7 Best Apps to Help Your Team Thrive While Social Distancing
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This article was written by Alex Sixt, an Entrepreneur NEXT powered by Assemble expert. If you are looking to take the NEXT step in your business then we encourage you to check out Entrepreneur NEXT powered by Assemble.
There’s no doubt about it — whether you work with a small team or a large network, your job has been affected by the global health crisis. Thousands of employees have made the shift to working from home for the sake of public health. Working remotely may come with a new set of obstacles for teams as they try to cope with this new normal. While working in our pajamas has its perks, employees will face a newfound reliance on technology, even more than before — especially to communicate with their now scattered team. Luckily, there are a variety of apps that can help your team thrive during these hard times. I’ve scrolled through all the apps on my phone and laptop, I’ve dug in and compiled a list of 7 of the best apps, SaaS and tools that have helped us and our teams. Hopefully, these can help your team overcome the barriers of social distancing and continue to be productive.
This app was designed for remote workers and offers a variety of features that make working at home an easy adjustment. Slack is a fantastic option for teams to manage multiple projects at once and easily maintain contact with one another. The app uses “channels” that act as threads for individual topics or projects, and includes direct messaging for one on one conversations, as well. Slack easily integrates itself with other tools so that sharing files, calendar updates, and video calls are easily accessible in one spot. An added bonus: you can choose to turn off notifications when you aren’t working to maintain your work-life balance — especially in this new normal where it might start to become difficult to draw the line.
If your team is using Salesforce, Quip is a must for social distancing productivity. Quip synchronizes with the Salesforce platform, allowing your team to keep in constant communication, eliminating the need to switch back and forth between apps. The app prides itself on creating a “culture of action” by bringing together your team’s work and communications so that your productivity can thrive anywhere — even from your living room. Team members can create and co-edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in real-time, even providing the option to live chat within a document to make quick decisions.
For better email marketing and marketing automation that can be performed from anywhere, Klaviyo is your best bet. The app provides on-the-go campaign monitoring stats and displays dashboard analytics that allows for constant updates no matter where you are. Features include the ability to see when your most recent campaigns have been sent, scheduled, or drafted, and view open and click rates, among other statistics to show how your campaign is performing. Email marketing from your sofa could not be easier.
Virtual meetings and conferences, rejoice! One of the biggest issues currently facing teams is the need to have face-to-face conversations, which the Zoom app can help to facilitate. The app gives remote-workers the ability to video chat with one or more users at a time. It also incorporates real-time messaging in a sidebar. Built-in scheduling and email invitations help make this app a feature-rich solution for replacing the previous office-based face-to-face encounters. I love collaborating, so one of my favorite features is the back and forth screen-sharing. Zoom allows all participating users to share their screens, making collaboration and virtual presentations even more of a breeze.
Another app designed specifically for remote workers: Basecamp. Because Basecamp itself is a remote company, they really understand what employees need to work from home. The app combines elements of all the tools your team will need to be productive, everything from message boards and to-do lists, to automatic check-ins and file sharing. Even better: Basecamp draws on their years of experience as a remote-worker-company to provide tons of tips, within the app and their website, on how to improve your team’s productivity during social distancing!
I took a quick survey of friends and colleagues who have been working remote, when I asked what they felt they were missing out on from office-life, so many said they missed the small pats on the back and the encouragement found in the comradery of the office. With imposed social distancing and “shelter in place” happening, people are feeling more distanced and anxious than ever. Although your team may not be working in the same physical space, you can still create – or maintain – a positive, encouraging culture and improve morale by recognizing employees who go above and beyond. Wooboard gives team members the ability to earn points and badges through a rewards system that acknowledges their hard work! Team leaders also have the option to allow their members to earn prizes such as gift cards with their points. In stressful times, this app can help employees grow closer despite the distance, and keep team morale high.
Figuring out meeting times that will work for everyone or reaching a group decision can present even more of a challenge when working remotely. Luckily, the Doodle app can help simplify the process. Doodle allows users to create a poll with options for others to vote on, then choose the most popular option after the group has voted. This can help your team overcome distancing barriers by saving everyone the time involved in decision-making and scheduling processes. Creative team leaders could even use Doodle to help organize a team-building lunch (and support other local businesses). Offer a list of local restaurants offering delivery and order lunch to be delivered to each team member’s home office. Hey, everybody’s gotta eat!
Whether your team has been working remotely for years or is newly adjusting due to current circumstances, social distancing doesn’t mean productivity has to suffer. Consider giving one of these apps a try to stay in communication with your team, continue to work together, and even sprinkle in some recognition for the incredible work your team members do!