Over the past decade, an increasing number of employers were warming up to the idea of remote work scenarios. The trend has stayed steadily on the rise for nearly 20 years — paralleling technological advances and organizational adoptions to allow employees more flexibility.
As of January 2021, companies facilitating remote work capabilities experience 25% lower employee turnover than businesses that don’t. Now, factor in the lockdowns and restrictions accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic. Many employers have needed to take the unexpected fast-track to remote work circumstances, often requiring remote collaboration tools and a spirit of teamwork without proximity.
Whether your organization has offered remote work for a decade or the past year to comply with COVID-19 safety protocols, your employees will likely benefit from remote communication tools.
If you are trying to determine the best tools for remote teams, keep reading to learn about 12 remote productivity tools that can benefit your hardworking — but distributed — team.
Tools for Remote Teams
1. Team Chat Apps
While everyone has access to email and text messaging, businesses need to provide a special venue for spontaneous and seamless communications. Team chat software tools offer improved communication for everyone on your team. The best tools in this category allow for impromptu conversations and the ability to share messages, ideas, documents and videos.
2. Remote Desktop Software
Employees working at home might occasionally run into problems that only IT professionals can solve. It is much easier, efficient and cost-effective for IT team members to access desktops via remote software tools than visit employees’ homes for quick troubleshooting.
3. Video Conferencing Tools
Over the past few years, video conferencing tools have become increasingly popular, helping businesses connect with remote-based and traveling workers. The remote revolution spurred by COVID-19 has brought even more businesses into the video conferencing mix. Business leaders have discovered that video conferencing tools enhance engagement, increase productivity, provide clarification in collaboration, and lower communication costs.
4. Project Management Apps
Project management apps are effective tools for in-house work as well as remote work. The best project management tools allow for improved communications and collaboration, better scheduling to keep the project on track, enhanced communication with clients, easier task delegation, standardized processes, and streamlined budget management.
5. Screen-Recording Software
Screen-recording software has become an invaluable tool for employees in various contexts. For employees working in customer contact centers, screen recording instantly provides a record of every chat session with customers to help ensure quality service. Employees working collaboratively can share snapshots of online research material snippets to get to the point of an article quickly and carry on the discussion.
6. Screen-Sharing Tools
Screen-sharing tools work in conjunction with several tools listed. Your employees can take screen recordings with screen-sharing capabilities and share them with colleagues and management in chat app sessions, video conferences, and direct communications via email and text.
7. Cloud Storage Services
Cloud storage services help employees maintain more control over their off-site work environment, managing documents and files with more support and ease. Since employees are often responsible to help ensure data is secure and accessible, cloud storage benefits have become invaluable remote work tools.
8. Online Office Suites
For nearly a decade, online office suites have gained ground to allow employees, project leaders and managers to access and edit documents untethered to their desktops. Further, the suites allow for collaboration among team members working on the same document or spreadsheet. Whether working from the conference room down the hall from their office, at home, or on the other side of the world, cloud-based online office suites have become invaluable collaboration tools.
9. To-Do List Tools
Most of your employees have repetitive daily tasks or steps to complete multifaceted processes that can get lost in the mix without special attention. It’s easy to get distracted in any circumstance — but especially when working remotely. To-do list tools can provide prompts and reminders to keep employees on track.
10. Focus and Productivity Apps
Distractions abound for remote workers. With ambient neighborhood sounds, significant others also working from home, and children and pets playing, it isn’t surprising that employees need some help to maintain focus. There are many apps to help block distractions and focus on tasks with ease.
11. Security Tools
No matter how diligent your employees are about peak home security, they might need improved security tools — especially working with your organization’s confidential documents. Key security tools to consider include a VPN, PC threat monitoring, and secure file-sharing and cloud collaboration.
12. Brainstorming and Mind-Mapping Tools
You don’t want to lose your team’s brainstorming momentum because nearly everyone is working remotely. With online whiteboards and mind-mapping tools, your team can virtually maintain the collaborative nature of brainstorming.
HR Teams Can Help Employees With Effective Tools to Manage Remote Employees
HR leaders might need special remote tools to help employees thrive while working solo at home. The remote work tools listed above are geared toward boots-on-the-ground team members who need hands-on tools. That said, employees still might require some specialized support from your HR team to help them work more effectively outside the office.
Humantelligence can help your HR team lead remote employees to success. We provide a scientifically proven 12-minute self-assessment and talent analytics platform that measures your organizational culture at every level. We then take those insights and leverage them to improve performance, engagement and recruiting.
Since working remotely is still relatively new to many employees, it is helpful to use proven psychometrics and work energizers to identify high-risk individuals, teams and team leaders who may struggle working remotely and need more support to succeed.
Use our software to achieve and maintain optimal performance and productivity in this new remote-based reality. The insights gained will help you improve communication, collaboration, teamwork and leadership for your increasingly remote workforce.
If you are ready to lend more support to your staff, contact Humantelligence for further information.