Remote working has become far more popular in a post-Covid world, with working from home has become mandatory for lengthy periods of time.
Whilst remote work for individuals is nothing new, working with fully remote teams has become increasingly widespread in the last year, with teams working together from different locations and offices left nearly empty.
This new wave of remote work can bring about some difficulties when it comes to collaborating on larger-scale projects, and keeping the whole team streamlined with only remote communication brings forward new challenges.
As a result of this, collaboration tools for remote teams have become more advanced and made communicating, sharing files, and managing projects together as a team far more accessible.
Here are some of the best tools for:
- communication & productivity
- collaboration (within or outside the team)
- sharing - files & calendars.
Tools for improving remote team’s communication and productivity
Communication can often be the most challenging component in successful remote online collaboration with your team.
Although email is still important for lengthier, more robust communications, chat apps aid rapid messaging that feels more conversational whilst improving remote team communication.
Instant messaging simplifies conversations and makes for efficient team meetings with group chats that take place in real-time. Many chat apps also have file-sharing and calling capabilities to help streamline your project management.
Slack is a fantastic remote collaboration and productivity platform offering a variety of different communication methods in one place, with a group or one-to-one chats, as well as the option to call through video and audio.
Slack also allows for more informal internal messaging alongside business calls, so that teams can continue to bond remotely.
To ensure that messages remain confidential and sensitive data, such as passwords, can be securely shared, Sealit offers a new add-in for encrypting messages on Slack.
When it comes to working on group projects, keeping everyone on track with their individual tasks can be difficult even when you're all sat together in an office.
For a manager looking to quantify and delegate tasks to break down larger projects, they will need a remote collaboration and productivity platform that offers more than just a checklist.
There are so many different options available, and most companies look for a combination of task management, time tracking, collaboration tools, integration for the moving parts of the projects, and to-do lists, all in one place.
Tools for collaborating
Video meetings and conferences
Whilst audio conference calls are still a useful tool for communication, video calls allow individuals to come virtually face to face with one another for a more natural conversation.
Video calls have also become more elaborate, with additional screen-sharing tools and separate meetings rooms that mimic the feel of an in-person meeting.
Many of the instant messaging tools, such as Microsoft Teams and Slack, also have video meeting services for ease when jumping between the two modes of communication.
Brainstorming and planning
When successfully working together remotely, teams not only need to delegate and work individually on tasks but also brainstorm and work collectively to dream up the best ideas for projects.
This again can be challenging when working remotely, as even on video calls it can be difficult to communicate and visualise ideas coherently, as well as keeping all members of the team engaged with the task at hand.
Some video conferencing software, such as Zoom, also have whiteboards embedded within the app, which are perfect for brainstorming.
Tools for sharing
File sharing and storage
Whilst transferring files between one another via email can be quick and convenient, when sharing larger files or multiple files within a folder, compressing the files into an email can become long and inefficient.
Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft One Drive and other cloud storage solutions make sharing and storing files far more efficient, allowing files to be edited by multiple people and uploaded to the drive, rather than sending them back and forth.
Remember to also ensure that you are sharing files securely when working remotely.
Sealit is a great tool for encrypting files so that they are kept safe when shared across different networks.
Coordinating meetings and shared deadlines can get overly time-consuming when individually writing in dates into individual calendars.
Shared calendars like Google Calendar keep the back and forth to a minimum, simply allowing team members to drop in reminders.
With a combination of these different tools, and ensuring you find the best remote collaboration and productivity platform for your team, working remotely can be smooth and efficient and mimic many of the collaboration qualities that we can get from working within an office together.
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