19 Remote Work Tools Crucial To Virtual Teams
Remote Working

19 Remote Work Tools Crucial To Virtual Teams

By
Derek Abram
|
CEO of Prio
|
9 min read

Thanks to the advent of technology and also, in part, because of the Covid pandemic which made working from home a norm, more and more organizations are realizing the benefits of hiring a global team. 

While doing so may mean these businesses get access to the best talent from around the world, it can become challenging for these teams to reach their full potential in terms of creativity and productivity, especially considering there are plenty of challenges to stifle their progress.

We’d like to take you with us for a quick look at some of the challenges virtual teams face, and then dive into a list of 19 remote work tools designed to help virtual teams and their managers excel at what they do. 

The challenges of working remotely

For those of you who have the option of working remotely, the experience can often be a mixed bag. 

While the concept of working from anywhere you want can seem a lot like being set free, there are a lot of challenges that you will need to deal with, especially with your teammates being spread around the world. 

Here are some of the challenges remote teams commonly face. 

Communication challenges

In a regular business situation where all the team members come to work, face-to-face meetings can ensure everyone is on the same page and makes it easier to stay updated. 

With team members being spread around the globe and working through multiple time zones, it becomes difficult for teams to communicate effectively with each other. 

While emails and chats help make things easier, as do weekly online meetings using tools like Skype and Zoom when schedules overlap, a lot of crucial information can get lost in chat logs and email trails. 

Management challenges

Communication challenges and remote working can lead to another major drawback: difficulties in managing resources and projects. 

Seemingly mundane tasks, such as assigning responsibilities to team members and ensuring project deadlines are adhered to, can become daunting without the right tools.

Team challenges

Connecting with team members as people is an important part of building team morale and increasing productivity. 

If your entire team and you worked out of the same office premises, bonding over a short conversation at the water cooler, or eating together at the cafeteria would make it easier to form those bonds. These bonds make collaboration and working through high-stress situations easier.

Similarly, having an onboarding process where team members can actually understand what the brand stands for, the company’s work culture, and brand values can also be challenging without the help of competent tools for remote workers. 

The complete toolstack for remote teams

There are now remote work software to address all of the challenges we mentioned above, and then some. We spoke to industry experts to put together a list of the top 19 tools for remote teams. 

Project management tools

The biggest challenge faced by remote teams when it comes to day-to-day functioning is the communication gaps can make project schedules, task allocation, and resource management quite a chore. Here are four tools that are great at addressing these pain points. 

Trello

Trello is a simple and easy-to-use project management tool that makes managing a small team effortless. Using a Kanban board, Trello allows managers to assign tasks, invite collaborations, shift tasks on the board based on completion status, and more using Trello cards that can be dragged and dropped.  

Asana

Asana is a project management tool that is visually appealing and has become a hit with creative agencies and other businesses around the world.

The easy-to-use interface allows you to visually keep track of project progress, assign tasks, monitor team activity, alter schedules, and integrate with third-party tools like Unito, Google Drive, DropBox, and more. 

The only downside is that the free version of Asana does not feature a lot of these features, and subscribing to it costs $13.99 per person every month. 

ClickUp

ClickUp is among the most feature-loaded project management tools for remote workers. It offers users 15 different views to choose from, including Kanban and mind maps. Managers can assign their remote teams tasks, track progress and use Gantt charts to measure productivity.

ClickUp offers users a variety of reports, and storage space and can even import project data from other project management tools like Trello and Asana. 

Subscription options for ClickUp include a Free Forever version and two paid subscriptions of $60 a person per year and $108 a person per year. Data security, storage space, integrations, and other features vary depending on these subscriptions.

Basecamp

Basecamp is another project management tool that a lot of virtual teams find convenient to use, largely because it is simple in both design and application. A single dashboard allows teams to communicate, collaborate and organize conversations according to priority. Managers can also check progress in real-time.

However, there are several limitations in comparison to the other three tools we mentioned. For example, third-party integrations are not possible, as are other simple functions like time tracking, assigning sub-tasks, and archiving topics. 

Team collaboration tools 

We all know that teamwork makes the dream work. However, how do you get your teams to collaborate when they’re spread all over the world? Well, by choosing one of these awesome team collaboration tools.

Slack

Slack may be a communication tool at heart, but its ability to enable real-time collaborations has made it one of the most used tools for virtual teams. 

Not only can you chat with your teammates using Slack, but you can also share files easily and even collaborate with your clients using it as a platform. 

Teams

Microsoft’s Teams gained immense popularity during the pandemic when collaborating virtually was the only way to get work done. For those already using Microsoft products, remote teams can confer with each other on video calls and chat with each other as well using this tool.

In addition, its collaborative capabilities extend to allowing team members to co-author files on the platform and share files with a few easy clicks. 

Google Suite

Google Suite now has a new name, Workspace. While the name may be new, it still has the same great features that made it such a hit, albeit with improvements. 

Subscribing to Workspace will give your business customized email addresses, along with access to other Google collaborative tools, such as Gmail, Drive, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and more. 

Remote teams can also use Workspace for video conferencing and chatting. Businesses can choose a plan that fits their scale and needs to get the best out of Workspace.

Central repository

With all collaborations and projects dependent on storing and sharing data effortlessly, having a central repository to help with storage becomes essential. Here are two tools that we think are great for the job.

Google Drive

Google Drive is at the top of our repository list because of its multiple useful features. It allows you to store and share files of all types with your teams literally in the blink of an eye. It can also help generate reports based on weekly metrics. 

And to top it all, you can access it and use it efficiently across multiple devices without any problems.

Dropbox

If your job requires you to share really large files, including media files, with your remote teams, then Dropbox is just what the doctor ordered. It's easy-to-use API makes it easy for teams to sync and share files, enabling efficient collaborations.

Productivity tools

With teams that work in different time zones, it would be impossible to track the productivity of your teams and ensure projects get delivered on time without these awesome productivity tools.

Todoist

Todoist, as the name suggests, helps create to-do lists for virtual teams to adhere to. In addition, business owners and managers can organize tasks, sub-tasks, assign these tasks to resources along with notes, set deadlines, and plot productivity on charts. 

Todoist can be set to remind team members of recurring tasks, organize tasks based on priority, and even set task views based on individual preferences.

Blink

Blink has multiple capabilities to facilitate better productivity in remote teams. Other than the usual capabilities like calendar management, task assignment, and message boards, the tool has the capability to build micro-apps within the platform for aspects like absence management, payment management, timesheets, and more. 

The biggest advantage is that these micro-apps can be used seamlessly on tablets, desktops, and mobile devices.

Time management tools

While productivity tools can help ensure tasks are completed on schedule, we all know that working remotely makes getting distracted and losing track of time a lot easier. The solution? Use one of these time management tools to stay on track.

Prio

We at Prio have a simple and easy-to-use time tracker that fits perfectly into the ideal remote teams’ toolkit. Managers can share this tool with their teams as a link in their emails.

Team members just have to click on the link to open and start using the tool. Prio’s time tracker has “Start” and “Stop” buttons that team members can activate when they start their workday, and turn off when they’re done.

The tool can also track break times, showing the number of hours that were actually spent being productive on the job. The best part of our time tracker is that it’s absolutely free, irrespective of how large your team is.

Harvest

Harvest is another great time management tool that allows your team to track their time even while on the go using mobile devices. Harvest also integrates with a host of other tools like Asana and Quickbooks, so that managers can actually measure the amount of time team members spend on these tools.

Harvest also offers important insights using the data generated to help plan future deadlines more effectively. 

Toggl

Toggl is a time management tool that allows virtual teams to track productivity easily and export the data generated in a single click. 

This data can be sorted according to individuals, projects, or tasks. Toggl can also integrate with multiple project management tools and over 100 apps through their browser extensions. 

Video calls and screen-sharing tools

With regular face-to-face meetings in the conference room being out of the question with virtual teams, connecting through video calls and being able to share your screen with your team becomes the easiest way to accurately share briefs, data, and important information. Here are our top two picks for video calls and screen-sharing tools.

Zoom

Zoom gained immense popularity during the pandemic-enforced lockdowns for multiple reasons. For one, the tool has great video and audio capabilities for group calls. You can record your video calls for future reference using Zoom. Screen sharing is seamless, and you can even host webinars using Zoom. The icing on the cake is that Zoom has a lot of affordable options for teams of different sizes.

Google Meet

Google Meet allows users to host a video conference with as many as 100 participants for as many as 60 minutes without having to pay a penny. Being a Google product, you can rest assured that any data you share using Meet is secured. 

Google Meet can be used as an app, on your desktop browser window, and on mobile devices. It is even integrated with Google Nest Hub Max.

Premium versions of this tool enable added administrative controls, break-out rooms, storing of recordings, live streaming, polls, international dial-in numbers, and a lot more.

Note-taking tools

Taking down notes during briefs and meetings makes it easier for everyone to go back to what is expected of them and work on ideas more easily. Here are three note-taking tools guaranteed to make doing this a lot easier.

Notion

Notion not only allows you to take notes real-time, but it also allows you to organize them, view them in different formats based on your preferences, drag and drop additions like images, charts, graphs, and more onto your notes, has an intuitive editor and a lot more features, making it a much sought after note-taking tool for remote teams. 

Evernote

Evernote is a simple note-taker that lets you take down important notes, organize them, and sync these notes on all the devices you use every day. That way, you have access to your notes even when you’re on the go. 

OneNote

Microsoft’s OneNote is leading the note-taking tools category with some great innovations. In addition to taking and sorting notes, the tool can type voice commands, sort pages and allows you to update the app even when it is locked.

Future upgrades that Microsoft promises include AI capabilities and the ability to insert photos from your mobile phone camera.

Unlock remote productivity with Prio

We at Prio have a whole host of free and reasonably priced tools designed to help remote teams optimize their productivity. Our invoicing tool can help automate the time spent on creating repetitive invoices, while our resume maker can create great employee showcase resumes to remote your teams with your clients. 

Take advantage of these and other amazing Prio tools by signing up on our website today.

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