The recent pandemic has seen more people working from home than ever before. For some businesses, this is a new way of operating, while others have had remote work options for some time.
Whatever the reason behind it, if your company is starting to offer remote work possibilities, you will soon discover a remote worker needs more than a laptop plus Wi-Fi in order to be productive. It is likely the company could really benefit from a remote working toolkit.
Someone working from home cannot walk over to a colleague’s desk for help but they can still get their question answered if they have access to the right digital tools and resources.
Fortunately there are a number of platforms and apps created to keep teams connected, regardless of where everyone is physically located. As time goes by and more and more people begin to work remotely, technology evolves and provides us with ever better options to communicate, manage files and employees, and collaborate seamlessly.
A good remote working toolkit can mean everyone working together just as productively remotely as if they were all together in person. We are going to take a closer look at these areas of remote work to find out which tools can really boost productivity:
- File Management
- Employee Engagement
- Project Management
Consider the apps you will need for the above areas as a worthwhile investment, as they will connect your team and save time and stress, resulting in higher productivity, which can only help your bottom line.
Not being able to share or even access files will cause untold problems, which means good file management tools are critical. A cloud file management system is the best choice because files can be accessed and shared from any device.
1. Google Drive
Google Drive is perhaps the best-known storage system, offering multiple device sync, backups and file sharing, along with Google Photo and other file management and productivity integration, powerful AI-powered searches and more.
Benefits of Google Drive: You will have access to Docs, Gmail, Slides, Sheets, and more, which all work seamlessly together, so your teams can share files easily. Google Drive is also compatible with more than a hundred types of files, MS Office included, and it has top quality search options. The artificial intelligence can curate recommended workspaces for documents you need to access the most and automatically prioritize the most relevant files you have in the drive.
Box is also a popular cloud file management option, with an intuitive interface, versatile cloud storage, file sharing and sync features. Even for the less tech-savvy employees, Box is very simple to use.
Benefits of Box: Box has a business plan offering the ability to create custom URLs or set passwords in place, which is important to safeguard security and privacy. Box also has unlimited storage and the ability to support unlimited users, which is great for large teams.
It can be tricky to connect with employees who are working remotely, and because they are not physically in the same room or office as you, alternative methods of communication become more important.
15Five is a performance management app which can help guide employee growth and development. It uses digital tools to support weekly check-ins, objectives and key results, 1-on-1s and more.
Benefits of 15Five: Video calls can be time-consuming if you just want to ask a quick question. This platform allows you to create and track OKRs, gather feedback, set agendas for meetings, and keep an eye on performance. The ‘High 5’ feature allows employees to recognize each other’s accomplishments company-wide, using @mentions like LinkedIn or Twitter.
Bamboo HR is an online human resources platform that supports various HR processes, from hiring to salaries and engagement. HR can collect employee information in a single location.
Benefits of Bamboo HR: This platform adapts to various currencies and languages, which is great for multinational companies. It also offers an electronic signature feature, plus security monitoring and high-level encryption.
A project management tool can be used to assign tasks, track the progress, offer feedback, and submit deliverables. Managing remote workers can be made far simpler by using a good project management platform.
Jira can manage project workflows, track any issues that crop up, and create product roadmaps. It supports methodologies like Kanban Boards and Scrum, and SaaS teams especially love this platform. It was designed with software developers in mind.
Benefits of Jira: The intuitive interface makes collaboration and work process optimization simple and highly organized, while also being simple to use. Keep all the team in the loop about your projects, using Jira’s comprehensive workflows, and receive instant notifications. This platform makes communication and document-sharing easy.
Asana is a flexible task management tool. A task can be created, assigned to an employee and create a due date or make it recurring, viewable in list or calendar form. Write comments, upload documents, add tags, and subscribe to receive instant notifications about any changes. Asana helps to keep teams in sync and on track.
Benefits of Asana: This platform offers the flexibility to track long-term work as well as one-off projects. In addition, it assists managers with distributing tasks between employees. They can look at any employee’s task list to see if they are overbooked or underperforming, and reassign tasks to others who have more time. Asana’s task comment feature is very useful, allowing everybody to collaborate within the platform rather than using separate emails.
Email is simply not enough to manage a whole team working on a project. Instead, a remote team needs a flexible solution allowing them to easily and quickly collaborate and connect with one another.
Confluence is a shared online workspace which is able to keep track of every discussion and decision. It is typically used as a digital library holding all the important company files. With Confluence, you can create documents, collaborate on files and pages, and more using add-ons. This platform can do everything from make company-wide announcements to keeping a record of notes from meetings.
Benefits of Confluence: This is likely the best-known platform for knowledge management options, such as the Spaces tool which creates landing pages that include links to similar resources and pages. Confluence has customizable templates. Employees can jointly edit pages, as well as use @mentions to tag coworkers and give and get feedback using inline and page comments.
RingCentral is a communication and messaging platform which includes literally everything a team will need to collaborate effectively. Offering a wide range of features such as phone and video calling, chat tools, task management, and file sharing, RingCentral gives you plenty of ways to communicate with your team. You can create an online workspace for communication, task management, and tracking the details of bigger, more complex projects.
Benefits of RingCentral: Not only does this platform offer a wide range of useful tools, but it is also very affordable. There are four different pricing tiers, depending on your requirements, and each comes with a phone system and team messaging options. The collaborative document editing and annotation features of RingCentral set it apart from its competitors, allowing users to edit, annotate and comment on documents, image files and PDFs in real-time. This makes it simpler for remote employees to give feedback on documents.
Abeedesk is a simple yet powerful tool for online collaboration and a great free alternative for Skype or Google Meet users. Whether you are a pro webinar leader or an individual online tutor you have definitely wondered how to make your work easier. Wouldn’t it be better just to hold a video meeting without the hassle of installing additional software and where everything is handy and in place like the interactive whiteboard? Abeedesk does just that! What makes it so unique is that it is entirely web based and totally free!
Benefits of Abeedesk: An entirely web-based solution, meaning no downloading or installation is required. No registration or login required. Completely free with no restrictions. Video conversations with up to 4 simultaneous video feeds. The app also comes with with the chat feature and an interactive whiteboard.
Although working remotely can offer a high level of flexibility and freedom, it also has its challenges, such as workers feeling isolated or communication problems.
If you want your workers to be happy and productive, it is a good idea to try out the above apps and see which ones would be a good fit for your company, allowing everyone to communicate seamlessly, access important documents easily, and track projects accurately.