More and more companies are incorporating remote employees and remote teams into their corporate structure. It can save money and increase efficiency. It also removes geographical restrictions from the hiring process. Having a remote team also presents new challenges for communication and project collaboration. The following 5 tools are designed to answer these challenges.
Collaboration Tools for Remote Teams
Working remotely makes some things more challenging. Communication, project collaboration, and document management become increasingly important. The good news is there is a wealth of apps and tools being developed to address each of these areas. Here are 5 of the most important tools you will need:
1) Communication tools.
IM applications such as Google Hangouts or Slack make conversation among team members much easier. You will reduce the amount of email filling up your inbox and be able to have real-time conversations. Sometimes, though, you just need to be able to see each other’s faces. For this reason a good video conference application is a must-have. Google Hangouts, Skype, GoToMeeting, and Join.Me are some leading examples. The added benefits of a good screen sharing feature cannot be overstated.
2) A good project manager.
You will need a way to manage projects and tasks for all the members of your team. A good project manager will help you keep your team on task and accountable for their work. Some popular examples are BusyFlow, Basecamp, Pivotal Tracker, Huddle, and Trello.
3) Cloud based services.
Virtual servers and remote desktops managed by an IT service provider makes working remotely so much easier. Keep your business organized and optimized with all the software and licensing you need included. You won’t have to worry about backing up your data and you will have protection against security breaches. You can also save money by not having to purchase all your own equipment. Cloud based services allow your employees to work from anywhere, anytime.
4) Software for e-signatures.
You may not frequently have a need to get a signature from a team member who is remote, but when you do, it is a hassle. You send it to them, then they have to print it, sign it, scan it, and send it back to you via email. Having an intuitive e-signature application will save you time and hassle. By using an application like Hellosign, you can easily create and share legally-binding electronic signatures. You may not need it a lot, but when you do it’s invaluable.
5) Share/collaborate on documents and files.
Having a common place to save and share files AND a means to collaborate on text documents in real time is essential. While storage systems like Dropbox allows you to save and share files and applications like Draft allow you to collaborate on documents, Google Drive allows you to do it all. Find the system that works best for your business needs.
Give Your Team the Best
Going remote is a no-brainer for many businesses. If you are thinking about incorporating remote employees or already have some, give them the best shot at success. Use this guide for collaboration tools to get started. Contact Us for more information on cloud based services and other ways to make working remotely easier.