Working remotely is the ultimate gift for anyone who desires a high level of autonomy and maintains a high level of self-motivation. Because working remotely comes with a unique set of challenges unlike the challenges of onsite working environments, the best tools for maintaining productivity are not exactly the same. Today I’m giving you a glimpse at my top eleven favorite tools for managing remote work, whether you’re working by yourself or working with a virtual team.
Working remotely can be very isolating at times. You’re no longer surrounded by other colleagues and workers in an office so most of your remote working time can be spent in solidarity. While it can be nice to have some peace and quiet, it can also get quite lonely. Zoom is my favorite tool for facilitating video calls and remote communication. You can use Zoom to conduct video calls with clients for project discovery, regular check-in and off boarding as well as team communication and collaboration with other remote workers.
If you are an hourly worker or contractor, Time Doctor can easily help you keep track of your time for your employer, or help you improve your productivity. Unlike working in a traditional office where distractions are at a minimum, you can easily get distracted when you work from home or other places. Time Doctor helps by tracking your time, sending you alerts if you’re on other websites during your working hours, and even creating time reports for your employer.
In traditional offices, whiteboards are a simple yet effective tool where teams can collaborate and discuss ideas. With Miro, remote teams don’t have to miss out on collaborations. Miro is a digital tool that visually mimics the whiteboard, allowing teams to create workflows, strategize and plan, create maps, and even brainstorm together. If you’re working with a creative team or you simply want to improve communication and collaboration together with a visual format, Miro can be a highly effective digital tool.
One of the biggest challenges remote workers face is effective communication. When you’re communicating via Zoom, email, or phone, communicating in any way that isn’t face-to-face opens up many opportunities for miscommunication.
A second big challenge with virtual communication is keeping track of messages and/or conversations. My favorite way to manage conversations is Slack. Slack is a communication platform for small, medium, or large businesses to organize communication amongst teams. You can set up channels for projects, direct message with team members, or even integrate Slack with many different productivity platforms like ClickUp. The best part about Slack is the ability to search through previous messages for something you missed or forgot, cutting down on miscommunication.
Perhaps the most powerful tool for any team, no matter how small or how large the team may be, is a project management tool like ClickUp. ClickUp is far more than just a task list or a way to keep track of progress on a project. It is a completely functional, all-in-one platform that organizes teams, customizes tasks, automates work routines, integrates with other platforms, creates visual databases, and so much more. Whether you’re an individual contractor looking to organize your projects and work with your client, or you’re a medium-sized team who has no backend management for your business, ClickUp is a great choice for you.
While hiring extra help is certainly effective, business automation can also cut down on unnecessary workloads and increase team productivity. Zapier is a powerful digital tool that creates automation for many different tasks. From collecting data to setting alerts to creating notifications in cross platforms, Zapier can help remote teams cut down on the tasks that slow them down the most.
It’s hard to imagine a remote working world without Canva! From photo editing to creating presentations and brochures, to creating print products and planning social media posts, Canva is a powerful platform that extends into many different areas. You can also create teams for collaboration on a project, making Canva a perfect digital tool for remote teams.
I couldn’t do many things in my business without Google WorkSpace. From emails to scheduling to document creation and organization to virtual chats, Google WorkSpace offers a wide range of powerful tools for any type of business. It’s very cost-effective, beginning at just $6 per month for smaller businesses. Gone are the days of having to download and install office software programs on your computer -- Google WorkSpace is accessible from any computer or device, making it a flexible and widely available platform to use for your business management.
Working remotely might require you to access a device that is not always available to you. For easy access to a computer or mobile device anywhere in the world, TeamViewer is a great digital option. After downloading the program to your computer, simply log in with a temporary password and gain complete access to the computer or device.
Security can easily get out of hand when giving out passwords to many different team members. LastPass is an easy solution to ensuring passwords are not compromised. LastPass acts as a password vault. You control who is given access to each password, and each team member has their own unique login. LastPass also offers a password generator, and easily stores many passwords for maximum security.
Team collaboration is easily streamlined with the power of Trello. From creating schedules to brainstorming to project management to timelines, Trello’s functionality extends to many different areas of team management and productivity. It is easy to use with a drag-and-drop interface that doesn’t require a lot of training. It’s a great solution for keeping track of the many moving parts or projects, such as website development. Workflows can be created in Trello to make sure you never miss a step when building a clients website.
If you haven’t yet considered what tools you will need to successfully work remotely, take the time today to start considering what is right for your business. Launching into remote work without the proper digital tools is like opening an auto mechanic shop without tools -- you would be powerless to serve your customers or clients in the best possible ways, no matter what you do.
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