While the ability to work remotely has immeasurable benefits — especially considering the events of 2020 — it’s not without challenges.
While we are now more connected than ever, there’s often a disconnect that makes collaboration more challenging. Furthermore, not having a central HQ has forced many companies to rethink how they share documents and information.
Here are six must-have software tools that can help alleviate those challenges for a productive, successful remote team.
While G Suite is a collection of different programs, it offers solutions to many of the main challenges people face when working remotely. Regardless of your operating system or schedule, you can share and collaborate on spreadsheets, word processing, presentations, and more. Google Drive creates a one-stop-shop for sharing data and ensuring everyone has what they need to succeed.
Many businesses also prefer Gmail as their core communications platform. You can do everything from sending fax through Gmail with eFax, to making phone calls, to hopping in and out of meetings at a moment’s notice.
There are endless options for cloud-based project management tools that suit a variety of business models and preferred tracking methods. Yet, Asana is the tool that gets recommended again and again, regardless of the industry or business size.
Asana has a simple, aesthetically pleasing user environment that balances professionalism and fun. In fact, 80% of Asana’s customers reported a dramatic increase in productivity, with 74% highlighting that it helps them stick to deadlines.
Toggl is a simple time-tracking app that will help remote teams identify what projects they’re working on and where they’re spending the most time. This feature is beneficial for invoicing but also for getting into the weeds on productivity and profitability.
Using Toggl can help team members identify which tasks take the most time and where assistance is needed. This simple tool will help manage expectations and can be quite eye-opening for both management and employees.
Another significant challenge for remote teams is the lack of camaraderie. When you’re all in different parts of the country or just on lockdown in your home, there’s no rapport or team-building opportunities. For those who typically worked in an office and had to switch to remote work for the pandemic, the experience can be quite lonely.
CoffeeTime is an app that brings teams together for socialization. This app brings teams together without talking about the latest project or who isn’t hitting their deadlines. The app seeks to strengthen bonds across the board, sometimes pairing two employees together and sometimes bringing everyone to the virtual cafe.
This tool is fantastic for building a company culture while staying safe at home.
Reclaim is an app that integrates with your email and schedule to time block your day. You can use this tool to schedule uninterrupted working blocks, where no one can schedule a meeting or book your time.
You can use this app to create privacy settings on shared calendars so that your team knows you’re busy without knowing the details. For example, if you have a doctor’s appointment and need to capture the details in your personal calendar, it will show up on your public-facing calendar as “personal time” rather than sharing your private information.
Another fantastic feature of Reclaim is the Daily Habits tool. You can use this tool to stay productive at work while practicing self-care offline. Schedule family dinner, mediation, and other healthy habits to promote a work-life balance that mitigates burn-out.
There are plenty of video chat programs to choose from, each with pros and cons. Whether you use Zoom or Google Meet, one challenge remains the same: background noise.
Krisp is an app that eliminates background noise during your meetings. It removes echoes and static so that your voice rings through.
With these simple tools, you can create a productive, healthy, and collaborative remote team.