Table of Contents
- 1 Background – Most famous ≠ the best
- 2 Remote tools you really need
- 3 Remote Work Software Basics
- 4 Scheduling & Video Conferencing
- 5 Verbal, Asynchronous Communication (Screen Recordings)
- 6 Document Sharing & Storage
- 7 Chat & Email
- 8 Tool Administration
- 9 Conclusion
Background – Most famous ≠ the best
Among startups “remote work” is a commonly used strategy to acquire the best talent available all across the world. Now, amid a global pandemic, more and more companies ask themselves which software to use to enable truly efficient remote work for their employees.
The answer might sound surprising, but the best remote work tools are not the ones you can commonly read about in blog articles. The best remote software is mostly unknown and just about ready to take over the world.
As we, at onetool (the app store for business software) see dozens of productivity tools every day, we aim to present the hidden gems of remote work software in this article. In fact, we do not only write about these tools, but we also use them every single day to make our work-life more efficient.
Remote tools you really need
- Task- & Project Management
- Scheduling and Video Conferencing
- Verbal, asynchronous Communication (Screen Recordings)
- Document Sharing & Storage
- Chat & Email
- Tool Administration
Remote Work Software Basics
Task- & Project Management
Alternative 2: Nifty
Nifty can also be the pillar tool of all your remote work software. It does project management, task management, chats, wikis, notes, and time tracking; all in one place. Compared to ClickUp, Nifty focuses more on written communication between teammates rather than strict task- or project-based communication.
Thus, you could direct-message a team member instead of direct messaging her via a task. Nifty is incredibly easy to understand but can even handle complex project plans.
Scheduling & Video Conferencing
Thus, a meeting invite link could look like this: meet.yourcompany.com/yourguestname
Verbal, Asynchronous Communication
The third category of the basic tools for remote work is asynchronous communication.
As we said above, we highly recommend keeping all written communication close to their tasks in your task management program. For longer scheduled meetings and to discuss things or strategize you’d use Vectera or Meetfox, but what if you want to clarify things really quickly without having to set up a meeting?
Using the threads in your task management system might be sufficient, but pictures tell more than 1000 words.
If your team is spread across multiple time-zones Standups could be your solution for everyone’s daily morning update. You can organize your remote employees into teams and make sure the first thing they do every morning is to hear (and see) the update of their remote-co-workers.
For everyone not working across time-zones it still makes you more efficient not having to wait for every meeting participant every single morning.
Document Sharing & Storage
This should be a no-brainer today but we’re adding it here to have a complete overview. All documents should be stored in the cloud to make remote collaboration work. We haven’t seen many hidden gems in these fields. The market leaders GSuite, Dropbox, and Box are the way to go. Office 365 is lagging behind and often synchronizes slowly.
When sharing documents, please make sure to never upload files to your remote tools but to always insert the files’ links into the threads. This makes sure you keep your documents in sync and that you are working on the same document versions.
Chat & Email
While chat software such as Slack is probably the most commonly used software out there, we don’t recommend using chat software with your remote teams. The reason is that ideally, you want to have all your communication related to projects or tasks stored in one place, especially with remote teams.
Too often, chat and email software make it convenient to send over a few lines of important text to a co-worker and to never find it again; leading to scattered information and many “task silos”. Therefore, at onetool, we keep all communication related to tasks, to-dos, or projects in our project management app (see above).
We all feel it but rarely act on it. Email is broken. When working with your remote team, try to not use any email internally at all. Make sure to establish this culture so that the sole purpose of an email is external communication.
Again, less is more. When selecting your remote work tools you should make sure that your team understands your guidelines and that you don’t choose too many tools. However, you will end up using, on average, 8 tools per employee.
To make sure you can control everything in one dashboard, can one-click on-board and off-board your staff with their software, see usage statistics, provide them with a single-sign-on and make sure you can easily discover new tools, sign up to make sure you keep control of software being used.
The best tools for remote work can only be the best tools if you have a clear strategy on how to interact with your software. Don’t overload your employees with 25+ tools for every use-case (like most blogs suggest) but make sure to have just the core use-cases well covered.
- Everything written and project-/task-related should happen within one single project management software such as ClickUp or Nifty.
- For video meetings, you should choose a software that does both, scheduling and video meetings such as Vectera or MeetFox.
- Rather than using chat and email, use the thread functionality of your project management tool and asynchronous remote work tools like StoryXPress and Standups to express emotions, tone, and gestures.
- Don’t get into the habit of creating a subscription chaos. Discover, sign up to, and manage all your remote work software with onetool – the app store for business software.