Many modern businesses have at least some remote workers. Working remotely increases productivity, reduces stress and is more cost-effective than working from an office.
But what if you could take your office fully remote? Here are 10 innovative tools that can help make it happen.
The closest thing you can get to a virtual office, Slack is technically a messaging app for teams – but one that lets you organize and prioritize conversations based on topics or projects and offers file sharing. You can also sync all your other remote tools with Slack, so you receive all your platform notifications in one place.
When working with teams spread out around the globe, it can be hard to keep track of who’s available to talk and who’s asleep (or maybe at the movies). EveryTimeZone help solve this problem by showing you how the time zones of your coworkers overlap with yours.
This information makes it easier to coordinate efforts across oceans and continents.
Asana is a free team management tool (with a paid option) that allows you to delegate tasks to others and organize them into projects. It helps team members track the progress of group projects while also displaying to-do lists for individual people. Upload attachments from your computer, or share Google Docs links or Dropbox files.
Glip is a great tool to increase team productivity. It allows users to manage tasks, share calendars and files, create and send annotated images and have real-time group chats. And if someone ever needs to refer back to an old conversation, all the chats are fully searchable.
Many remote teams use Google Docs to share and work on communal documents, but when it comes to collaboration, there’s no comparing to Quip.
Quip is a document sharing and editing platform compatible with all Android and iOS phones and tablets, and it’s perfect for remote teams needing to manage real-time project collaboration.
It offers a helpful notification tool -- just mention someone in the document, and Quip will ping them. Conversations are also displayed alongside the document, making it easy for newcomers to catch up.
6. LastPass Enterprise
Teams working in a digital environment will have countless online accounts they use to do business. Rather than circulating passwords to everyone who needs them, LastPass allows businesses to create a single sign-on portal for each employee. You can manage who has access to which accounts and increase account security in the process.
Sqwiggle is the best way to make a remote team feel like they’re working together in the same room. The service displays all the team members together, and snaps a picture every few minutes so you can see what they’re up to.
It might seem like a strange tool, but Squiggle is less about the logistics of communication and more about making it personalized. It’s good to have some kind of visual connection with the people you spend your whole day typing to.
There are a lot of ways to share files these days, but Dropbox remains the best option. The tool allows you to easily invite others to collaborate on folders or files, and it integrates well with a lot of other remote office tools as well as Microsoft Office.
When it comes to managing day-to-day tasks, nothing compares to iDoneThis. Teams use this tool to report what they accomplished each day. All the data is compiled and sent out to team members as a digest the following day.
This keeps everyone in the know about what’s been done -- and what needs to be done -- each day of the week.
If your business has remote employees that work hourly, the time-tracking software Harvest is the easiest way to track their hours and create timesheets. The tool also goes above and beyond by offering insight reports for your business’s profitability, invoicing and payments capabilities, expense tracking and integration with your preferred tools.