2021 is a year no one will forget anytime soon. No other year in the 21st century has brought with it such drastic changes on a global scale. The outbreak of the dreaded COVID-19 has changed, perhaps forever, the way we live and work.
Remote work is now the new normal for many, and businesses worldwide are adjusting their policies and strategies to take advantage of this shift. To excel at remote work, distributed teams must be familiar with the tools and software that can help employees work away from the office. These tools are generally required for collaboration, communication, meetings, and monitoring the progress of work. While the tools needed differ from industry to industry, here are 10 of the best tools for any remote work team.
Formerly known as Gsuite, Google Workspace is an integrated collaboration and productivity platform, perfect for remote teams. The suite includes Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Calendar, and Google Meet. Using these online meeting platforms can allow for chatting, collaborating on documents, holding video meetings, and much more.
While most of the suite is free for anyone with a Gmail account, businesses can upgrade to business or enterprise solutions to enjoy more functionality. Of all the tools available, Google Workspace is perhaps the most comprehensive system available today.
While some have declared faxing dead, nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, faxing has evolved and actually improved over time. With the rise of online faxing platforms like eFax, you can now send files with enhanced security, without a fax machine. You can send files from your phone or tablet with ease.
Conveniently, these online faxing software often have integrations to cloud storage services such as Google Drive and Dropbox, making the organization and transfer of your files quick and easy.
Zoom is undoubtedly one of the biggest winners in the remote work shift of 2021. While several companies suffered during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the video conferencing software reported a record profit, more than quadrupling its average revenue. Zoom is perfect for video conferences, webinars, and daily team meetings.
It has features such as screen sharing, chatting, and Zoom rooms, making it a good fit for collaboration between team members.
Slack bills itself as the “main office” for remote work and for good reason. The platform is a perennial favorite of many remote working teams for several reasons. Slack has a channel-based messaging system that keeps communication organized and ensures your entire team stays in the loop. You can create as many channels as you need.
The great thing about Slack is that you can integrate third-party apps, including Zoom, Dropbox, and Google Drive.
To work well remotely, you will need an effective way to organize your notes. For years, Evernote has been touted as a leader in the note-taking and collaboration space. But the software does more than just that – you can clip articles from the web, scan documents, and add photos, links, and PDFs.
The application features integration with top work apps such as Salesforce, Dropbox, and Google Drive.
Clockify is a time-tracking software that allows businesses to track the number of hours employees spend working. The tool enables businesses to improve productivity by keeping tabs on attendance, billable hours, productive hours, and schedules. Managers and supervisors have a dashboard to assign tasks, set hourly rates, and use a timesheet to organize payroll.
You can generate weekly and monthly reports to get a bird’s eye view of the progress your team is making on a variety of tasks.
From emails to memos and reports, to company policies, written content is a major part of an organization’s work every single day – and professional organizations should not allow any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes in any of it. That is what makes Grammarly a valuable tool for any organization.
With Grammarly, you can create a style guide, brand voice, or custom tone that every employee can follow. The app helps businesses produce top-drawer content that is clear, engaging, and free of errors.
Trello is a Kanban-style list-making tool that helps teams coordinate workflow and collaborate on projects. To put it simply, Trello is a visual to-do list that allows managers to assign tasks and see the progress of tasks. The software is essentially about three things: boards, lists, and cards. Even with the free version, you can create as many boards as you want.
Of all the tools on this list, Doodle is perhaps the simplest. Doodle is a Zurich-based online calendar and scheduling tool that helps remote teams set up meetings with ease. Gone are the days when you would send a mass email to all your team members to find out if they are okay with a date and time for a meeting, and then spend time sorting out each response.
The process for using Doodle is simple: first, you suggest a time and date for a meeting, and then Doodle creates a poll to ask participants for feedback. Doodle is especially helpful when you have a large team working across different time zones.
Noise-canceling apps can make the difference between a professional-sounding call and a call that is interrupted by comments and shouts or other noises in the background. If you are working remotely, there is a high chance that you will have background noise in your calls. That's where Krisp comes in. The app is an AI-powered, noise-canceling app that detects and removes or reduces background noise – ensuring that all of your calls sound professional.
The free version gives you 120 minutes per week on your phone and computer. Krisp supports more than 800 apps and devices such as microphones, speakers, and headsets. The only downside is that there is no Android version, as of yet.
Don’t Overload Your Team
If you Google “tools for remote work,” you will find millions of hits. Some of those hits have lists with up to 100 remote work tools. Regardless of how tech-savvy your employees are, they will be overwhelmed by a deluge of new software and tools. That is why you should be decisive about which software works best for your team, and stick to it.
Do all you can to reduce the number of tools your team has to use daily. In this article, we have looked at 10 tools that can help you run a remote team more effectively. Some of the tools are well-known, while others are not as popular, but still very effective.
Additionally, consider creating an IT support team that will run training sessions to help your employees feel comfortable with any new software. Additionally, the support team should be available to help if any worker faces a challenge while using software.