Updated: May 5, 2021
Lack of communication and self-discipline, blurred work schedule and work processes. The disadvantages of remote work are apparent to the naked eye. However, the right tools for remote work can make all the difference.
Let`s highlight 5 main pitfalls companies face when working remotely and which tools can save the day.
Timely Feedback, Project Discussion, and Motivation
Some projects and processes require thorough team engagement. And not all of these issues can be solved by a messenger. You need every member of your team on board and be aware of a problem, not to mention a full commitment to the project.
Regular feedback lets every team member know where the project is going and who is responsible for what.
Most of the companies today use Zoom. According to Statista, 36% of remote employees in the US work with Zoom.
Whole marketing department or a casual one-to-one meeting? Zoom can handle it. It can bring in 1000 people in one place. Here is, for instance, Zoom reuniting the Lord of the Ring actors in one place.
As for the functionality, it supports file exchange, screen sharing, internal chat, password protection, putting a conference participant on hold, etc. This video conference tool is perfect to evaluate the intermediate result of your employees` work, to ask them whether they need help from the team, and to discuss the difficulties within the project.
Video conferences are a must-have tool for EVERY company today. As Forbes Insights survey says, 93% of the responders agree that video drives engagement and effectiveness of remote workers.
Internal Work Communication
A quick piece of advice or simple notification about the project is always handy during remote work. Let`s not focus on each and every tool for it. For work environments, there are not that many options out there: Slack, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Rocketchat, HipChat.
If you are looking for an internal communication tool, there are basically three most important factors to consider:
transparency of all information
friendly interface for newcomers
Almost 750,000 organizations worldwide use Slack in 2020.
Such tools are used to quickly get information about the work processes, general questions, personal chats with colleagues and mentors, notifications for the whole department, etc.
Most companies create different channels for different departments, be it a thread for software engineers, marketers, sales, or HR.
Slack also has a messenger that supports such apps as Google Drive, Office 365, etc.
If your access to certain sites, servers, files, company`s resources are limited, it can drastically affect work performance and your employees won't be able to perform their jobs to the fullest. That`s why many companies resort to remote access tools.
This is one of the most popular tools for setting up remote access, which allows you to manage the desktop of your computers and servers from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an Internet connection. The good thing about TeamViewer is that it allows remote access from absolutely any device, be it Windows, iOS, and Android devices.
Common Files Editing and Documentation
Google Drive is not rocket science today. These days such tools become especially important, so make sure the team is familiar with the full capabilities of these tools before moving to a remote work environment.
Everyone knows that it`s a free service for storing and organizing files, allowing you to work on one document with different people at the same time. Along with the basic functions, this tool has other features that not everyone knows about.
You can scan documents, business cards, receipts with the Android Google Drive app
Files synchronization between PC and Smartphone
You can add a detailed description to the files and folders saved on the disk)
You can create a shortcut to a document from Google Drive on the desktop
You can edit PDF files
Copy text from images, and more
Project Management Tools for Bigger Picture
Do you have an urgent one-off task? Let your workers know about it. The whole picture of the work process is paramount for project managers.
Typically, people use chat rooms, messengers, email, and other project management techniques to elucidate on the project details and specific tasks. This process takes too much time, and the understanding of the workflow will be still superficial.
That`s why task managers are paramount for those who try to manage remote processes. Such tools as Asana are widely used.
Founded by ex-Google and Facebook engineers, this application enables you to:
Create and allocate tasks
Group tasks in common projects
Quickly discuss each individual task in chat
Schedule tasks and deadlines for it
Monitor employee workload and assign tasks to prevent "burnout"
It`s also compatible with Android and IOS platforms, which makes the notification process much smoother.
Different strokes for different folks. Sure thing, most companies rely on tools that suit them best in terms of interface, convenience, and work processes. However, it`s important to understand that it`s not a tool that improves your remote processes but rather an awareness of possible issues.
That way, remote workers are likely to remain just as productive and managing will be easier.
Written by: Louis Sawyer, a professional writer, editor, and web design expert. She loves writing about technology trends, web development, mobile games, and business issues. Also, Louis works as a proofreader at Computools. Follow Louis on Twitter.