The world of connectivity has brought about a very popular work trend- telecommuting, e-commuting or work from home. Employees can be connected to their work through their smartphones and easy accessibility to the Internet allows them to work from anywhere. In fact, research has been indicating that telecommuting makes employees more productive and engaged with their work.
Organizations are now putting more effort into creating a conducive environment for remote work. One of the biggest challenges of working with remote teams is communication. However, tons of new-age remote working tools have come up that have made this task much simpler. Design, development, testing- you name it and there’s a tool. We explore some of the best telecommuting tools for remote teams that can be used to keep in touch with your team and help track their progress.
1. Zoom- video conferencing
Face-to-face communication still remains unbeaten when it comes to a few things. So, the world of video conferencing is rapidly expanding and applications are constantly trying to improve the quality of the conference call they’re providing. Zoom offers the ability to conference with 65 people at one go. And it is simple to use and provides high-quality video.
For local teams, you can always switch to faster, hassle-free conference calling tools. Instead of depending on VoIP-based platforms, you can use grptalk (home page link) which is a simple audio conferencing tool that enables you to talk to as many as 1000+ people in a matter of seconds. You can use either the mobile version or the web version depending on the size of your team and other requirements.
2. Slack- your communication expert
When it comes to mention-worthy telecommuting tools, Slack has to feature on the list. Slack is great to message individuals, teams, extended teams and anybody else from your office. It also has inbuilt voice calling and video calling. Slack’s fabulous feature is its ability to integrate with many different applications that make it so much easier for you to track your work across several platforms- all at one single point. It is no wonder then that it is among the most widely used tools across several industries.
When it comes to telecommuting, having a single point of information is all the more crucial because of certain accessibility constraints. Slack is definitely a saviour in those situations.
3. Google Docs
Google Docs is among the most popularly used editing tools by different organizations. It allows multiple users to make edits, add suggestions so it is great for collaboration. It is super simple to use and has a fair number of features to help your document look better. However, sometimes when too many people are working on the document, there may be a loss of edits and suggestions due to overrides by so many different people. So, telecommuters will have to be a little more careful.
Remote teams constantly required to keep track of where things are headed because they are unavailable for immediate meetings or conversations at the workplace. Trello is a great project management tool to share details of current, upcoming projects. It has a virtual board and you can pin your updates on it. Again, when you are a part of a geographically-scattered team, this tool is fantastic because you know what everyone is up to.
When you are a part of a remote team, communication becomes your only gateway to the local office. So, you know you can’t waste too much time on other things. So, what’s a useful remote working tool that can serve the purpose here? Zapier helps bridge this gap beautifully. This online automation tool integrates your apps and services so that some of your repetitive tasks can be automated without the need for a developer. Zapier is extremely useful for marketing teams that need to be on multiple platforms at once, sometimes several times a day. In fact, several in-house marketing teams swear by it.
6. World Time Buddy
If you have a team that is spread across different time zones, you’re going to need this great tool. It will come in handy when you need to schedule conference calls. You just need to add the locations of the rest of the participants and World Time Buddy will get to work by suggesting a time that works for everyone.
Telecommuting means a lot of data sharing. And, Dropbox is a fantastic file sharing tool. It facilitates easy collaboration through the quick sharing of files and data. You can dump all your stuff in one place and Dropbox even gives you suggestions as to what you might need when you want to recover some files.
While all of these telecommuting tools remain at the very zenith of team collaboration, there is another app that can help you communicate with your team on the go. It’s called grptalk, and it’s an audio conferencing app designed to work for 10,000+ people where the participants (except the host) don’t have to be connected to the internet to get on their conference call.
The purpose of all these remote-working tools is to help you focus on real work and more effective communication so you spend less time trying to navigate through the problems of telecommuting. They do a pretty good job at that.