Progressive companies today are rooting for remote work. Businesses are adapting to the changing needs of the workforce, while also being able to attract talent from across the globe. There is also a steady growth of companies with 100% remote teams. For companies with distributed teams, clear communication and collaboration are integral values that the remote workforce must swear by. To ensure seamless collaborative work and easy exchanges between colleagues, remote-friendly companies are more willing than ever to spend on online tools that make remote team-management a less daunting task.
Here are the top 5 tools that are widely popular amongst most remote teams:
Harvest is a simple but powerful time-tracking software that not only lets users track time but also manage invoices on the go. For a project manager, it is crucial to know if things are on track to meet the specified deadlines and budget. Harvest does exactly that. It calculates the costs as you track time and gives critical insight into data to get a better understanding of the overall progress. It also sends out automatic reminders to forewarn you when you are nearing your budget and even helps you pin-point the one that is going overboard.
Video Conferencing and Screen Sharing
Boasting a flawless video calling experience, Zoom is ideal for group projects since it simplifies the process of virtual collaboration with features like screen sharing, call recording, white-boarding and chat among others. Apart from its reliable audio and video quality, Zoom offers excellent ease of use which makes it everyone’s top choice. ‘Zoom Rooms’ is a great alternative to physical conference rooms and has made wireless screen sharing and online business meetings, the new normal.
It is no surprise that Slack has made it to this list. The most powerful workplace communication tool in recent times, Slack has helped remote teams overcome the biggest challenge of all – staying connected despite staying miles away! This cloud based collaboration tool brings all your internal communication together in one place and easily integrates with many third-party services. Interestingly, the name ‘Slack’ is an acronym for ‘Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge’. Slack does exactly what it stands for. It archives all conversations and shared files so that users can quickly look up any piece of information, at any time they want.
Scheduling remote meetings, conference calls or webinars across time zones can be a pretty intimidating task and is always prone to mistakes. World Time Buddy, a visual time converter and online meeting scheduler allows users to effortlessly compare different time zones in one go. For geographically distributed teams in a company, World Time Buddy is a lifesaver because it makes team collaboration across time-zones easy as a breeze, minus the scheduling blunders.
Keeping track of several passwords and usernames can be taxing unless of course if you meticulously note them down on a notebook, the old school way. For remote teams that collaborate on projects from different parts of the world, 1Passsword works as the perfect password manager, digital vault and secure digital wallet. Available on all popular browsers, it allows the user to grant and retract access to shared passwords and documents to individuals as well as groups. One can create custom reports to analyse the passwords that were accessed, people who accessed them, and the time of access as well. With multi-factor authentication and strong security checks in place, 1Password is a great starting point to imbibe the culture of password hygiene amongst all employees.
Managing remote teams isn’t a cakewalk. But with the right online tools to ease out and streamline processes, ensuring healthy collaboration among remote teams can be a less tedious task.
If you’re using any of these productivity tools at your workplace or know of other online tools across these categories that are better than the ones listed, please leave me a note. I’d be happy to try them out myself.