Remote work or working from home has become the new norm due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is here to stay. Organizations worldwide have embraced this change, prioritizing employee safety and enhancing productivity and satisfaction levels. However, the effectiveness of remote work largely relies on selecting and implementing the appropriate tools for remote workers, which are now readily accessible online.
What is Remote Working Software?
Remote working software, also referred to as remote team tools or distributed team software, helps teams work from multiple locations in an organized manner. It is designed to streamline remote collaboration and communication by tracking tasks, managing deadlines, facilitating virtual meetings, and more.
The right remote working software can make a huge difference when it comes to increasing the productivity of your remote team. Here are some of the essential tools that need to be a part of your digital toolkit:
Video Conferencing Tool
The major advantage of working from home is that it allows team members to connect in real time with colleagues across the globe. To do this, video conferencing tools are vital as they enable a virtual meeting setting, which replicates an in-person experience. Zoom Video Conferencing is one such tool, which supports audio/video and screen sharing for up to 100 participants, allowing teams to easily collaborate and stay connected.
Google Meet and Zoom are the two most popular video conferencing tools. Both offer free and paid versions depending on the number of participants, storage, and features required.
Virtual and Dynamic Calendar
For a remote team to stay organized and manage their personal and work schedules, a virtual calendar is necessary. Google Calendar is an easy-to-use online tool that helps teams keep track of deadlines, appointments, meetings, or any other task that requires synchronization. It also allows users to easily share availability with colleagues and set reminders for upcoming events.
If you wish to be accessible by your leads or clients you can also sign up for Calendly. This online tool allows you to define your availability, block time for meetings or events and let others book appointments with you without the need for any back-and-forth emails.
A chat application allows remote teams to stay connected and communicate in real-time. Slack is one of the most popular apps for this purpose, enabling team members to exchange messages with colleagues, post comments and updates in channels, create private conversations, share files, and collaborate on projects. Moreover, it can be integrated with other tools like Dropbox or Zoom Video Conferencing for seamless collaboration.
On the business side, if you provide services, it would be beneficial to incorporate chat tools. It allows your customers to interact with you directly or create support tickets, enhancing their experience.
Team Collaboration Tools
One of the primary challenges in remote work is sustaining the spirit of teamwork and collaboration. That’s where team collaboration tools come into play. Tools such as Trello offer a digital space for teams to work collectively on tasks and projects, fostering collaboration and efficiency in a remote environment.
Trello is a project management application that provides a visual representation of the workflow. It uses a card-like system where individual tasks can be added, moved, altered, or assigned to different team members. It’s perfect for tracking progress, managing tasks, and ensuring that every team member knows what they need to work on and when it is due.
File Storage Tool
Storing files in a secure and organized manner is essential for any remote team. Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box are some of the popular file storage tools that allow users to store documents, images, videos, audio recordings, etc., in an online cloud system.
You can also securely share files with colleagues or customers with just a few clicks.
Document Management Tool
Document management is essential for teams that need to keep track of documents or records. Tools like M-Files help manage and store digital documents across an organization in a secure manner, while also allowing users to collaborate on them with ease.
M-files ensure that all stakeholders have access to the latest version of a document and help streamline the review process. It also facilitates document sharing and collaboration with external parties, allowing them to securely access files online without the need for manual intervention.
A more popular one would be Google Drive which offers a platform to store files, documents, and other digital media in the cloud. It allows collaboration between participants from different locations, making it a great tool for remote teams. One of the advantages is its seamless integration with your file storage, email inbox, images, and more!
Pro tip: When aiming to establish a fully remote work company, it’s beneficial to align with contractors who operate in a similar manner. This means that if your entire company operates remotely, it’s advantageous to engage with other remote professionals, such as your accountant or digital marketing company. By fostering this parallel structure, you can enhance synergy and maximize the effectiveness of your remote operations.
Organizations that have adopted remote work have realized a rise in productivity and efficiency and an improvement in the overall employee experience. Moreover, investing in the right tools for remote workers is key to streamlining operations and making sure employees stay connected and productive.