Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online business has become increasingly popular. During this time, working remotely can be crucial for business owners to keep their customers, employees, and themselves safe.
However, even before the pandemic, the number of people in the U.S. that telecommute increased 159 percent between 2005 and 2017. Besides, Stanford University found that, on average, remote workers are more productive than those who work in traditional office settings.
Having the right tools is one way to ensure your remote team stays productive and informed, even amidst so much uncertainty. Below, we’ve listed are 5 tools that we think every remote business owner should consider.
1. Team Collaboration Tools:
Slack is a collaboration tool used to organize conversations. You can sort your discussions by topic, project, team, or any other relevant category to your business’s operations.
Using this tool, you can ensure the right people are included in projects, and essential information is kept organized.
One of the most notable benefits of this tool is that it’s searchable, so you can quickly sift through discussions. Small teams can create a free workspace, while paid plans are available to larger organizations at reasonable rates.
InVision is the world’s most powerful screen design tool, allowing remote businesses to collaborate, experiment, and test new ideas.
The digital whiteboard makes it possible to get instant feedback from teammates while moving projects from the design stage to development. There’s also a host of educational resources available if you get stuck.
If you’re interested in InVision, you can sign up for free. To access additional features, you can upgrade to InVision Enterprise.
2. Cloud Storage Tools:
The box is a cloud-based file sharing service that provides secure content management, workflow, and collaboration tools.
It starts with a 14-day free trial, which gives you unlimited cloud storage, seamless collaboration options, and enterprise security. Besides, you’ll have access to integrations with over 1,400 business apps.
Businesses use Dropbox to create, store and share cloud content in one location from multiple sources. This includes Microsoft Office and Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
The admin dashboard lets you monitor your team’s activity, view connected devices, and audit sharing activity. And, since Dropbox integrates with over 300,000 apps, you can likely see all your management tools.
3. Video Conferencing and Meeting Tools:
Google Hangouts is a communication software product. It allows you to connect with your team no matter your location by making video calls available through a simple link. If you use G Suite, your Google Calendar information is available directly within the meeting. That way, you can easily view the agenda and meeting details.
Zoom allows businesses to combine video conferencing, online business meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration via its centralized administration portal.
The Zoom cloud platform delivers secure, high-quality service to ensure every call is perfect. You can easily switch between voice calls and video chats without having to hang up and dial in.
4. Project Management Tools:
Trello is a natural, free, and visual way to manage your team’s projects and content calendar. Its Kanban-style design visually depicts work at various stages of a process using cards and columns. Besides, Trello’s Power-Up tools instantly turn your project boards into living applications.
To use Trello, you can sign up for free or upgrade to Business Class or Enterprise. By upgrading, you can access more team features and Power-Ups.
Asana is a cloud-based project management tool that helps your team collaborate on multiple tasks and projects. Its Timeline feature allows you to create a plan that shows how the pieces of your project fit together. You can also attach emails, files, and tickets to view all relevant information in one place. The Basic plan is free for all users, or Premium, Business, and Enterprise plans are available for a monthly fee.
5. Other Helpful Remote Business Tools:
CoSchedule is a marketing calendar and social, content, asset, and work organizer in one. Its suite of tools makes it possible for businesses to publish more content, meet deadlines, and prove your team’s value.
Wagepoint is an online payroll software that lets you pay employees and independent contractors. Besides, it ensures that you’re staying compliant with federal, state, and local payroll regulations.
Using Wagepoint, you can conveniently pay your employees at the same time or add multiple Paygroups for payrolls on different frequencies. Plus, if your payment doesn’t vary, you can set Wagepoint up to run itself automatically.
Close is the only all-in-one CRM to offer lead management, calling, email automation, predictive dialers, and more. Sales activities are automatically organized to help you reach your goals. You can also boost productivity by connecting to Close’s integrations.
Doodle takes all the hassle out of trying to coordinate calendars with your team members. Using Doodle, you’ll get a clear visual snapshot of each person’s availability. With the ability to check availability across time zones, you can easily schedule your next remote team meeting.
The right tools can help you boost your team’s productivity while working remotely. Of course, these solutions are just a sampling of what’s available to business owners working from home.