Roughly 62% of employees between 22 and 65 say they work remotely at least occasionally
Here’s a fact that would boggle your mind: 2020 is the year humans have worked remotely the most since in the history of civilisation. Not that anyone wanted it to be forced down their throats, no thanks to Covid-19, we’re now learning to live with, and even embrace remote work.
Across the globe, entire industries have seen a paradigm shift to adopt the measures necessary to fight the battle against an invisible monster, and remote work has been at the heart of it. From customer support to finance, and from engineering to marketing, all business functions have had their fair share of challenges and learnings in making this temporary (or in some cases, permanent) transition successful.
Thanks to the evolution of consumer and business software in the past few years, we now have access to a plethora of tools and platforms out there to not just support working remotely, rather make it as productive as working from a co-located work setting.
In this article, we’ll share 15 tools that remote teams can use to collaborate better, improve communication, and boost individual and team productivity.
AttendanceBot: Simplify Your Team’s Time Tracking And Leave Management
When it comes to remote work, the one place where everyone ends up spending a major amount of their time is communication apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Google Chat.
From managing projects to making company-wide announcements, these platforms have come to replace email, but one thing where a ton of businesses are still stuck in the past is tracking employee attendance and leave.
Tools like AttendanceBot make it embarrassingly simple to track time, manage leaves, and more, all from within the communication platform you already use. With this, you can do away with legacy software like HRMS, or fragmented tools like email, personal messenger, and others to manage your people.
Trello: Manage Your Projects Like A Pro
From the house of Atlassian (the makers of agile project management software, Jira) comes Trello, the equally powerful Kanban-style tool designed for any kind or level of project tracking.
It’s pretty easy to get your team onboarded to Trello and customize it according to your use case, thanks to hundreds of pre-built templates it offers out of the box.
What’s more? Its freemium plan offers enough features for you to get started, and even if you’d like to scale and have something called Power-Ups (native or custom integrations with other tools in your stack), it doesn’t leave a hole in your pocket.
Notion: Document Everything, All The Time
There’s a saying going around, which goes like: “Over-communication is the key to making remote work successful”, and we couldn’t agree more. Now given that the virtual world has replaced in-person communication, how we interact with our teammates also needs to evolve.
Earlier, softer aspects of communication like body language and the general atmosphere of the room used to determine a lot of things unsaid. However, in the remote setting, it becomes crucial to make sure you document the finer details of your thoughts so that they don’t get lost.
With Notion, doing this becomes a breeze. Being an all-in-one workspace, it offers components such as notes, tasks, wikis, calendars, and reminders. Pretty much everything you could need to document, plan, and organize better.
Chanty: Slack Alternative For Nuclear Teams
SuSlack is great and all for a communication app, but it isn’t free, at least not with access to some of its better features. Chanty, on the other hand, is free forever for up to 10 team members, and only $3 per month per user for its premium plan.
On top of your regular chat software, it also offers powerful features to make collaboration within your teams easier. From turning messages into tasks to switching to a Kanban view, you can stay organized at your fingertips, from the platform of your choice.
Rated 4.6 and 4.9 on G2 and Capterra respectively, Chanty makes for a good alternative to Slack for smaller remote teams.
Google Drive: Cloud Storage On The Go
This is an obvious one, but not mentioning it would be unfair, simply because of how essential it is to successful work collaboration.
With 15 GB of space available for free to every user, and increased storage also pretty affordable, Google Drive is the de-facto choice of cloud storage for many teams.
What’s more, you can choose to organize any of your files into folders, manage the level of access (view only, comments, and editor), and more.
Todoist: Ace Your Daily To-Dos
Let’s face it: modern life is chaotic. There is only so much one can retain in memory when it comes to the number of errands to be run, and mini-tasks to do in a day, be it at work, or personal life.
With Todoist, you can bring order to that chaos by organizing your daily to-do list for both work and home in one place. From being able to add labels to get more clarity, to prioritizing them on the basis of your own mental models, you can stay on top of your game by never forgetting any task – be it big or small.
The free forever offers a ton of features that can come in handy to achieve the same, however, if you’d like to unlock the full potential of the app, it costs only $3/month.
Zoom: “Let’s Get On A Quick Call”
Surely, you’ve heard this phrase at least once every day for the past six months. Thanks to working remotely, we’ve started deferring anything out of the purview of being finalized on chat to a quick call.
From conducting virtual conferences to quick 1:1s, Zoom has been the default platform because of its popularity, which has only risen to unprecedented heights since the lockdowns were implemented (just look at its stock price, if anything).
While it was under fire for having security issues, all those are now well in the past, with the Zoom team categorically announcing the measures they’ve taken to fix them, and ensuring people of its security and encryption.
Krisp: Remove Background Noise From Any Communication App
If you haven’t yet, you’ve got to try Krisp. Its revolutionary AI-powered noise-cancelling technology removes background noise from over 800 apps on Mac, Windows, Google Chrome, and iOS.
With a single button, not just the background noise going from you to other call participants, but the background noise coming from the call participants to you, is removed, and it works almost like magic.
Its free version gives you 120 minutes of noise-free calling per week, and the paid version offers the same for unlimited duration for just $3.33/month.
1Password: Secure Password Management For Your Entire Team
In 2020, the need for robust data security can’t be stressed enough. And when it comes to your business, the stakes get even higher.
For tools that use a common login, or need an additional level of password protection from being exploited, 1Password is one solution that will make you rest assured that you are secured.
With more than 60,000 customers across the globe, from startups to enterprise, 1Password offers a ton of features that makes your password management secure by design.
Uptick: Do One-On-One Meetings The Right Way
In their own words, Uptick turned the tables on 1:1s. “Most 1:1s are dead on arrival. Status updates. Short responses. Blank stares. You run out of things to say, and call it a day. It’s frustrating, so we fixed it.” And so they did!
From tried-and-true questions backed by research that uncover what’s really going on with your team, to clarifying and setting up the right expectations when creating priorities, Uptick streamlines catch-ups and makes it more valuable for both, the manager, and the managee.
Lattice: Develop Engaged And Winning Teams
People management is tough, and if research is anything to go by, it’s especially tougher to manage the millennial generation. Lattice transforms how companies approach people strategy by connecting performance management, employee engagement, and employee development in one unified solution.
And they’ve only evolved the platform to better support the same from a remote point of view. From catching the pulse of your team to weekly updates from your reportees to aligning them with your goals, Lattice makes it easier to achieve productive work.
Teampay: Manage Your Team’s Spends With Ease
Teampay is software that helps you to approve, pay for, and track your teams’ spending in real-time. With features such as spending control, automated reconciliation, and workflows, Teampay allows you to get on top of your finance at the speed of business. They offer a flat fee pricing based on the set of features you choose and spend volume.
TomatoTimer: Work Without Distractions, Even At Home
Working from home comes with a caveat: the constant distractions. Whether it is your doorbell ringing every 10 minutes during the morning, to the temptation of grabbing a quick snack, focusing can be difficult. TomatoTimer is an easy to use, flexible Pomodoro Technique timer. Here are the basic steps of the Pomodoro Technique:
- Decide on the task at hand
- Set the timer (called the Pomodoro) to 25 minutes
- Work on the task until the timer expires; record with a checkmark on a piece of paper
- Take a short break (5 minutes)
- Every four pomodoros, take a long break (10 minutes)
OfficeAmp: Internal Help Desk To Manage Employee Requests
From the house of Harmonize, the makers of AttendanceBot (which we discussed above), OfficeAmp is a simple office management software that works inside your instant messenger and helps everyone in your team to get more done. Now, you can manage all employee requests, IT tickets, admin tasks, and other requests in one place.
Whatfix: Seamlessly Onboard Employees To The Tools You Use
Onboarding new team members and getting them up to speed with your policies, processes, and flows is a gargantuan task. Whatfix, the digital adoption platform, enables you to create personalized and engaging employee onboarding programs at scale and catapult your employees to get started with using the tools and software you use, faster and more effectively.