16 Remote Working Tools for Better Collaboration & Communication
How can you ensure that your team is as effective as possible while working remotely? Luckily, there are remote working tools that may help!
If you choose the right work from home tools for your remote employees, you’ll get the same results as if they were in the office, or even better. To help you to navigate all the choices, below is a list of 16 remote working tools to consider!
Best Hubs for General Teamwork
Google Workspace (Formerly G Suite)
Google workspace is usually easy to implement in your business. Many people use Google products like Gmail in their personal life so they will be familiar with the basics.
Google Workspace includes loads of collaboration tools with real-time updating. The programs can even show your team who else is currently working on a document. Collaborative Google Calendar, Docs, and Sheets are easy for multiple employees to use at once. Calendar can even be used to set reminders to a whole team with ease. Google Drive storage is included, and is even unlimited on some accounts.
Microsoft Teams has become incredibly popular in recent years. In the workplace, its full integration with Office 365 is incredibly useful if you are already using Microsoft Office.
Microsoft provides solutions for both text chat and video calls for one-to-one meetings or larger groups. Teams also provides access to email, Skype, OneDrive, and SharePoint.
Email isn’t the best for sending files and it certainly doesn’t work when sharing large files among big teams. Dropbox lets your remote employees share and collaborate on documents with ease. Multiple integrations with other remote collaboration tools are available.
Slack makes use of communication “channels”. It’s used by over 750,000 businesses all over the world as a platform for team collaboration. You can use it for text chat within the channels, but also video and voice calls. You can invite clients and partners to collaborate on a channel with a free plan, too, to keep everyone in the loop. You can connect with teams and channels from other companies, too.
The company, Slack, has been bought out by Salesforce, and can be found within their platform.
Slack is a big platform with over 2,000 Slack Apps to integrate and streamline your workflow. There are also numerous Slack APIs to help you to embed your own internal tools and apps.
Best Tools and Remote Working Software for Remote Communication
Otter.ai can be your AI assistant for all of the online meetings you’re having. It flawlessly integrates with Zoom to provide real-time transcripts of your conversations, which then become searchable, shareable notes available for further team collaboration. In a nutshell, Otter.ai can save your team an incredible amount of time and cut down on stress of virtual meetings; with Otter, all meeting participants can focus on the conversation itself, instead of note-taking, as everyone will receive a full transcript of the meeting for further use. This also helps those team members who miss a meeting or have technical issues during the meeting stay up to date on everything that’s been discussed.
The best part? Because the app makes use of Ambient Voice Intelligence, it continues to learn individual voices as well as terminology used in your business, and becomes better at transcribing your team conversations with every use!
Learn more about the ways in which Otter.ai helps businesses create a thriving remote work environment.
Miro is one of the best work from home tools for businesses that have a visual focus. It is a virtual whiteboard, but it offers much more than that. In the words of the brand; “Miro is an infinite canvas that helps you ideate, strategize, get organized, and work with your team.”
For brainstorming sessions, and anything that you would ordinarily do on a whiteboard or even on paper in an office, Miro can give you an incredible, real-time, interactive tool. It’s easily accessed by the whole team.
Mural is another online whiteboard tool, which allows for unlimited rooms and “murals” for users, perfect for big teams. On top of that, it has some incredible integrations so it can seamlessly work with other project management and remote working tools. Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Suite, Dropbox, GitHub, OneDrive, and more work from home software can all be linked.
Loom is a solution somewhere between email and video chats. Instead, this online tool revolves around video messages. The video can be taken from either your camera on a phone or a laptop, or by making a screen recording. Both have the option to add audio. Why use this instead of scheduling video calls? For a start, it is far easier to send a quick message than it is to schedule video conferencing or even a one-to-one call. In many scenarios, when you need a visual solution, it’s also much easier than a text message or an email.
Best Tools for Team Collaboration
Asana lets you manage a remote workforce easily when working on a project. As well as being a communication tool, it makes task management easy, as you can assign certain tasks to individual employees, with timescales, to ensure a project gets done on time. The “Forms” feature lets you create a standardized intake process for new customers, client feedback, or other data. It makes it simple for the team to get all the info they need and get to work.
If your business has a task-based or milestone-based approach to tasks, Basecamp can give you a simple and effective workflow. You can set projects, and tasks within, as well as including everyone who is involved during the process. Basecamp is incredibly flexible as it allows you to turn off features you don’t need, including message boards, to-do’s schedules, and file storage. You can also easily integrate tools like time trackers to manage employees.
Other unique features include automatic check-ins to make managing staff, and giving prompts to employees, even more straightforward.
Though not strictly industry-specific, Github is one of the best remote working tools for software development, web development or any other industry where code is key. Coding features and functions include “Codespace” allowing you to “Code, build, test, debug, and deploy” code instantly, in a cloud environment, allowing numerous coders to collaborate with ease from any device. Code Review also makes it easy to see code changes by your colleagues quickly.
Jira is a fantastic remote working tool if you are focused on bug tracking. It initially started as software for fixing errors and tracking bugs in projects, but has evolved into full project management software. It is ideal for dealing with large software projects with glitches and bugs, allowing teams to track, assign, prioritize, and ultimately fix bugs. Jira also supports a lot of third-party integration.
Monday features some excellent time management tools, allowing you to track work hours within a team and assign tasks through a visual workflow. The “Boards” system provides a visual table that allows all team members to see the progress status. You can also link boards together to allow multiple teams to work together. This makes it easy to keep everyone updated.
This is another workflow-based project management system. It impressively includes workflow automation with its AI assistant, “Butler”. Butler lets you remove tasks that could prove to be a waste of time. You can use rule-based triggers to remove tasks. You can also use calendar and due date commands to powerfully automate parts of your workflow.
Best Tools for Virtual Meetings
Zoom allows for reliable virtual meetings and even includes whiteboards and private chats, as well as annotation for everyone in the team to collaborate. To make the most of Zoom, you can integrate other apps including Otter.ai, which will automatically transcribe and take notes on your online meetings and conferences.
Skype is one of the remote collaboration tools that has been around for a long time (since 2003). Nowadays, it can be found within Microsoft Teams.
It is still a great tool for virtual meetings and even lets people dial into virtual meetings using a telephone. There is also a Skype App for use from iOS and Android devices.
Hangouts provides many of the same features as Zoom. If you are already using Google Suite, it makes sense to use Google Meet for integration, and you can hold conversations and group video calls for free. You can even invite clients who can join the call without a membership. Up to 10 team members can jump on the video call before you have to pay.
Insider Tip: There is now an integration with Otter.ai and Google Meet bringing Live Notes and Captions to all Otter subscribers.
As most businesses switch to online work across different time zones and devices, remote working tools and best practices are vital. Sending spreadsheets back and forth among your business is not going to cut it. A streamlined system that keeps everyone informed and engaged is required. Fortunately, the 16 tools mentioned above can all serve a useful purpose, and many can integrate with one another. Choosing the best tools for remote teams can make all the difference, saving you and your teams a lot of time, money and hassle.
Originally published at https://blog.otter.ai on December 21, 2020.