So, you work with a remote team? How very modern of you. Working with a team from different parts of the world can be extremely awarding, but it also comes with a fair amount of challenges. One of which, includes picking the best tools for the job.
Use the right tools and you can increase your team’s productivity, improve work ethic and enter the hall of fame for the best run remote businesses on earth. On the other hand, choose the wrong tools and you could risk facing missed deadlines, lack of communication and complete disarray.
To avoid this, it’s advised to stick with the finest tools for the job. So, here are the most popular tools and apps that successful remote teams are using in 2016 and beyond:
Good old Skype has never let us down before, and it isn’t about to start now. It’s 100% free, which makes it one of the most cost-effective communication tools on offer. You can use it to send instant messages to team members from various parts of the world in less than a second. Skype also provides access to video calls, voice calls and you can even schedule in entire group calls.
This option is perfect if you want to record videos and calls for future reference. Google Hangouts offers a free message system, along with the choice to activate a voice or video call.
If you want to keep better track of your team members, Sqwiggle is the way to do it. This app runs all day and takes random photographs of its users to help everyone stay connected. It also allows you to chat to each other with a simple click of a button.
This tool shares your computer screen with your employee’s. This is perfect if you need to show a team member how to complete a certain task, or how to use a new software etc. It saves valuable time and is ideal for training visual learners.
File Management Tools
This is one of the most popular files management tools used by remote teams around the world. Dropbox is an instant virtual storage system that allows users to simply “drop” files into specific folders. It is easy to use and makes sharing files with others incredibly simple.
Many remote teams depend on this app for smooth workflow and steady communication. Google Drive is ideal if you need to share multiple documents and access the files from any device. It’s free to use and you can turn certain features on and off as you please.
If you have a number of people working on the same project, Draft will enable multiple users to collaborate on the same article. For companies who produce a lot of text-based documents, Draft is the perfect place to share these files. It is also used to merge draft updates and export files to PDF, HTML or DOCX etc.
Project Management Tools
Some people prefer to manage projects using a straight-forward layout. This is where Trello enters the equation. Trello allows you to create simple boards to help manage various projects all in one place. You can assign tasks to certain individuals and it’s 100% free.
Google Apps for Work
Google really does have the answer to everything. This handy tool grants each member of the team access to a central storage hub. There, you can keep all your working apps in one place. In addition to this, anyone in the team can activate it (if given access).
This app stores multiple projects in the same system. It allows teammates to keep each other in the loop by providing recent update announcements and a record of outstanding projects. You can also schedule and organise these projects without any interference.
Canva for Work
Companies that use a lot of visual graphics often depend on ‘Canva for Work’. It provides the perfect playground to work with different designs and layouts. This tool enables team members to collaborate and is easy accessed via any device (if it has a Wi-Fi connection).
Time Management Tools
Every Time Zone
Different time zones can often interfere with communication and productivity. It can be difficult to get in touch with someone on the other side of the world because while you’re up working, they could be fast asleep. Every Time Zone is a great tool for remote teams because it allows you to coordinate specific time slots according to regions. It makes planning things like group chats and virtual meet-ups etc. a piece of cake.
When I Work
Remote teams need a tool strong enough to keep everyone up-to-date with each other. ‘When I Work’, is an excellent tool to achieve this because it provides a weekly overview and work schedule for the entire team. Now you know who is doing what, and when. This is perfect for businesses who need to meet strict deadlines.
Harvest lets you to run specific reports for different members of the team. You can also integrate this tool with other apps, such as Trello. Harvest is a great way to keep track of everything in one place, including log expenses and timesheets etc.
Daily Task Management Tools
Do you have a habit of keeping to-do lists scattered about your desk? Wunderlist organises your to-do lists in an incredibly neat and tidy manner. You can share your lists with other team members and set up snappy reminders for each task – never miss a deadline again!
So, you’ve got the to-do list sorted out, but how will you record everything you have already completed? IDoneThis allows you to note your achievements and displays your teammates completed tasks in the same place. This is essential for keeping tabs on your employees, ensuring that everyone is on the same page.
This tool is ideal for employers who want to make their team feel appreciated. It allows you to save personal information such as your employees birthdays and work anniversaries. You can also use it to set up reward activities.