10 Virtual Collaboration Tools That Will Boost Your Remote Team
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 virtual collaboration tools offer robust solutions designed to facilitate remote teams in different time zones. Here are our top 10 virtual 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 tools should be a mainstay in any remote toolkit. Here are a few of our recommendations.
1- Adobe Connect
One of the current remote software well suited to virtual office teams is Adobe Connect. Adobe Connect offers high video quality and great value particularly in activities that require customized and interactive meeting rooms. Especially, for webinars and online training, Adobe Connect is powerful and flexible, though often suffers from an overabundance of options and a steep learning curve.
Specifically built for enterprises, GoToMeeting allows attendees to join the meeting without installation of the application (similar to Slack). It also maintains robust compatibility across all devices for 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. It also gives you the choice to either deploy on-premise or host in the cloud.
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 workspace 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 virtual collaboration tools setup. With this in mind, here are our picks:
6- Hubstaff Tasks
Hubstaff Tasks is a strong option for teams who use Agile to get things done. It helps in ensuring that projects are always moving forward with features like Sprints and custom workflows. Hubstaff Tasks is built on a Kanban interface that lets you easily move tasks around if necessary. You can also attach files to tasks and communicate with teammates within them. Hubstaff Tasks’s other notable features include daily standups and a timelines view of your projects.
For managing deadlines, few options come close to Asana. For instance, users can flexibly customize Asana to fit their unique workflows with their calendar, especially when handling stringent deadlines. On the other hand, Trello is leveraged as a simplified to-do application (for specific projects) with visual Kanban boards that are flexible, shareable.
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.
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.
11- 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 tools 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 virtual 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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