Why Remote Workers Need Remote Tools
Working remotely comes with pros and cons. While it does offer flexibility and savings, it can be challenging to communicate and collaborate with a long-distance team while maintaining high productivity if there are distractions in your home. Tracy Brower, of FastCompany, says that “it’s challenging to establish boundaries when your home and workspace is the same. You’re more likely to feel lonely and isolated, and it can be difficult to stay productive.” Luckily, with today’s technology, there’s an abundance of software and apps available at your fingertips to eliminate these challenges of working remotely. We’ve listed 5 remote tools that can boost your productivity and facilitate seamless collaboration between you and your remote team.
5 Essential Remote Tools
Unlike working in an office, working remotely means 100% of your communication with your co-workers are done virtually. Onboarding, water cooler conversations, team building activities, conferences, and one-on-ones with your managers will all be remote. Today, remote tools for communication go beyond company emails and it’s important to use apps with dynamic features for quick messaging, screen shares, audio and video calling. To avoid missed messages, it’s ideal that you and your organization use the same platforms for effective communication. A few of the popular communication apps used by large companies are Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack and Google Meet.
Remote workers need a tool to seamlessly work with remote co-workers on big projects. When working in an office, it’s easy to book a meeting where every team member can gather around a table and share ideas and resources. However, this isn’t the case for remote teams and relying only on emails or chat are isn’t efficient, accessible or productive. A remote tool for the purpose of collaboration, is critical to easily access files, edit documents, make comments and facilitate real-time feedback loops between large groups. Many organizations invest in Teams plus Office or Google Suite for features like Drive, Slides, Docs and Sheets. Similarly, if you need to transfer large files securely, DropBox is a fantastic option.
Project Management Tool
Along with using collaboration tools to work together on projects, you should also use a remote tool for managing high priority projects. Project Management tools make it simple for remote teams to assign tasks, track progress and schedule deadlines. It’s essentially the virtual version of an in-office whiteboard where teams can brainstorm and make mind maps. As a remote worker, these tools are valuable in visualizing your own assignments. A few of the best project management tools in the market are Microsoft Planner, Monday and Trello.
IT Security Tools
Remote workers are at a higher risk of cybersecurity threats which can easily harm organizations. If you’re working remotely, we highly recommend preparing a strategic IT Plan and installing IT Security tools. If your organization allows you to work through your personal devices (ie. laptops or PCs), install a remote desktop like TeamViewer, ConnectWise Control or Microsoft Remote Desktop. This separates your personal documents and work-related files. Additionally, before connecting to a virtual desktop, your employer will likely assign a VPN (Virtual Private Network) for remote access which creates a secure connection to another network via the internet. A few examples of trusted VPNs for remote access include FortiClient, NordVPN and ExpressVPN.
Whether you’re working remotely or not, being organized and staying on top of your work is important to boost productivity and prevent future headaches. But working from home can be overwhelming for some, especially those who find themselves distracted by their surroundings. It’s easy to lose track of all your tasks which can be detrimental to your overall work-life balance. If you’re somebody that enjoys making lists consider downloading Todoist, TickTick or Microsoft To Do. If you need to keep track of different time zones because you work with a team from different parts of the world, visit World Time Buddy to easily schedule and set proper deadlines. Finally, if you have several complicated work log-ins and accounts, try 1Password, LastPass or DashLane to securely organize and record your passwords.