7 Types of Collaboration Tools for Your Remote Team

7 Types of Collaboration Tools for Your Remote Team

Keeping remote teams connected and working seamlessly across time zones, platforms, and multitrack projects can be one of the most challenging issues facing companies with virtual workers. But it may not be as difficult as it seems at first, thanks to the multitude of collaboration tools that help remote teams meet their connectivity goals.

What are the best tools for remote teams? To a certain extent, it depends on certain factors, like how geographically distributed your team is, your industry sector, how many virtual employees you have, the kinds of flexible jobs they hold, and, of course, your company’s budget.

How Companies Stay Connected

Your first step should be taking a big-picture view of your team’s collaboration needs. Do they create project outcomes that rely heavily on collaborating with corresponding data? Marketing teams, for example, often work together on different aspects of a project. They’ll need a more robust solution.

On the other hand, some team members might only be responsible for their respective steps in a process and won’t require working simultaneously on a project. Content creators, for example, frequently work independently with a piece of content, moving it on to the next team member after their step is completed.

Once you’ve got a basic overview of the collaboration needs of your team, explore the following solutions.

1. Videoconferencing

This is an excellent way for remote workers to share “face time” without significant travel expenses. Videoconferencing allows employers to hold meetings where workers can catch up, brainstorm, and offer work (and personal) updates and reports.

A few of the most popular platforms for videoconferences are Google Hangouts, Skype, and Zoom.

2. Project Management

Several platforms allow virtual teams to see the visual workflow of projects remotely. Many project management platforms work well remotely because employees sharing a project usually don’t have to work together in real time. Even working inside a traditional office, utilizing project management tools can help keep everyone on the same page regarding the progress of a project.

Examples of great project management tools for remote teams are Trello, Pivotal Tracker, and Basecamp, to name a few.

3. Instant Messaging

Need to reach out quickly to remote colleagues and get a fast turnaround on projects? Instant messaging is one of the most popular platforms companies use to stay connected in real time. Think group text messaging with a professional business interface.

Two of the top instant messaging tools are Slack and Google Chat.

4. Enterprise Social Networking

Just as sharing and collaborating on work projects builds strong teams, so do other virtual options that allow workers to share company-related successes, vacation pictures, hobbies, children’s successes, and even pet photos.

Popular enterprise social networks include Yammer and Slack.

5. Phone Calls

Sometimes a phone call is the best and most direct way remote teams can stay connected. Depending on the circumstances and the number of participants involved, this point of contact could involve company-provided cell phones, Skype, or good old-fashioned landlines.

6. Collaborative Software

It’s hard to beat the value of visual data to drive home your points when collaborating with remote workers, especially as modern companies strive to be more inclusive. Recognizing that everyone processes information differently, it’s essential to include visual and audio information exchanges.

monday.com is one of the newest and most robust collaboration platforms. Rather than manage several different apps and programs, monday.com houses all of the team’s connectivity in one place. Users can visualize assignments and individual or group progress, host a videoconference, and work collaboratively on the same document.

7. “Virtual Office” Platforms

This connectivity tool for remote teams is a virtual platform that can be set up like a brick-and-mortar office building. You’ll find a lobby, conference rooms, corner offices, and other shared spaces for remote workers to get together online. Virtual offices are great for team meetings and project collaboration alike.

Sococo is a great example of this kind of virtual office with a visual aspect.

Creating an Efficient Remote Team

Our list includes many fantastic tools for remote teams, with some overlap due to providers who offer both screen-sharing and videoconferencing, for example. It’s worthwhile to investigate the many virtual options available when you’re deciding which tools for remote workers will meet your company’s needs.

In addition to creating better team dynamics, finding the best solution for your needs ensures that your teams can be as efficient as possible. Suppose you have a team member whose workflow begins where another finishes. They’ll discern when that task is ready to start with the correct software and choose a different task rather than waiting. This, in turn, will minimize their downtime and create a more efficient workflow.

As with any team change, communication is the key to effectively implementing any new methods. Consider sending out a survey to your team asking for input. You’ll find that no one else has a better perspective on what they need in order to work as effectively as possible.

And for more tips on keeping your remote team connected, as well as many other remote work topics, check out our Q and A’s with leading remote companies and virtual teams.

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By Adrianne Bibby | Categories: Remote Management

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