a number of team collaboration tools that make remote team communication much simpler, for example:
Troop Messenger is a low complexity workplace collaboration software that makes it simple for teams of all sizes to interact and work together.
Users can interact via text, audio, and video plus there is the possibility of adding external parties such as freelancers or vendors to a workspace as well with varying degrees of access. As far as workplace communication tools are concerned, Troop Messenger is an efficient platform for facilitating such operations.
Slack is a channel-based instant messaging platform for remote working that has countless features. Managing projects, assigning teams, planning launches, and openings, reviewing employee and sales contracts, and many other tasks can be carried out using Slack, and the platform even provides a completely free option for small businesses with budget restraints.
If you’re going between email, Slack, Whatsapp, FB Messenger, Twitter, etc. all of the time, it is worth consolidating them all into one app so you don’t miss a message. Known for being an email client because they combine all of your emails from different providers into one spot, they also do the same thing for different messaging apps. It ends up being a solid team communication tool as much as it is an email management tool.
Employee productivity is one of the most important concerns by workplace leaders since it limits a supervisor’s ability to mentor or oversee team members. However, the current statistics remote working doesn’t imply reduced productivity at all – it just requires innovative solutions that keep team members accountable without feeling too pressurized.
If you are looking to maintain a centralized hub to track all tasks performed by team members in your organization, a remote working tool like Todoist is a great option. Projects, tasks, reminders, and productivity charts can all be set up within minutes. This platform is also very intuitive to use thanks to the slick UI of the platform.
Todoist also has multiple nifty features such as personalized task management and milestone celebrations, which are great add-ons to provide a more engaging work experience when you’re not physically at the office.
Time Doctor is a productivity tool that enables employers to track the time workers spend on tasks. The intention is not to enforce rigid expectations or micromanage every task team members do, but to allocate time more productively.
There are various levels of surveillance that range from occasional check-ups to much more comprehensive activity tracking. This allows team leaders to experiment with a system that works best for them.
COVID-19 pandemic significantly increased the importance of work time tracking. TimeCamp knows what remote teams need and provide them with the highest quality of remote work monitoring.
The tool automatically logs working hours and fills the timesheets with entries and computer activities. It saves both employees and managers time – the first group can spend it on what really matters, the latter don’t have to worry about wasting time on paperwork.
Rich-data reports are perfect to keep track of projects’ budgets. TimeCamp is available for desktop and mobile, as well as a browser extension. What’s more, it integrates with many other tools, so there’s no need to change the current workflow.
One of the biggest challenges during this pandemic is carrying out important business meetings remotely. Face to face interaction is necessary for certain instances such as proposals, engaging with clients, or major company announcements. While the feeling of real-life interaction cannot be replicated by technology, video conferencing is as close as it gets. So, in order to improve workplace collaboration, it is important to use a video conferencing tool.
Zoom is undoubtedly the most famous remote working tool and has become synonymous with the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s the most popular tool for video conferencing with large groups of people who can join meetings as guests. Each user on Zoom has a “personal meeting room code” which they can share for scheduling zoom meetings.
Zoom is also available as a mobile application so that you can attend video conferences even when you don’t have access to a desktop computer.
The biggest advantage Google Meet has from its competitors is its robust integration with G-Suite. Google Meet allows you to schedule meetings at the tap of a button from your Gmail account. It also syncs with your Google Calendar and eliminates the need for downloading additional software. All you need is your Google account and you’re good to go!
Campaign turnaround time with maximized productivity is the priority of every organization. Add to it the challenge of managing large teams working in silos today. Organizing a multitude of tasks from planning, collaboration to a streamlined approval process without a tool is laborious. It can only be achieved with a well-thought-out workflow using a smart, powerful, and enterprise-grade tool. There are different types of project management tools, ranging from freelance invoice tools to full-fledged CRM’s for large enterprises. Here are our top picks:
Project Management Software and similar tools are embraced by large organizations to break the unintended complexities in the management of tasks. With that in mind, this software caters to every creative need right from the creation to collaborating on designs with advanced management of digital and brand assets.
Moving away from the traditional approach of managing communication on emails, everything from assigning design requirements, feedback, rework and approval works from a single source of truth – workspace. The software also integrates with existing workflow using multiple integrations to carry out communication on tools of choice such as slack.
Processes vary from organization to organization, but the ultimate goal remains the same – To bring the best out of teams within a limited time frame cutting down on redundant tasks. Rocketium helps enterprises achieve just that. With custom design and approval workflows, cross-functional collaboration adds up to maximizing efficiency while also improving productivity.
Basecamp is an intuitive and elegant solution for project management among remote team members. The platform allows users to share ideas and virtually collaborate on projects, engage with clients, and keep track of tasks.
Having a centralized platform to oversee all tasks being carried out within an organization is very helpful to improve management proficiency, and this is essentially what Basecamp provides on a high level. Using such project management software can make a world of difference when it comes to optimizing your remote team’s organizational structure.
Automation tools provide immense value for teams regardless of whether operations are being carried out remotely or in-office. The return on investment for automation tools make them highly attractive to companies looking for an optimal remote working environment.
LiveAgent is one of the most effective automation tools for customer support and relationship management with customers. In an office setting, customer success executives will likely be working alongside each other and resolving queries efficiently; however, when such teams are working remotely, certain tasks become much more challenging. LiveAgent has over 100 automation to streamline ticket resolution. Along with solving customer problems the software acts as a virtual helpdesk. The software automatically filters tickets and queries, sending them to relevant executives or departments. Along with this, the software enables companies to deploy high-quality chatbots to improve their customers’ experience.
Culture management tools are incredibly innovative since their function is to boost employee morale and measure overall workplace satisfaction. When you work remotely, chances are you will have much less human interaction than you’re used to. This might have tangible effects on the overall output of you and your employees.
This tool is effective for workplace collaboration purely because happy employees will be productive and with features such as anonymous employee feedback, management can analyze how to improve workplace satisfaction. This is a must-have tool for executives who want to ensure that remote work is carried out without any hiccups arising from employees being burned out. Features and insights to lower attrition rates and retain valuable employees are great for the Human Resources department.
That wraps up our list of 10 important remote working tools for workplace collaboration! Integrating the remote working tools mentioned above are guaranteed to help your team perform well, and dare we say, maybe even better than they could while working in a traditional office environment?