Remote workers are part of the new normal.
In a world of advancing technology, it is now possible to complete almost everything that was done in the office while working from home (WFH) through a set of different tools and applications. This has had many positive outcomes for individuals and companies alike. Working from home is no longer a luxury today.
Companies from all over the world have chosen this path, either to attract the right talent or, more recently, in response to the global pandemic, following government guidelines required companies to adopt flexible teleworking policies.
Switching to a remote work environment is easy for companies that are already adopting collaborative technology to enable their employees to communicate with their peers and customers. For companies that have not yet done so, below is a list of popular tools for increasing productivity when working from home.
How remote work tools can increase employee productivity
Teleworking (also known as telecommuting) can be very beneficial for your business. A remote work strategy has many advantages but is not without some issues. It takes some trial and error to get going. You can increase the chances of success by using the most appropriate tools that make your team more efficient and productive.
The benefits of tools to help you get your work done remotely
There are savings to the business and employees. Companies can reduce the expenses needed to run their business without the standard overhead that comes with an office. Your team members will not have to waste time or incur expense commuting, which is a stressful part of any working day. Utilizing these tools from home will facilitate smooth and connection, communication, and enable them to get things done remotely. Working remotely also lessens the business and employee’s environmental footprint – and that’s more friendly to the environment!
Working from home can have a positive impact on the team’s morale as psychological stress decreases, and work-life balance improves. Remote workers can schedule their appointments and perform their tasks without leaving their homes. Studies show that employees are less likely to miss work due to illness, and at times like these, do not expose others to potential infection.
Hiring more talent
Without any geographic restrictions during the hiring process, you can select from the best applicants for a specific job. If the most qualified candidate resides on the other side of the world, you can still hire them, no problem.
Flexibility and responsiveness
Teleworking (also known as remote working) may help to make employees available outside of regular working hours, and they can be located in any geographic region. This enables your services to be available to a more significant number of customers. This is very useful, especially the areas of support, sales, and electronic payments.
Tools that help you increase the productivity of your business remotely
The ease and efficiency of internal communication are the main hurdles when working remotely if your team members are unable to communicate with each other deliverables and deadlines may get overlooked.
When you evaluate remote collaboration, you will find Slack enables users to communicate efficiently. Slack also offers you the security and the ability to chat with peers, external contractors, partners, and customers and send files, videos, and pictures. It allows the user to search for any conversation, as chats are archived. In Slack, conversations happen in channels, organized by topic, project, team, or whatever makes sense for your company. With channels, the right people don’t get left out, and information doesn’t get lost, and you can switch between many different discussions.
Aircall is a cloud-based phone system with call center capabilities for sales and support teams. Simply install the software, and Aircall will be up and working within minutes, whether you are using a desktop application or a browser. Team members can be easily reached; all they need is a laptop.
Make calls with your team (internal calls and calls to and from customers) without any infrastructure obstacles. And because Aircall integrates with many other tools (CRMs, Helpdesk, etc.), you won’t miss an important phone call.
Zoom is the most popular video conferencing software. It combines high-resolution video and many features, such as screen sharing, content sharing, and recording, which makes it a suitable choice for organizations that need integrated conference solutions.
Zoom makes meetings easier with just one person downloading the program, and anyone else can click on the meeting link to join from your phone, desktop, or tablet.
Zoom also helps to enhance collaboration during meetings by allowing participants to share the screen and joint use of touch screens and whiteboards. Zoom also provides ways to help participants exchange ideas better than most of the available video platforms.
Tools to help you share information
Regardless of whether or not you choose to work from home, everyone should be aware of the latest developments in tools for efficiency and productivity. These tools are designed to help you share important information with your team, no matter where they are.
Front solves the problem of sending emails to individuals by linking technical support tickets, email messages, and internal applications. Front represents a central repository to ensure agents have accurate and up-to-date information available on any ticket to customer service representatives.
For example, the integration between Front and Aircall helps the customer support team make and receive calls and have all the important contextual information about the issue in one place.
Providing accurate information to your employees contributes to constructive conversations with customers and speeds up productivity.
Zapier is an online automation tool that connects your apps and services. You can connect two or more apps to automate repetitive tasks without coding or relying on developers to build the integration.
Team members don’t want to switch between different apps on the job because they are busy. Zapier syncs all customer and team information between different programs. Zapier makes it easy to link your other tools and keeps your entire team up to date, saving time for everyone.
Tools to help you manage tasks
It can be difficult to assign and follow tasks if your team is not in one location. Without the right tools, your team could miss important deadlines or deliverables.
Monday is described as a business “operating system,” it is a powerful project management platform that helps the team in all its departments track, manage and execute various tasks and activities.
Monday combines a clean user interface with automation that makes it easy to use. Effectively manage your team’s workload and see in real-time who’s able to take on more work and who’s not. Make adjustments to prevent missed deadlines and burnout. Monday can be linked with many of your favorite tools and is an essential tool for planning, running, and tracking remote work in one flexible platform.
Intercom is a business messaging app that helps companies stay in touch with their customers.
The main functionality of the application is to build better customer relationships and provide a more personal experience for your customers. This helps contribute to converting the site visitor into a customer. Intercom has many benefits for the home team.
Intercom can track all customer interactions in a unified control panel. A group inbox allows team collaboration together while processing client files, and managers can also assign team members to follow-up tasks. Intercom can be linked with many other tools and allows the entire team to monitor customer participation in perfect coordination while working from home.
Trello helps you to work more collaboratively and manage tasks professionally. It also schedules all practical duties that you are required to perform. Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a flexible and rewarding way.
Trello tracks your projects, organizes your work, provides reminders or tasks, and integrates time and work organization. The Trello tool is one of the most popular tools for project management.
Tools to help with productivity and reporting
These tools boost your team’s productivity and track everyone’s progress in their tasks. The clarity of the performance of everyone in the team helps harmonize the work of your remote team.
Many managers struggle with managing remote employees and need to ensure they are doing what is required when it comes to interactions with clients. The use of quality assurance tools such as Klaus contributes to ensuring agents are saying and doing the right things, as it helps managers review and appraise team communication across different channels.
The manager can review call logs, leave constructive employee feedback, and easily record employee performance from one interface. Klaus integrates with most Helpdesk applications and has an open API available.
The Avoma is an AI meeting assistant that enables sales and customer service teams to record, transcribe, summarize, analyze, search, share, collaborate and analyze customer calls to get summary points and actionable insights from every conversation.
The Avoma smart assistant uses artificial intelligence to provide searchable text, brief notes, and automatic synchronization with CRM. The smart chat feature helps to identify the speaker’s identity, subject matter, keyword direction, and talking points to highlight important information for managers.
Avoma also supports collaboration between different departments through searchable recordings, centralized notes, clip sharing, and playlist.
For example, integration between Avoma and Aircall helps analyze the conversations that different teams hold without doing manual work, then use these outputs to close more deals and delight customers.
PivotalTracker allows collaboration between members of your technical team by recording bug reports, feature requests, and to-do lists in one interface. PivotalTracker gives you a top-down view of your team’s work and allows priority setting and weekly scheduling. If your company’s software developers are working from home, PivotalTracker is the easiest way to keep the team together.
Github is a development platform that allows developers to create and share code. You can request notes and comments from team members and work on projects collaboratively. Also, it has become easier to review code and pair programming by linking Github with Slack.
Best practices for these tools and tips for working remotely
Managing a team working remotely using multiple tools like this is not easy; you need to be a seasoned leader. Despite the advantages that remote work provides for your team and your company, you have to spend a lot of time and effort every day developing it. Here are some tips for doing so.
Be the inspiration for your employees
Ensure that employees are prepared for remote work. Give the team more responsibility and enhance confidence, transparency, and self-credibility. You will gain many benefits when contributing to the development of your team. Give them great communication tools and train them on how to get the best out of them.
Be available, but give your team some freedom
You will have a team that you can trust if you hire the right talent. Set clear goals for your team with an agreed deadline for delivery and give them space as long as the work is going well and on time. One of the bad habits of remote team leaders who use tools that help them get their work done is micromanagement. This is not effective because employees will spend a lot of time interacting with you and feel that you do not trust them to do their job. Moreover, it will become annoying, their morale will be greatly affected, and productivity will decrease accordingly. Tell your team that they can seek help and advice from you whenever they need and that you trust their independence and self-sufficiency if they work from home.
Building a corporate culture
The “company culture” of a remote working team may seem illogical, but it is still necessary. Remote workers may not enjoy personal communication, but this does not mean that you should not strive to build team spirit.
It is best to foster the fellowship among your team of remote workers by using many things such as tools that help you get your work done easily, as described above. Encourage humor and harmony between them, and it will pay off, everyone will feel more attached to their coworkers and more inclined to work as a team.
Communication, Communication, Communication
The above tools are excellent examples for starting to enable your remote worker team to work remotely, but it is up to you to make the most of them.
Teleworking gives employees more freedom and accountability, but it also makes daily communication more challenging. Use team meetings to share ideas, so you don’t waste time while working remotely. Take every opportunity to make sure that everyone is aware of what is going on and resist the temptation to avoid or delay problem-solving so that it does not turn into more significant problems.
Tools for Remote Workers
In a world of advancing technology, it is now possible to complete almost everything that was done in the office while working from home (WFH) through a set of different tools and applications. This has had many positive outcomes for individuals and companies alike. Working from home is no longer a luxury today. The ease and efficiency of internal communication are the main hurdles when working remotely if your team members are unable to communicate with each other deliverables and deadlines may get overlooked. Tools: Slack, Aircall, Zoom. Information sharing tools: Front, Zapier. Task management tools: Monday, Intercom, Trello. Reporting and productivity tools: Klaus, Avoma. Developer tools: PivotalTracker, GitHub.