The novel coronavirus is still raging, although it seems that the worst has passed in many countries. The precautionary measures are still in place, which is why most people keep working from home.
Many companies have even created permanent work-from-home policies, as there are several benefits when employees don’t need to come to the office. There are no commute expenses, electricity bills are much lower, and work time is more flexible.
Are you considering a permanent switch to remote work too? Even if the shift is only temporary, you need to stay in touch with your distributed team. You need to have the right tools designed for remote work.
Here are some of the best that you can utilize, each helping you collaborate with your team and stay productive.
ProProfs LMS is a cloud-based SaaS LMS that lets you create online courses in just a matter of minutes. You can use it to train remote employees and provide them with an engaging classroom experience.
There’s a library of 100+ pre-built courses and themes that you can customize. You can also create your own courses by uploading the training content you already have. You can enrich them with images, videos, quizzes, presentations, surveys, and more to boost engagement and knowledge retention.
The LMS comes with 100+ settings for security, access control, and learner management. Once you create online courses, you can enable self-enrollment, set course bundles, learning paths and reminders, centralize assignments, and much more.
There’s also an online learner portal that your team can use for real-time collaboration and knowledge sharing. You can also integrate the software with 50+ third-party apps.
Overseeing remote employee training isn’t challenging at all with ProProfs LMS, as there are real-time reports and analytics features. You can track participation, engagement, performance, and scores. You can see who’s training and when, and provide instant results and feedback.
If you need to onboard and train new employees, retain existing ones, or educate your team about safety during this unprecedented time, this LMS might be just what you need.
Trello is a straightforward and flexible collaboration tool for remote teams. It provides you with a visual way to organize and manage your workflow. As a web-based tool, it helps make sure your teammates complete all tasks and projects on schedule.
Trello is all about boards and cards that provide you with an at-a-glance view of all your ongoing and completed projects.
Once you create a board for a project and invite team members to join, you can create lists of tasks, such as “To-Do,” “Doing” and “Done” to organize the workflow.
You can then add relevant details to each card, such as due dates, descriptions, checklists, comments, attachments, and more. Whenever the status of a task changes, you can simply move it to the next list in a drag-and-drop manner.
Trello has lots of templates for business, project management, marketing, and many other categories, including remote work. There are templates for remote team meetings, brainstorming, planning a work-from-home schedule, and more.
There’s also an AI bot that can automate your workflow with rule-based triggers, due date commands, and other useful features.
Trello seamlessly integrates with several third-party apps for further boosting your team’s productivity.
You can communicate with your dispersed team via any free instant messaging app, but Slack is the best one you should utilize. It was designed specifically for businesses, so it’s much more secure than regular IM apps.
Apart from great security, Slack comes with useful features for real-time team communication. All interactions happen in channels, so there’s no inbox with individual and group messages that make searching for information or files overwhelming.
The dedicated chat rooms help you organize conversations based on topics, projects, or teams. Whenever you have a company-wide announcement or updates for particular departments or teams, you can use a dedicated channel.
Other features include direct messages, reactions, mentions in conversations, voice and video calls, screen and file sharing, conversation threads, and more. You can also create external channels to stay in touch with clients, vendors, or other stakeholders.
You can integrate Slack with more than 2,000 third-party apps to easily juggle all your tasks.
DeskTime is an excellent tool for tracking your remote team’s productivity during business hours. It’s a time-tracking app that lets you oversee your team’s activities in real-time to make sure everyone’s doing what they’re supposed to.
It lets you see what documents, apps, and URLs they’re accessing, how long they spend on various tasks and projects, how often they take breaks, what they’re doing in their offline time, and more. You can enable automatic screenshots to monitor all those activities.
The primary purpose of this tool isn’t to catch someone slacking, but rather to help you improve your team’s productivity. Once you uncover certain inefficiencies, you can help your teammates eliminate distractions and focus on tasks at hand.
DeskTime comes with several other useful features, such as shift scheduling, absence calendar, custom reports, private time option, cost calculation, project billing, and more. There’s even a Pomodoro Timer to remind your team to take breaks and avoid burnouts.
Chances are you’re already using Zoom to stay connected with your remote team. Ever since the COVID-19 took center stage, this tool has been on fire.
It’s one of the simplest yet powerful video conferencing apps for remote teams. You can use it to hold online meetings for up to 1,000 participants and video webinars for up to 10,000 people. Keep in mind that only 49 videos can be on screen.
During online meetings, you can chat with your team, share your screens and files, and simultaneously use up to 12 interactive whiteboards with co-annotations. You can also record and transcribe the meetings.
You can create conference rooms so that your team members can join with a click, as well as create executive, huddle, and training rooms.
You can also use the tool’s enterprise cloud phone system to unify your phone calls, online meetings, and chat conversations into one centralized place.
Like all these other tools, you can connect Zoom with an abundance of third-party apps to optimize your workflow.
If you have multiple email accounts, adding Mailbird to your toolbox is definitely a smart choice.
It’s an email client that makes email correspondence a breeze. It provides you with one inbox that unifies all your accounts.
Many email apps, such as Gmail, also allow you to sign into multiple accounts simultaneously. However, they only have mobile apps and web-based versions. Mailbird is an email app that you can use on your desktop.
What’s more, you can check your email in offline mode and compose all the replies to have them ready once you connect to the internet.
This tool is very intuitive and lets you search email by attachments and profile pictures. You can also speed-read emails, snooze messages, connect with people via the LinkedIn Lookup feature within the app, and more.
Mailbird is available only for Windows, so keep that in mind before downloading.
When your team is working from home, you must have proper tools for real-time collaboration and file sharing. There’s a plethora of those out there, but Google Docs is certainly the best to start with.
It’s almost the same as Microsoft Word, except it is cloud-based and allows multiple simultaneous users. It has all the features you’ll ever need to create various documents, including a bunch of ready-made templates for reports, resumes, project proposals, and many other docs.
You can also convert Word and other files to Google Docs, and vice versa.
The app works in an offline mode, too, and automatically saves all the changes anyone makes as they type. Since the revision history is saved, you’ll always know who has made what changes.
You can use live chat and comments to collaborate with teammates within the same document, which saves a great deal of time.
ezTalks is an excellent video conferencing tool that many are comparing to Zoom. Although it has many similar features (just like all the other web conferencing tools), it comes with some unique capabilities that you’ll love.
There are unlimited cyclical meetings, active speaker view, voting and polling, and an option to import contacts from Gmail and Outlook. There’s even a telephone call-in for joining meetings, which means you can join a video conference through an audio call. No apps, no hassle!
You can host live, on-demand, automated, and paid webinars, and run them interactively with all the participants. There are so many webinar features that we can’t possibly list them all here, so make sure you check them out.
Of course, ezTalks supports file sharing, screen sharing with annotations, interactive whiteboards, group and private chat, instant messaging, and many more useful features. There are even conference room solutions and accessories to choose from.
All these brilliant tools offer a free trial, so you have nothing to lose if you give each a try. They’re all fantastic for remote teams, so take the time to explore them further.
What tools are you using to stay connected with your team? Feel free to share your experience with the community!
About Kamy Anderson
Kamy is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management system & eLearning authoring tools – currently associated with ProProfs Training Maker.