World Wide Workforce: 5 Tools for Managing Remote Teams

Business.com / Managing / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

If you need to effectively manage the work of remote team members, these 5 tools are for you.

The modern workplace is evolving, and more companies are taking advantage of virtual office workers. Employers are encouraging employees to strike a positive balance between work and life so that stress is reduced and families can thrive. Besides helping employees, this widens a business's potential scope of talent and keeps work going 24-hours a day, especially when workers are located in various time zones.

Although remote teams bring many benefits, they cause a few challenges as well. For example, communication and project sequencing may be difficult. This is why you must find the smartest technology to keep everyone organized and productive.

Here are five tools that will help your remote team remain efficient.

Related Article: 11 Tools for Tracking Your Remote Staff's Productivity

Slack

Slack is an effective communication tool, especially when employees are scattered across the globe. It allows users to set up channels for various topics and have group discussions.

Slack Home Screen

For instance, it is possible to divide your company's roles among engineering, marketing, support and other key parts. Besides sharing information with large groups, users may chat privately and direct messages can be sent to select team members.

Slack makes it simple to search for information and receive fast and filtered results. Besides file searching, this software allows users to easily share files with an entire team of employees.

For deeper file access, Dropbox and other applications are included. Along with sharing company news, this tool helps your employees stay connected on a personal level.

Users feel the biggest advantage of Slack is the fact all developed and shared data remains in the system. This means any internal communication can be easily retrieved when necessary. Since Slack allows employees to become aware of the circumstances surrounding all aspects of your business, this software helps your company retain transparency.

Dropbox

Dropbox is one of the easiest document sharing software options available. It is simple to teach all your team members, and no data management system is needed. When something is added to a Dropbox folder, it is automatically available to all users with access.

Dropbox for Business

For example, when a spreadsheet is saved to Dropbox, others with access have the power to make changes. Unlike other software, deleted files are not automatically discarded. They are kept for 30-days so that a mistakenly dropped file can be easily restored.

Dropbox makes it possible to organize data in folders and share their entire content or individual documents with other team members. Dropbox revolutionized the business world by allowing a user to share a complete folder to one or more contacts. In the past, it was only possible to send email attachments under 25MB. This means USB storage devices will no longer be necessary.

Trello

Since its drop and drag interface is simple to learn and use, Trello works well as a remote management tool. Each company project receives a customizable graphic display that can be broken down into various phases or "lists." Along the way, individual steps— or "cards"—are recorded.

Trello Dashboard

This makes it simple for your remote workers to visualize the progress of a project. It is an advanced way to create a "to do" list using technology instead of traditional note cards.

Members can edit, add and move items on the board. To avoid the trap of attempting too many things at one time, Trello makes a user create a detailed description of each card, define its importance and examine what successful implementation would bring.

Brainstorming is made simple so that effective plans can be developed. This makes it easy to define clear team goals. Remote teams find Trello to be a convenient way to keep production levels high. When one of your workers has nothing to do, he or she can get busy by selecting a card from the board.

Related Article: From Our Home to Yours: The Art of Managing a Remote Team

Skype

Skype is a free service that is considered the standard for voice calls over the Internet. It allows your virtual employees to talk, text chat and video conference. This technology helps up to nine distant team members exchange information face-to-face at the same time. With the ability to instant message, your employees can ask questions and express spur-of-the-moment ideas to other team members as well.

Skype for Business

Skype is a wonderful replacement for the telephone. The most helpful features include screen saving capability and internal LAN file transfer. All sessions can be recorded for future reference and can be used across various mobile devices so that long-distance communication becomes simpler.

Evernote

Evernote provides a platform to organize and archive data in one workspace. In the developer's own words, it "makes it easy to remember things big and small from everyday life through the help of a computer or portable device."

Evernote Presentation

It is an app that allows various information to be uploaded, synced and shared.

For example, your employees can record expense receipts by taking pictures and uploading them. It is also possible to utilize the web clipper tool to save important web pages for future reference. All uploaded content is organized in notes that can be sorted into folders, tagged, and edited. It keeps your employees focused on creating ideas and bringing them to fruition.

Evernote makes it easy to gather information by clipping articles from the web, capturing handwritten notes, or documenting pictures so that a user has project details at his or her fingertips at all times.

Through this software, teams can connect, communicate, and collaborate in real-time. This makes it easy to give presentations when work is completed. Since all notes are blended into a screen-friendly design, it is not necessary to waste time creating slides.

When integrating a successful remote work setup, it is essential to build a strong team and use the most effective tools possible. This type of arrangement gives your employees maximum flexibility so that they can balance personal life with work. To efficiently organize a remote workplace, tools must be in place to keep everyone on a cohesive path.

Without the ability to gather in-person at a traditional office, these communication tools keep things moving smoothly. The above software will increase productivity and help your company maintain positive connections.

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