4 of the Best Remote Work Tools That You Didn’t Know You Needed
There are many perks to a remote workforce (reduced business costs, environmental benefits, employees don’t have to go through the stress and cost of commuting, etc.), but how can your company ensure its culture stays intact within a remote workforce? Here are 4 of the best tools for remote workers that you may not have heard of to help your company stay connected, organized, and on the same page.
Messaging, Video Chat, and Voice Calling
Stride (formerly Hipchat) from Atlassian is a web service for file sharing, group video chat, voice calling, and group screen sharing. It is a single tool that includes a smart, text-based messaging service as well as a full-featured video and conferencing service.
What sets Stride apart from Slack is its Actions and Decisions feature, which allows employees to pin action items for specific coworkers, and notes about group decisions, to each room. The Actions and Decisions feature is especially useful if you have a geographically dispersed remote workforce.
Tracking Team Productivity
The beauty of iDoneThis is in its simplicity. iDoneThis allows teams to submit a report of what they accomplished that day. The app then compiles a comprehensive email report that is sent out to all team members the following morning, summarizing what was completed the previous day. Additionally, it gives team members the ability to comment on the previous day’s completed tasks. Creating transparency throughout your team is especially important if you have a large remote workforce. iDoneThis gives you an omniscient view, facilitates collaboration, holds team members accountable, and provides context for what your entire team is working on, whether they are in the office or working remotely.
Long Term Planning
While Trello (now also under the Atlassian umbrella) is great for project management, i.e. product management, real estate, and weddings, it lacks the “at a glance” feature that keeps everyone on the team in the loop about what their colleagues are working on and when. Teamweek helps manage your remote team’s time by sharing who’s doing what and on which days, which assignments have been completed or are still open, and how much extra time your team has – visually. Teamweek allows both in-office and remote employees to take on new projects, knowing the realistic estimations for bandwidth and deadlines.
We all know how annoying it is when someone edits a Google Doc without notifying their team members or asking before they do it. Penflip is like Google Docs, but each collaborator works on their own version, editing and making comments, which only the document owner can accept or reject. Team members can see other’s comments and variations next to the original content, as well as the whole revision history. If your remote team has difficulty finding times to connect, this is a great tool that facilitates a similar kind of feedback and communication to the one you’d have in person with your team, and helps your team reach consensus even when remote.
So, next time your remote team is trying to find ways to connect, collaborate, or organize their projects, try one of these 4 tools. Hopefully, it will help your remote workers be on the same page, and communication and collaboration on your team go unwrinkled.
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