Whether you’re a digital nomad, an employee at a distributed company, or you just work from home occasionally, it’s safe to say that the future of work is very much remote. In fact, a survey by Gallup found that in 2016, 43% of Americans spent at least some time working remotely, so you could say the future is already here.To match this growing phenomenon, dozens of tools and technologies have been developed to keep workers productive, focused and healthy. So if you’re planning to work remotely, you’ll want to take note of these tools that will make your life easier.
Communication is keyOne of the biggest challenges with remote working is having the ability to communicate effectively when you aren’t present in the office. Fortunately, there are several companies who have set out to tackle this problem. Slack is arguably the most popular app in a remote worker’s toolkit, and the cloud-based software has reinvented the way in which teams communicate. It allows for companies to have private or group chats, and to create separate channels for different teams and functions. Slack Slack also has the capacity to share files, and supports multiple app integrations, and allows you the opportunity to build your own – all in one easy-to-use instant messaging platform. When messaging isn’t enough, there are several great tools available to make voice and video calls. While Slack does have some options for this, it’s best saved for impromptu one-on-one catch-ups. For group meetings, Google Hangouts or Zoom are often the preferred choice for many remote workers. The big draws? Both are simple and both are free. Zoom
Collaboration and organisationCommunication may be key, but it is nothing without collaboration and organisation. Fortunately there are plenty of tools available for people who like to keep things flowing smoothly. You’ll be hard pressed to find a remote worker who isn’t managing their projects using Trello, which acts as an online post-it note board that can be shared between team members.
57% of projects break down due to poor communication, and Trello, with task boards and checklists, and with the option to integrate with Slack, is the perfect tool for ensuring you and your colleagues don’t become part of this alarming statistic.
TrelloAfter you’ve shared tasks and project deadlines with each other in Trello, it’s important to think about how you’re going to share and collaborate on the projects themselves. Tools such as Google Drive and Dropbox allow for the sharing and safe storing of all of your documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more. Both are extremely similar and offer free price plan options and Slack integration; which one you use is completely down to personal preference. You know you can always rely on a Google product, and this remains true of Google Calendar. Want to create shared events for you and the team? This is the tool for you. Want to go one step further and quickly get feedback for when and where any events should be? Use Doodle for swift organising through emailed polls. If you work for a large organisation, you might already be using a robust and multi-purpose workspace collaboration tool like Podio, which provides the task-assignment features of Trello, the file management of Google Drive, and the scheduling capabilities of Google Calendar all under one roof. For smaller teams, Podio offers a free subscription for up to five internal employees and five external workers too.