Remote work is arguably one of the fastest-growing trends right now. Social distancing has become the new norm and businesses have little or no option but to instruct their employees to work from home. Whilst working remotely may not be the most convenient, having the right tools at your fingertips can make all the difference.
In this article, we will be sharing 10 tools that we believe every person working remotely should use. All the tools may not apply to you and the type of work you do, but you are sure to find something that can increase your productivity, and make working remotely less daunting.
These tools tackle the major challenges associated with remote work; communication, file sharing, time management, team meetings, and so on.
If you could only use one of the tools on this list, then it should be Slack. Slack attempts to tackle one of the major challenges of remote work; communication amongst members of a remote team, and it’s mastered the process.
Using Slack, each team can have their own channel, especially designated for conversations relevant to them. This means that no one gets distracted by messages not relevant to their work. Other features like file sharing, screen sharing, voice, and video calls make Slack the go-to tool for communication for remote-working setups.
When communicating via text or instant messaging proves insufficient and there’s a need for screen sharing or video calls, Zoom is the way to go.
Zoom is a tool specialising in video conferencing, webinars, virtual meetings, video calls, and even voice calls. What’s more, Zoom is free for any users looking to host up to 100 participants for 40 minutes.
If you run a design firm or if design is a key part of the work you do, then try InVision. InVision is excellent for collaboration as it provides designers with all the bells and whistles to go from prototype to finished product.
Real-time collaboration is one of InVision’s strong points. This means that design team members can meet together to brainstorm ideas, each from the comfort of their own home!
The activities of a business can be broken down into tasks or projects. Managing these projects in a conventional business is already a difficult task. However, when it comes to managing remote teams, the process can become simply overwhelming.
Trello brings peace into the chaotic storm that typically accompanies project management. Trello's simple and intuitive user interface makes it easy for team members to know what they’re supposed to be doing and when projects are due. What’s more, employees can receive feedback for completed tasks via Trello. To top things off, it’s free!
Developers all over the world have chosen their weapon of choice for collaboration on software development projects; GitHub. You either use GitHub or you are not a developer, it's that simple. Although there are other alternatives, the ‘Microsoft-acquired’ company stands out from the bunch.
GitHub, when used with Git, can be a powerful tool for version control. Version control is especially useful in situations where the current version of a piece of software needs to be reverted to a previous version, probably because of a bug or other malfunction. Developers can also keep track of changes made to code, and who made them, which increases overall efficiency!
What can we really do without Google these days? Nothing it turns out. Instead of having to pay for other cloud storage options, Google Drive is available for free and comes with a bunch of tools to make online collaboration a breeze. To get the most out of Google Drive, you have to use it together with other Google products like Google Docs, Gmail, Google Sheet, and so on.
Google Drive lets you store and share digital files. You can also share documents with your team and determine who is granted what privileges such as viewing, editing and commenting. What’s more, you can collaborate in real-time, making live changes to documents.
Zapier is the interface that ties your web apps together. Thanks to Zapier, you can easily connect your apps under one umbrella to seamlessly transfer data from one platform to another.
What’s more, this data transfer is processed automatically. All you need to do is set things up once and you’re set for life. Zapier helps cut down the time you spend on data entry and other mundane, repetitive tasks so you and your team can focus on more productive tasks.
If you are fully leveraging the power of remote work, then you may have members on your team from other countries and in different time zones. Timezone.io helps you know what time it is for the different members of your team.
This will help you to plan meetings, know when to expect deliveries, and also know why your graphics designer won’t stop yawning (it’s his bedtime).
Google again comes to the rescue by providing the only scheduling app you will ever need. Using Google Calendar, you and your team can remain on the same page for all that matters most.
Members of a remote team can make their personal schedule visible to other team members so that meetings and any other work-related activity don’t interfere with personal activities. This tool is an all-inclusive and integrated approach to event management.
When you need to get down to the nitty-gritty of how time is being spent within your remote team, Toggl has you covered. You can use Toggl to track how much time members of your team spend working or how much time they spend on specific tasks. This is especially useful if you are paying your remote employees on an hourly basis.
As remote working becomes a part of our everyday, these tools are sure to help you on both a personal and professional level. Whilst each serves a different purpose, the tools mentioned are equally valuable and sure to save you a whole lot of time and money.
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