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Companies small and big have all been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. For instance, numerous businesses have made remote working part of their new normal, moving forward. Instead of working in the office full-time, many employers have permitted their staff members to work from home.
Making the most of this flexible working arrangement requires using the right tools. You want to be on the same page with your remote employees despite the distance. You definitely want to make sure that everyone is performing their tasks efficiently and working towards the same goal.
Here are some of the top tools you can use to make remote working as seamless as possible for your business. Do note, however, that while most of these apps are available as a free trial, the paid versions give you access to the best features.
With the right project management platform, you can get your business operations running smoothly while successfully eliminating unnecessary meetings and long email threads.
The official ProofHub website describes its service as “the one place for all your projects and team collaboration”. This online tool allows you to be in control of your team members and ongoing projects. Planning, organizing, and collaborating on tasks can be done without hassle. It’s also fairly user-friendly so you and your staff won’t have to worry about spending long hours learning new software.
One of the more popular project management tools around, Basecamp promises users that they’ll be “more productive and better organized”. The clean interface makes it easy to visualize projects from start to completion. You can also assign people, attach files, and set due dates as needed.
Another commonly-used project management tool among remote teams, Trello lets you “collaborate, manage projects, and reach new productivity peaks” from your computer or mobile device. You can create boards, cards, and lists to organize tasks and get them done without delay.
With GanttPRO, one of the best Gantt chart-based project management software packages, you can easily “keep your planning simple, team members engaged, and clients in the loop”. The tool provides robust task, deadline, and resource management along with team collaboration features available both for PC and mobile devices.
Wrike is also an excellent platform that you can customize, depending on your organization’s needs - “from custom dashboards and workflows to team-specific automation to streamline processes”. You also get full control of your data with individual and master encryption keys.
What sets Assembla apart from other project management tools is that it is specifically designed for working software developers. Assembla is highly secure, makes the software development process smoother, and helps provide support for your team.
Real-time communication is crucial in managing your remote employees.
Troop Messenger provides you with secure individual and group messaging, along with HD video and audio calling. It also integrates with various services such as Google Drive and Dropbox. Staying in touch with your remote workers will not be a problem when you use this business chat app.
A Slack workspace lets you stay in touch with all your remote workers. Additionally, you can create different groups called “channels” where you can assign individuals to their respective departments for collaboration purposes. The software also seamlessly integrates with various services such as Asana, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Workspace, Loom, Miro, Todoist, Trello, and Zoom, among others.
Want to streamline and improve your meetings? Hypercontext is highly recommended for managers with that goal in mind. This collaboration tool can be useful for both 1:1 and team settings. You get access to hundreds of conversation starters that can help move your remote employees - and therefore, your business - in the right direction.
Virtual meetings have become the go-to option for many businesses during the pandemic and these are the most-used and most effective tools.
Zoom gained global fame as businesses, churches, classrooms, families, and different organizations started using it amid the Covid pandemic. The HD video makes this a very attractive choice plus the free version allows up to 100 users per call.
The great thing about Google Meet is that users can join video meetings straight from their browsers. No need to download any software at all so you can conveniently “connect, collaborate and celebrate” with your remote employees as you please.
Meanwhile, RingCentral is an all-in-one solution that gives you access to “voice, fax, text, conferencing, and web meetings”. You can also enjoy unlimited video chats and team messaging through this service.
Sending large files via email can be a headache. Cloud storage services allow you to overcome that obstacle by providing you with a secure, hassle-free way to share important documents, photos, PowerPoint presentations, spreadsheets, videos, and more.
You can count on Google Drive as the “safe place for all your files". You and your remote employees share business files with each other plus it’s possible to sync files across devices so it’s easier to access what you need.
Also an ideal storage platform for businesses, Dropbox allows file sharing and storage. You may likewise collaborate on projects with your remote team members or customers. You get to back up your important files online and access them again whenever you want.
WeTransfer markets itself as “the simplest way to send big files”. You can easily send large files “in one go”, making collaboration easier between you and your team. What’s more, you may also leave comments on files and password-protect your transfers.
With these tools, you can ensure your remote employees are doing their jobs - wherever they are in the world.
Kickidler provides you with productivity analysis of your employees’ computers. You get to monitor what websites they’re browsing and what apps they’re using during working hours. Plus you receive alerts when a worker violates the rules or when the screen stays idle for a specified period of time.
Teamwork is a project management tool and a time tracking program in one. Your team members stay focused on their tasks while you get to access helpful insights from the tracker tool that makes it easier for you to manage your remote team.
Meanwhile, Hubstaff invites employers to “spend less time tracking and more time growing”. The tool does all the monitoring for you by providing you with computer screenshots and detailed reports of your workers’ online activity. It also conducts automatic payroll calculation plus top performers get awarded with Efficiency Pro, Productivity Champ, and Time Hero achievement badges.
TimeDoctor believes “time is money” and using their reports gives employers the power to “diagnose and treat time-wasting habits” among their remote employees. A pop-up alert reminds workers when they spend too much time on Facebook, YouTube, or other websites not related to their work. As a result, distractions are avoided and productivity levels are improved.
Need to manage your passwords and share them securely with your team? You will need these tools:
LastPass does the job of protecting all your passwords while making them accessible from all your devices and easily shareable with your team. Additionally, there’s a generator that gives you strong password ideas if you need them.
Signing in to different websites can be done quickly, plus your passwords are kept secure from hackers with 1Password, making this ideal both for businesses and families. Moreover, filling forms online will only take a single click.
BiItwarden protects your data “with end-to-end encryption before it ever leaves your device”, so it’s a really secure password management tool. You can also share your passwords with workers from different parts of the globe with great ease since the service is available in 40 languages.
HR management tools can help you handle a wide range of administrative tasks such as onboarding new workers, managing timesheets, arranging paid vacations, and more.
Bamboo HR is a comprehensive HR tool with an easy-to-use interface. The tool lets you track applicants, onboard new talent, compile an employee database, and manage time-off whenever necessary. You also access help in terms of setting up payroll and benefits.
Gusto has tools for sending customized letters for your newly-hired workers. Additionally, the platform provides them with onboarding checklists. Important documents are also saved online after they fill in and sign.
Workforce management doesn’t have to be complicated if you’re using Zenefits. With this software, you can handle hiring and onboarding tasks along with time-off requests, payroll, and more. There’s even a background check function to help you ensure you’re hiring the right people.
Sometimes it’s more practical to teach tasks using a short explainer video than to write a long email or wait for the next meeting.
Loom can be used for recording and sharing videos of your screen, camera, or both. It utilizes your built-in mic and webcam which helps make the recording process really easy.
As the name denotes, Free Cam is a free tool you can use for recording videos - specifically WMV screen captures. It comes with its own audio and video editor, giving your recorded screencasts a professional vibe. The only downside here, however, is that it doesn’t have a webcam recording function.
Advanced users may love what ShareX has to offer. Aside from its screen capturing capabilities, it also incorporates hotkeys for navigation, plus it allows importing of images, text, music, and video files.
With TinyTake, you can add comments while recording your computer screen. Sharing the MP4 format video with others can be done easily, too. Your recorded videos are saved in an online cloud-based gallery, allowing you to access them anytime.
As with the other programs, Fluvid is an online video and screen recorder that makes it convenient to pass instructions to your group. Teaching use of new software, for example, can be done in minutes if you know how to use this right.
Digital note-taking apps can be used for writing or drawing whenever inspiration strikes.
OneNote functions as your digital notebook where you can compile your ideas via notes, doodles, voice recordings, and more. What’s great about it is you may even share your files with anyone in your organization, whether they also use the app or not.
A pioneer among note-taking tools, Evernote continues to be the go-to choice for many, including companies with remote workers. Your notes stay organized and are synced with all your devices. Aside from taking simple notes, you may also use the app to create a to-do list for ongoing tasks.
This lightweight app is exclusive for iOS and Mac users. Bear features organization and editing tools, plus you can encrypt your notes to keep them safe and secure.
Working with remote employees from several countries requires awareness of each other’s time zones so you can collaborate effectively.
More than a simple time zone converter, Spacetime can also be used for scheduling meetings. Additionally, users can check out the location and weather of different countries.
Team Time Zone integrates with Slack and shows you the different time zones so you can easily tell when to best contact your team members.
Every Time Zone features a visual time zone converter slider tool that lets you know the times and locations of your remote workers. This is pretty useful for planning your meetings with everyone, no matter where they are in the world.
World Time Buddy is another excellent option for time zone conversion. This world clock tool can also function as an online meeting scheduler for your virtual meetings and one-on-one calls.
If you need virtual access to your computer or a worker’s desktop from a distance, these programs get the job done.
TeamViewer gives you access to your team members’ computers as long as they also have the software installed on their end. This can be handy if screen sharing and video tutorials aren’t enough to help you teach something technical.
You can count on AnyDesk if you need to “connect to a computer remotely, be it from the other end of the office or halfway around the world”. This reliable software lets you take control of a desktop in a secure way.
In addition to connecting to a remote computer or mobile device, Chrome Remote Desktop also lets you share your screen with other users. This can be a great tool for real-time collaboration regardless of your colleague’s location.
As with the other programs in the list, Remote PC gives you real-time access to remote computers. Accessing your office desktop from home is possible, plus you can add your remote employees so you can likewise access their units when needed.
Want to sound crystal clear during your virtual meetings? Krisp is an AI-powered noise cancellation app that effectively eliminates unwanted background noise. You may also do audio recordings of your meetings.
A digital whiteboard for remote and in-person collaboration purposes, Google Jamboard is a platform you can use straight from your mobile device or web browser. If you’re the type who loves sketching concepts with your team members, this tool will probably become an instant favorite.
Wooboard is a unique platform specifically designed for the purpose of employee recognition. The makers emphasize that “wellness in the workplace leads to happier employees, improved company culture, and greater productivity”.
If you want to gather all company knowledge in one place so you don’t have to deal with the same questions over and over, Tettra is the platform for you. The Slack integration is also a wonderful feature that lets you notify your team whenever there are updated pages or new information has been uploaded.
This is an online whiteboard that allows distributed teams to collaborate both sync and async, and can be integrated with a lot of tools like Jira or Slack. Miro allows everybody to continue working as a team remotely. And it can be a powerful tool for web designers as well, having mockups and templates specifically done for it.
Specifically made for software developers, GitLab is a DevOps program with features that make managing projects less complicated. The platform’s “industry-leading CI/CD empowers all teams to work together efficiently”, plus “powerful, scalable, end-to-end automation is possible” with this tool.
As you can tell from its name, Teampay is software recommended for handling “the entire expensing process end-to-end, eliminating leakage of funds”. Tracking your company finances in real-time can be done with this tool, too.
Never lose track of important virtual appointments and meetings ever again with 10to8 Meeting Scheduling Software. According to the official website, this service “was made to help businesses go online and work remotely”.
Time Out is an app that - you guessed it - reminds users to take regular breaks. This could be a good tool for you and your remote team so nobody burns out by working in front of their computers for overly long hours.
Officevibe is software that promotes trust and collaboration among team members. Your remote employees also get Pulse Surveys every week where they can share honest feedback anonymously.
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