10 Remote Collaboration Tools That Will Boost Your Remote Team’s Productivity
Author: Denis Tumuhaise
Table of Contents
With the wake-up call that has presented itself in the form of the Covid pandemic, businesses had no other choice than to transition to working from home. The trend of virtual office tool utilization will see a spike in uptake over the coming years. Generally speaking, this transformation from traditional office settings to more distributed and collaborative work environments is already happening.
This is more evident as new startups spring up to take advantage of new business opportunities. So, expect many to consequently view a physical office as costly and time-consuming in an evolving technological landscape. Ultimately, the pivot towards virtual offices is a no-brainer for many as they provide the advantages of a physical office, at a much lower cost.
To facilitate this new trend, different remote collaboration tools offer robust solutions designed to facilitate remote teams in different time zones. Here are our top 10 remote collaboration tools to elevate your remote work experience!
Team Chat & Video Conferencing Alternatives
All things considered; communication is the backbone of any distributed team. Performant and flexible remote collaboration and conference tools should be a mainstay in any remote toolkit. Here are a few of our recommendations.
ProofHub is an all-in-one project software that solves several remote team collaboration and communication challenges. It is equipped with a context-rich task management system that supports Kanban workflows and Gantt timeline charts helping managers plan their workweek with agility. Remote teams can leverage ProofHub’s centralized interface featuring team chat, discussion boards, and real-time note-making. It also supports a file repository for managing project data and time tracking for billing client projects accurately. Overall, it’s an extensive suite of productivity and collaboration tools for remote teams smartly bundled together for the best productivity.
Specifically built for enterprises, GoToMeeting is a zoom alternative that allows attendees to join the meeting without installation of the application (similar to Slack). It also maintains robust compatibility across all devices for remote teams to collaborate faster while leveraging its rich workflow integrations, security compliance, and account management features.
As a side note, video conferences can be tiring for your employees. Ensure to limit your use of Video conferencing tools. Opt for it when it’s indispensable and remember to record meetings when required.
As mentioned, virtual face-to-face meetings can be overwhelming, that’s when chat remote toolkits typically come in handy. Most times, for instant communication, dedicated chat software like Twist should be used as they offer exclusive chat rooms for your virtual collaboration.
Specifically built to replace email as companies’ principal method of communication, Twist keeps conversations organized, on-topic, and easy to find (forever). So, essentially, keeping your team’s communication in a centralized, transparent, and at a accessible place. It also possesses private messaging capabilities for information and file sharing, all in one place.
4- Zoho Cliq
In the same domain as Twist and Slack, Zoho Cliq caters to businesses of all sizes across various industries. Its main features include document management, drag-and-drop file sharing, channel-based permissions, as well as team chat and video calling. This collaboration tool for remote teams also gives you the choice to either deploy on-premise or host in the cloud.
Blink is an all-in-one employee communication app that provides a solution for frontline workers and remote employees to stay connected to their organization. It improves the employee experience in meaningful, everyday ways, giving employees mobile access to the communications and applications they need to do their job and feel part of the company. This creates a culture of productivity, retention and collaboration, where the frontline is engaged, gives feedback and feels valued. Key features include a personalized feed, one-to-one & group chats, file sharing, employee hub & directory, employee recognition, and integration with hundreds of other workplace systems.
6- Troop Messenger
Troop Messenger makes office work productive with its smart and innovative team collaboration features of chat, meet, message-to-self, call, file sharing, and others. Enterprises of all sizes and forms use Troop Messenger for their internal consumption for exchanging work communication due to its scalability and security. Its dashboard provides exceptional feature access controls for restricting users or guest users from using certain application features.
Document Collaboration Tooling
Generally, document collaboration, file storage & sharing tools allow all remote team members to view, edit, and work synchronously to achieve common goals.
Whether you’re conducting research, gathering feedback, or looking for a collaboration platform for remote teams that you can organize and manage data, JotForm can be the go-to solution.
JotForm originated as an online form builder and survey maker but it also provides virtual collaboration options like JotForm Tables and PDF editor. Kept up with the latest developments, JotForm offers functional integrations, password protection, and ready-to-use templates to streamline your workflow.
Additionally, for healthcare providers dealing with personal health information, JotForm’s HIPAA compliant survey tool serves as a secure, all-in-one solution to collect and organize sensitive patient data. It also offers free HIPAA-compliant accounts to all eligible first responders, healthcare professionals, and government organizations dedicated to helping their communities.”
Project Management Software
Any organization can tell you that project management and transparency are core aspects of any remote collaboration tools setup. With this in mind, here are our project management software picks:
8- nTask Manager
Ntask is an excellent task management and project management software that allows its users to easily track and manage every task and activity that they have to perform regarding their project development process. The application does not discriminate even if you are a small team or a large enterprise.
One of the best things about this application is its ability to handle remote teams, their day-to-day operations and collaborations. Overall, the application is an impressive arsenal with a lot of productivity tools assembled together for increased productivity.
SmartTask is an all-in-one cloud-based work management software that comes with task management, project management, team collaboration, sales CRM, custom analytics, and reporting features. It is known for its simple user interface and does not require training to use it.
It allows you to manage tasks with the list, board, calendar, and timeline views. You can manage multiple projects with portfolio view and save your team from burnout with the workload view. You can set project milestones, auto-schedule tasks, collaborate on tasks, invite guest users, make video calls, chat, comment, and share files.
SmartTask integrates with Zapier, Integromat, Pabbly Connect, Slack, and other 1000+ applications to automate your workflows with ease. It is suitable for teams of all sizes including accounts, operations, engineering, marketing, and HR teams.
Organization & Note Taking Applications
Whether you intend to record decisions made and topics discussed during Zoom meetings or to collect articles and statistics to reference later, a note-taking tool is optimal.
Inherently, knowledge storage, management, and sharing are important components of any virtual office tool integration. So, tools like Evernote and Notion are enough for most remote teams.
Evernote serves a variety of purposes— a digital file cabinet, note-taking tool, daily journal, and more. Evernote is a cross-platform app and the free version has pretty much all you need to stay organized from a professional organizer’s point of view.
On the other hand, Notion has similar facets but tends to be more specific for certain industries. This is because it can become quite technical for some users. That said, Notion’s stand out feature is its powerful note-taking, which allows users to add plain text, videos, sound, and code snippets.
If you’re in a position where you need to quickly capture and share screenshots to facilitate your work assignments or to create content, then CloudApp can do.
As an instant video and image sharing platform for professionals, CloudApp is extremely user-friendly and simplifies the recording of videos and audios. Furthermore, it’s beneficial when explaining steps to a customer as you can use your mic to add extra information with the video. Or you can basically improvise with GIFs to show quick steps.
Time Tracking Tools
factoTime is a user-friendly time tracking tool for monitoring employees’ work hours and calculating their salaries. Employees can mark their punch with the selfie and location tagging or scan QR codes. Therefore, you get in-depth data on the staff’s attendance and accurate information every time. In addition, you can restrict the staff to mark the clock in/out from other unregistered devices, helping you to get rid of buddy punching.
HR and managers can make strategic, high-value decisions with the help of visually appealing dashboards and ready-to-generate reports. Apart from this, you can also schedule shifts, create a calendar, and manage holidays. The best thing is you don’t have to integrate other software to calculate your employees’ salaries. The system will calculate it automatically based on the pay rates entered by you and the total tracked hours.
Bonus: Cloud Desktop Applications
Virtual cloud-based desktops are the future, as a recent prediction estimated that 41% of enterprise workload would be run on public cloud platforms by 2020, with another 20% on private-clouds, and 22% adopting hybrid clouds. So, in essence, the ability to run your business applications on a cloud desktop will be desired after.
14- V2 Cloud
A cloud-based desktop virtualization solution like V2 Cloud provides complete access to a full Windows desktop from anywhere, with any device. Distributed teams can accordingly give members access to a multi-user Windows operating system with Microsoft Office and all business applications that employees and consultants require. All accessible 24/7 from any computer, phone, or tablet.
Additionally, V2 Cloud also comes with unrivaled security and disaster recovery to mitigate the loss of information. Furthermore, since your data is safe in the cloud, you can work uninterrupted while on the go. Additionally, V2 Cloud maintains exceptional cloud-based application hosting capabilities for QuickBooks.
For example, exploiting V2’s technological capabilities, accountants can remotely access their clients’ accounting software and data. All while their staff also work on the same computer using V2’s solution with simplified user management and in-built screen sharing.
The remote work revolution is here to stay and threatens to deliver a higher quality of life with workers having more flexibility to decide their work schedule. It offers significant savings and flexibility compared to traditional offices. However, as highlighted in this article, such set-ups allow collaborative work.
Remote teams, particularly those working across different time zones require reliable mediums to execute appropriate workflows and good work culture. They also need dependable virtual offices too to help teammates feel more connected to enhance their productivity and creativity.
The collaboration tools for remote teams listed above, when combined effectively, provide a sense of ‘presence’ of who is available, who can meet, who is meeting, and what team members are talking about.
Fundamentally, all the above remote collaboration tools will soon revolve around the foundation of a convenient and stable cloud desktop-like V2 Cloud. The future is turning towards a cloud adoption and office virtualization.
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