Having remote teams is the future of companies, and it is not hard to see why. Technology offers endless benefits to make the life of employers and employees easier.
For companies, it can help to reduce costs, plus the pool of potential employees could now include the entire world. Accessing top talent anywhere in the world to be a part of your company is now literally just one click away. On the other hand, working remotely anywhere in the world provides a lot of benefits on achieving a greater work-life balance for employees, among other things.
However, many companies are still hesitant to change the traditional central office model and opt for remote distributed teams. Managing a workforce is challenging enough, even when it is all concentrated inside a single building. How to do it when your team is miles away from you?
While managing and working with remote teams might seem challenging. Every day new tools are being created, aimed to make it a lot easier, and many companies are taking advantage of them, and building international dream teams, despite distances.
Whether you are looking for an app for project management, communication, video chat, collaborative work, storage, or hiring, there is one for everything. These are Keyo's top 10 favorite apps for managing remote teams.
First things first, being able to gather all of your team in the same virtual space is the first big challenge, and this is what Slack is for. This tool is practically your virtual office, a messaging app that provides a way to chat, share documents and communicate with your team in a practical and easy manner.
In Slack you can create channels, just like in a regular office you create separate work spaces. It is also extremely easy to share everything you want, making collaborative work easy. In short, it's just like a virtual building in which you can create spaces to communicate and work with your team.
Upwork is a website and app that helps you out with another basic, finding your team. Formerly known as Odesk, the platform allows you to contact talent anywhere in the world, or if you are a freelancer, to offer your services. On Upwork you can find a large variety of talent from graphic designers to programmers and project managers, to translators to writers — basically everything you could wish for.
It also counts with a clock that allows you to count and bill hours easily and transparently. A great right hand to your human resources department.
Airtable is a project management and collaboration tool that has all the functionalities and practicalities of a spreadsheet, just a lot better. This highly customizable app also works as a database that you can use for calendars, project management, CRM, and just whatever your company needs. Organizing them by teams, type of tasks, deadlines, etc.
It also allows you to add a bunch of fun features like photos, check boxes and star ratings. A fun and easy to use app for top notch organization.
Communication is key for the success of work teams, remote or not. So having enough ways to achieve an efficient communications is always a good idea. Face to face meetings are always important, so is having a software that allows you to have them remotely is very important.
This is where Zoom can help you out. This app has many advantages, among them, you can record calls, share your screen, and most importantly, it allows multiple users at the same time, without slowing down. It allows you to have video calls with as much as 50 people, and is free as long as your call doesn’t last more than 40 minutes. They also have paid plans that allow you to call up to 500 people at once!
To take out the best of your meetings, you can use Hugo. It is a note taking app with a bunch of cool add ons and integrations, allowing you to automatically take out information from your meetings and pushing it into other tools.
Hugo integrates with 20 of the most used apps that allow features such as sending support tickets based on the information from your notes, sending notifications and mentions to teammates and clients involved with the meeting, and syncing notes to CRM records, among others. It also organizes notes automatically for an easy search. That way everyone you choose can be informed about what is happening, whether they are in the meeting or not.
The internet search giant has a handful of tools that can be of great help for companies, remote or not. They range from collaborative writing to storage, video conferences and much more. These are our favorites:
Google Docs: and old-time favorite and probably one of the best tools for collaborative writing. Google Docs allows multiple people to work on the same document, and according to what the owner of the document decides, to be able to make suggestions, edit, and add and remove information, making teamwork easy.
In the same regard we have to give an honorable mention to its sister tools, Google Sheets and Google Slides for collaborative spreadsheets and presentations.
Google Drive: this tool provides you with a virtual storage for your company’s content. Being connected with Google Docs, it also allows your team to collaborate and store all in the same place. It also allows you to organize your files and control who has access to view, edit or comment on them. Plus, besides being one of the best content management tools, the first 15 GB are free!
Another collaborative platform and one of our favorites for data flows and visual presentations, Miro is a virtual white board that allows you to collaborate with your team in real-time, with a great range of tools to organize your work in a simple and visual way.
Miro is ideal to create workflows, journey maps, designs presentations, etc. adding images, diagrams, photos, sticky notes and much more, allowing you to express your creativity to the fullest and making collaborative work fun and easy. Miro also integrates with other tools such as Slack, Jira and Google Suite.
Finding an efficient way to manage and follow up projects is another must, and Jira is the perfect tool for that. A long favorite of programmers, Jira is a platform aimed for agile project management.
This tool is so good that it surpassed its original niche and is now used by all kinds of teams and companies for efficient project management. Its big plus is that it is highly customizable and allows you to install plug-ins to adapt to the specific needs of your company. It also integrates with other great tools like Google Sheets, Outlook and Slack.
Jira provides you with a central system in which you can log-in projects and create workflows. It allows project managers to assign collaborators, grant permissions, set deadlines and follow up processes, and it allows collaborators to change statuses and create reports, among other things. Providing you with great control of all processes from start to finish.
Security can be an issue for companies working remotely, considering that, in many cases, employees work or access work-related material in different locations and devices. A single password might not be enough to keep your company information safe. This is why having a platform to reinforce your security can be a relief.
Okta is an identity management platform that can help you increase your security while improving your team’s efficiency and productivity.
It allows your team to log in with a password and a second factor, such as a pin code that can be received on a mobile phone, a fingerprint or a push notification received on the Okta app. This gives you an added layer of security that prevents unauthorized users from accessing your team's devices and compromising sensitive information.
Okta also gathers all of the apps of your workspace in a single window, allowing you to access all of them directly in a more efficient and organized manner.
Once your team is on track and growing, you will start to accumulate a great number of files and projects. This is when Slab comes in handy. It is an internal wiki used to document processes, policies, projects and any other important documents your team might need access to.
It allows you to organize and control all your content, while also allowing collaborative work. It’s organization and search features make it easy for your team to locate important documents whenever they need. Slab integrates with other tools such as Slack, GSuit, Asana and more, and also enables you to make searches across these tools, all in a single window.
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