With the digital technology we have today, not even a pandemic could bring the world’s commerce to a complete stop. Team leaders have been able to manage remote teams with a reliable internet connection and a well-rounded suite of remote work tools.
While there may have been a few hiccups here and there, it was business as usual for most team members.
Still, if you want to keep the wheels of industry turning with your home-bound workers, a well-rounded managing remote workers toolkit is essential.
Here are 12 remote work tools that will streamline your COVID-19 small business operations strategy.
Team Collaboration and Communication Tools
Even when separated by miles, a team still needs to get together for collaboration. The following tools effectively turn the office cubicle into a virtual space to keep everyone in touch.
Slack could be described as an advanced text messaging app, but it’s got a lot of features under the hood that make it a good choice for team collaboration. Each team in slack can have its own dedicated chat room, but you can also divide them up into projects or topics. Slack has virtually no learning curve. If a team member can send a text, they can use Slack.
- Private communication’s available through direct messaging
- Send and share documents, links, screenshots, and GIFS.
- Check your text and voicemails from within the application using OpenPhone Integration.
2. Microsoft Teams
Unify your communication and collaboration through Microsoft Teams with a persistent workplace chat, file storage, and videoconferencing toolset. It’s a well-rounded suite of remote work tools designed to streamline communications between departments.
- Team Wiki feature
- OneNote integration built-in for streamlined communications and managing teams.
- Fast learning curve for organizations already invested in the Microsoft ecosystem.
Artificial Intelligence is the secret ingredient behind Chanty’s remote work tools.
Chanty’s teambook keeps everything in sync, with pinned messages, conversations, and organized tasks all within easy reach of a streamlined interface.
- Text messaging
- Activity news feeds
- Instant voice messaging
Textr provides a convenient, affordable system to stay in touch with multiple team members. You can also access a virtual phone number from over 200 countries, which is great for teams needing to keep in touch at an international level.
- Send and receive texts online
- Engage in 2-way online SMS chat
- Write once and send-to-many.
Project Management and Productivity Tools
Project management and productivity tools are an essential addition to your remote work tools for keeping a COVID-19 small business running smoothly. All the following applications will help you manage remote teams and keep productivity high.
Asana yoga is all about flexibility, so it’s an apt name for this application, as it keeps everything at your fingertips for streamlined remote management.
Asana improves team productivity whether you are on your desktop or out and about with your mobile, because the smartphone app includes everything the desktop version can do.
- Task management
- Project management features
- Same power on desktop as on mobile device
If you don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with many other project management tools, then Trello might be for you. Trello includes all the functionality without most of the learning curve.
- Includes all the essentials to keep things streamlined
- Collaboration tools
- File sharing
- Project cards.
Quire is a free cloud-hosted project management tool with features that make it perfect for everyone from lone freelancers to small and medium-sized businesses. For a free app, it’s packed with everything you could need for remote team management and organizing tasks.
- Kanban board
- Real-time collaboration
- Tree structure for dividing tasks into subtasks
Manage remote teams and learn to love Monday again. Monday is an online collaboration tool, and while not strictly project management material, it’s feature set can help team members easily keep track of who is doing what and when it’s supposed to happen.
- Calendar views
- Time tracking
- Online storage facilities.
Other Helpful Organization Tools
There’s more you need to do to manage remote teams effectively, which is where these additional tools will come in handy.
TodoList is a simple tool for organizing tasks by priority. A quick glance at your phone will tell you what needs to be done next. Handy widgets provide a constant reminder about how you should spend your time.
- Group related tasks together
- Send yourself reminders
- Quickly add a new task using voice recognition
Miro is a whiteboard app that works in real time from the cloud. Use Miro to manage remote teams, brainstorm new ideas, and keep team members in the loop. Let your team remotely get to work on creating prototypes, designing concepts, and developing out a roadmap from wherever they are working.
- Kanban and Gantt charts
- Google Chrome extension
- Cloud based with Google Drive integration
Zapier is an online tool used by millions to connect different apps together,
automate repetitive tasks, and create customized solutions without an expensive developer. Use an event from one app to trigger a function in another connected app.
For example, instead of opening attachments in your Gmail to review and save them, you could connect Gmail with your OneDrive account to save the attachments directly into a special folder automatically. The list of automations is virtually endless when you combine Zapier with two or more of your favorite productivity applications.
- Powerful automation
- Task history (see which tasks executed successfully or failed)
- Web based
- No technical skills required
When you have a large team, a forgotten password can put a huge bottleneck in the team’s productivity. 1Password helps you keep all your passwords in one place so you never get locked out of a critical piece of software or website again. Advanced protection ensures your team is always using up-to-date software. Should a password become compromised, an alert ensures you can take action on any security breaches immediately.
- Manage custom groups and vaults
- Use varying levels of permissions to keep your critical data secure
- Two-factor authentication
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