Remote work started as a short-term necessity because of the pandemic, but working from home continues to be on the rise.
Many employees embrace remote work because of the flexible hours, cost savings, lack of commute, and increase in productivity and personal time. There are also significant benefits on the employer side, including reduced overhead costs and the ability to recruit talent from anywhere in the world.
A recent Upwork study found that an estimated 22% of the American workforce will likely be working remotely by 2025.
At the same time, collaboration, communication, and building trust can be difficult when people are physically apart. That’s where remote work tools can help. Managers need to assemble the right toolkits so employees can do their best work, wherever they may be. Let’s dive into the top remote work software that can motivate your team, improve collaboration, and increase productivity.
Remote teams can use an asynchronous communication tool like Range to better check in on what and how team members are doing.
With the Range Check-ins tool, team members share daily status updates that capture how they're feeling, what they've completed, where they're stuck, and what they plan to work on next.
Range integrates with the tools many teams already use, like Slack and Trello, making it easy for teams to weave meaningful check-ins into their flow of work. Range Check-ins also include daily team-building questions that help teams build stronger bonds and connections, even if they’re spread across multiple time zones.
With Range, you can:
Easily build a foundation of async communication for your team. Join thousands of remote teams using Range to stay in sync and feel connected.
With Zoom, you can stay in touch with your remote team members through seamless video and voice calls and instant messaging. Companies typically use Zoom for scheduling video conferences so participants can collaborate together on projects. Zoom can be especially helpful for online training, webinars, events, and providing technical support. In fact, several of the world's largest companies use Zoom so remote employees can collaborate with each other.
Apart from video calling, Zoom allows file sharing and messaging, which aids with remote collaboration. It also has straightforward pricing, making it a solid choice for many types of employers. Zoom can be an effective solution if you need a video conferencing app that works consistently for your remote workers.
Slack is a cloud-based collaboration tool that at its core is a messaging service, but offers much more than that. Through Slack, users can share files, create project-based channels, and stay in touch with their colleagues across the globe in real time. Slack also makes it possible for new teammates to access conversations that occurred before they joined, eliminating the data silos created by more traditional communication methods like email apps.
Slack is free with limited functionality for small teams, but you can move to paid options with advanced features as you grow.
Slack makes managing remote employees easier since all team communication is in one place, and it offers native apps for iOS and Android for added functionality.
Trello is a project management tool designed for both small and big businesses. With Trello, you can plan, organize, and track your projects by creating boards that contain task, progress, and workflow lists. Trello also has cards where you add comments, attachments, and due dates to organize your conversations.
You can also boost productivity across your entire team with Trello's built-in workflow automation, which helps connect different processes (and teams) together.
As one of the fastest-growing task and project management platforms, ClickUp makes it simple to work the way your team wants to. Choose from over 35+ ClickApps to customize your task management for any work area. You'll save time with additional automations, sprint points, custom field data, and more. Set priorities, task dependencies, and recurring tasks as well.
You can also set up docs as an internal wiki, and then connect those directly to tasks and projects as well. Your remote team will be set up from start to finish.
Mural is an online whiteboard that enables remote and distributed teams to collaborate and solve problems visually. Specifically, Mural allows users to turn sticky notes into lists, flowcharts, drawings, and diagrams to help organize and align teams. It encourages design thinking and helps users understand their customers better by planning, brainstorming, evaluating ideas, and all together, make better business decisions.
With Mural, users benefit from faster decision making, enhanced productivity, strict security, and the ability to create a culture of innovation across their organizations.
Loom is a communication tool used by millions of users around the world, letting you record your camera, microphone, and desktop. You can then add comments and call-to-action buttons to your videos and instantly share them with a public link, which is accessible even without a Loom account. Loom also allows you to share links to public folders that contain multiple videos.
Whether you're onboarding new employees, troubleshooting customer issues, or reviewing code, Loom is a remote work tool that makes it simple to communicate clearly and quickly with your team. Loom uses SSL encryption to protect data, offers unlimited video storage, and integrates with Gmail and Slack.
Scribe is a knowledge-sharing tool that captures your screen while you complete a process, instantly turning it into a step-by-step guide with screenshots and instructions.
The Scribe can then be shared via a link or embedded within an existing CMS or knowledge base. Gone are the days of manually writing instructions or adding arrows to screenshots -- Scribe does this for you with its free Chrome extension.
Users can create work instructions, SOPs, technical documentation, onboarding guides, and other documentation in Scribe. The free version offers unlimited guide creation as well as unlimited team members to help you scale knowledge sharing across your organization.
Background noise is a problem every remote worker has faced. With Krisp, you can take calls from anywhere without having everyday noises distract you. Krisp is a noise-canceling tool that removes background noise for all participants on a call. It’s fast, easy to install and run, and it works with popular communication apps like Zoom and Slack.
Donut is a type of remote work software that works with Slack, and its purpose is to help you build team culture and engagement while working from home. It achieves this by encouraging team members to grab a digital coffee or a donut to get to know each other better. Donut aims to help you create the type of impromptu bonding you might miss if you’re used to working inside a physical office.
HeyTaco is a platform that makes recognizing teammates fun through gamification features like leaderboards and achievement levels. The idea is that you use tacos as a currency and offer them to other team members to show your appreciation in a creative way.
Heytaco helps remote teams connect by encouraging people to show their gratitude, which studies show lead to higher engagement and team morale.
When you think of all in one remote team management software, Time Doctor is the answer. It is a SaaS based, end to end time tracking and productivity monitoring tool.
With features like, project management, productivity measuring, screenshots, activity monitoring, and complete time tracking, Time Doctor is a solution for many of your needs.
With advanced capabilities like online timesheet and payroll, client login & access, and timely alerts, it caters to the needs of multiple departments. Easy setup, customization, and full time support makes this tool highly user friendly. Thus, there is no doubt if one counts Time Doctor as a leading tool for remote team management.
Games can help build trust and inclusion within remote working teams, enabling employees to feel like they can be themselves at work.
Games help build trust and inclusion within remote work teams.
There are several games to try that are designed specifically for remote teams:
Don't worry about selecting the perfect game. The important part is to try an activity that isn’t work-related so your team can spend time socializing and building stronger bonds with one another.
Remote work is on the rise, and many tools are available to help distributed teams face the challenges that occur in this new reality.
Remember that a tool is only as good as the hands that wield it, and the best remote work software for your business communcation depends on your team’s unique needs.
Experimenting with new tools is always a good idea, as you never know when or where you'll discover a gem that makes remote work easier for both you and your team.