Remote working is becoming the new normal and so, as a business owner, you need to get with the times by investing in the right tools to support your remote teams. Check out these remote working tools that encourage collaboration and communication among remote team members and maintain productivity and accountability.
Common Remote Working Challenges
Even though remote working or work-from-home has become more acceptable in recent years, there are still many kinks and issues that need to be figured out. Businesses and business owners prefer in-house teams rather than remote employees because when everyone works in an office, it is easy to track and maintain accountability and productivity. How does the saying go: out of sight is out of mind? The fear is that when you are not dealing with employees in-person, they are more likely to slack off or not complete all tasks as needed within the necessary deadlines.
Some of the most common challenges associated with remote working include:
- Miscommunication and confusion
- Different time zones and working hours
- Low collaboration and teamwork
- Low accountability and productivity
- Difficulty tracking time and project progress
- Difficulty conducting important meetings, brainstorming sessions, and training
How Can We Solve These Remote Working Issues?
However, technology has advanced greatly in recent years to support remote working. We’re talking about tools that enable communication and collaboration over the cloud or the internet in real-time. Now, your business may not need all the tools highlighted below but you can research and find platforms and services that cover all of your remote working needs. When looking for remote working tools, consider the following elements:
- File creation and management
- Chat and text messaging
- Video and voice conferencing
- Project and time tracking
- Sharing (screens, files, etc.)
- Time zone tracker
Let’s now look at some remote working tools that can support your distributed teams:
Remote Communication and Collaboration Tools
Remote teams work best when everyone can communicate effectively. Through communication, your business can ensure everyone is on the same page and collaborating. Most remote communication tools are easy to use and work over an internet or Wi-Fi connection. Here are the best remote communication tools:
- Chat tools: G-Chat, Slack
- Video conferencing: Zoom, Google Meet, Skype
- A softphone or web dialer to make and receive business calls from any location and any device
- World Time Buddy for remote teams in different countries and time zones
- Snagit: screen recording and sharing for collaboration during meetings and training
- VPN: virtual private network to protect your employees and remote teams
Project and Content Management Tools
Next, you want to invest in a project management system or content management system that helps all employees create and share their projects, tasks, and progress. Content management systems also help with the creation of content for marketing materials. These systems work through the cloud and are easy to share with other members of a remote team. The most used project and content management systems include:
- Microsoft Office (OneDrive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
- G-Suite (Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides)
- Zoho Projects
What Else Can You Do?
Besides getting the best remote working tools, as a remote business manager, it is crucial that you connect with your teams regularly to see how they are doing and how projects are coming along. As we mentioned earlier, communication is key. Your teams should know who to connect with when they face an issue. If you are hard to contact, your teams will only be more distressed. Conduct bi-monthly check-ins, monthly virtual hangouts, and make yourself available and approachable. Once your teams get into a routine with these remote working tools and processes, they will be well-connected and productivity will follow!