While working remotely can create challenges in communication and camaraderie, there are tools designed to help teams overcome these hurdles and work efficiently.
According to a 2021 State of Remote Work survey by Quantum Workplace, 82% of remote employees agree that they have the necessary technology to stay connected to their team when working remotely. These organizations are leveraging the best remote working tools and policies. Read on to learn how you can do the same.
Most effective remote working tools
The key to a successful remote workforce is to provide your remote employees with reliable access to the right resources, tools and equipment. Here are some of our top picks.
Integrated collaboration tools combine instant messaging, video conferencing and screen sharing. This allows remote employees to collaborate without having to switch between multiple third-party platforms or applications, saving valuable time and making it simple to communicate virtually. There are many options for collaboration tools, from Microsoft Teams and SharePoint to Google Hangouts and Slack.
The Owl Labs State of Video Conferencing 2019 report found that video conferencing is the preferred method of communication when face-to-face meetings aren’t possible—ranked over email, instant messaging and phone calls.
We’re all familiar with tools like Zoom and Skype, but did you know that most modern collaboration tools have built-in video conferencing capabilities? You can start a video call directly from a Slack chat, but the platform seamlessly integrates with the other video tools you may already be using, too. Being able to instantly start meetings or join calls without leaving your Slack workspace means fewer interruptions and less time jumping between tabs and platforms.
A modern employee recognition software specifically built for remote and hybrid teams, Nectar allows employees to participate in challenges, choose their own rewards and celebrate milestones from within the app. Coworkers and managers can send meaningful recognition that aligns with core values, helping to boost your company culture and employee morale.
Bonusly is another recognition tool that automates shoutouts for birthday and work anniversaries, lets employees choose their own rewards, and evaluates recognition trends with detailed analytics and reporting. You can even integrate Bonusly with Slack to give bonuses, view employee recognition shoutouts and receive automatic notifications without ever having to leave your workspace.
Tools like monday.com, Wrike and Asana enable collaborative, real-time project management. They help teams manage workloads, stay aligned on deadlines, and improve communication around projects and tasks. You can even integrate some of the other remote work tools we’ve suggested with your project management system to further streamline project status and communication. While Slack doesn’t replace the need for project management tools, it can enhance your use of them, resulting in a better ROI. Here’s how Slack can level up your project management tools:
- Manage all the moving pieces of your projects, from kickoff meeting notes to KPIs
- Centralize tasks from different software, give feedback and approvals, and create new assignments
- Automatically send task updates and deadline reminders
- Find and share files from file management services like Box, Dropbox and Google Drive
All this, and more, can be done directly in Slack.
Best remote working policies
When using these tools, there are a few best practices for remote working to consider.
Set expectations. Setting clear expectations and parameters from the start can help remote workers avoid frustrations and misalignments down the road. This could include which tools should be used for which tasks, when and where communication takes place, how scheduling and work availability is measured, and deadlines.
Prioritize work-life balance. A 2021 TINYpulse survey found that about 86% of remote workers have experienced a great deal of burnout, so this one is super-important. While having access to so many tools and technologies is helpful, it can also make employees feel like they’re never able to unplug. Setting those expectations around scheduling and work availability helps, and encourages employees to take screen breaks and time off when needed.
Overcommunicate. With remote teams, it’s nearly impossible to communicate too much. Teams should leverage communication tools like Slack, have regular video check-ins, and use project management software to keep track of workflows.
Don’t overlook cybersecurity. When working remotely, your employees access your business applications and data from various devices and locations. This increases vulnerabilities and, in turn, the risk of cyberattacks. To adjust, businesses must prioritize cybersecurity and ensure they use technology safely and effectively.
With Slack, remote teams can work simpler and smarter. Streamline workflows, collaboration and communication with a secure, all-in-one platform designed to make work more efficient from any location. Contact us and get started today.