Over the past few years, the virtual workplace has become more the norm than the exception. With the rise of collaboration tools and apps such as Skype, GoToMeeting, Slack and Evernote (to name a few…) employers can now provide workers with more flexible work environments. The days where employees needed to be under the same roof all the time, may be coming to an end, and remote working is definitely on the rise!
Every employee needs a good work-life balance (whether they have it or not), and statistics show that virtual work environments create more room for this! Woking from home one or a few days a week saves big on commute time, giving employees more hours to attend to their personal lives.
Embracing remote or flexible work environments is important for employers as well, since it broadens access to qualified employees, where location is no longer a hindrance or a cost factor when hiring for a position. If that person is the best person for the job, then working remotely could be the perfect fit!
But of course, managing a team of remote workers it’s not easy, and you may need the help of some easy-to-use online tools! We’ve selected some here that could be just what you need.
A classic, but thanks to its effectiveness, also an evergreen solution. Google Drive makes it easy to create files and collaborate in real-time, saving our precious time searching for documents sent via email. On the Drive, you can track edits, add comments, and work on the same document simultaneously. When an employee stores files on their Drive, they can access them on any device, making it even easier to move around.
All you need to get started with Google Drive is a Gmail account, and you’ll get access to the platform for an unlimited number of users!
We’ve already discussed the importance of having a group chat in our previous blog post, but we can’t leave HipChat off the list here! This app lets you and your colleague use video or text chat, transfer files, share screens, and more. It’s like everyone is in the same room, even if a developer is actually coding from France or Poland!
You can also schedule one-on-one meetings between employees and managers using this app: it’s always worth having a catch up once in a while! With remote teams it’s especially important that every employee feels part of the team on a daily basis, so it’s worth considering how you can involve them in everyday discussions.
Keeping track of how employees spend their time is highly beneficial for managers to understand what an average day looks like for their employees, and it can also significantly increase employee productivity! In an office environment managers can walk around, observe their employees habits, and catch-up whenever they choose.
However, it’s a little more difficult to track remote workers’ hours and monitor how long it takes them to complete tasks when you can’t just walk over to them. With Timely running in the background of your team members’ computers, you can maintain a digital log of all projects. It’s easy to set completion goals, compare recorded time with estimates, and organize projects based on their priority!
Project Management is vital for every business, and it becomes even more important when your team works remotely. Trello is an efficient project management system that makes collaboration easier. Using Trello’s boards, you can create steps, assign tasks to team members, and chart your team’s progress.
There are no member limitations and you can also integrate the system with Evernote, Mailchimp or Google Drive lexapro medication. Definitely worth looking into!
Internet Speed Tool
Did you know that those states of the US with a high average internet speed also had a higher GDP per capita, while states with a low average internet speed showed lower GDP per-capita? If you’ve decided to introduce remote working, you need to ensure everyone has an internet speed high enough to share large files, use online programs, and host video conferences. An Internet Speed Tool can help you gauge everyone’s internet needs!
This tool takes your employees through a series of questions that are intended to gather information about their internet usage. At the end of the question sequence, the employees receives a number for their recommended internet speeds. They can then take this number to their respective internet providers to make sure they have sufficient internet speeds to handle their personal and professional internet usage!
Working remotely may be less stressful than commuting, you can avoid the tube jam or Southern Rail strike action, but many are still concerned about missing out on water cooler conversations and fun brainstorming sessions. RealtimeBoard can help you overcome this! It’s a visual collaboration app that provides a digital version of these team bonding opportunities, allowing your remote workers to feel the same strength of company culture, as if they were working from the office. No more high turnover rate!
Managing a remote team can be challenging, but investing in technology can make it easier to collaborate, communicate, and track productivity. Adding a few of these tools will help streamline your business operations, and turn your remote team into a more collaborative and productive workforce.
Does your office allow for remote working? If so, what tools help you make the most of it? If not, do you think it’s a good idea? Let us know in the comments!