7 Types of Tools for Remote Teams
Keeping remote teams connected and working seamlessly across time zones, platforms, and multi-track projects can be among the most challenging issues facing companies with virtual workers. But it may not be as difficult as it seems at first blush, thanks to a multitude of tools for remote teams that help companies meet their connectivity goals.
What are the best tools for remote teams? To a good extent, it depends on 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.
Remote.co asks companies that we interview to complete a survey detailing the kinds of tools for remote teams they use, and how well they work for remote collaboration.
Below are some categories that have come up in Remote.co’s survey, brief explanations of how these options work, and examples of specific brands that remote teams have worked with.
1. Video Conferencing
A great way for remote workers to share “face time” without big travel expenses, video conferencing allows employers to hold meetings where workers can catch up, brainstorm, and offer work (and personal) updates and reports.
2. Project Collaboration Tools
A number of platforms allow virtual teams to collaborate on projects remotely and share their work. Many collaboration platforms work well remotely because employers sharing a project usually don’t have to work together in real time.
3. Instant Messaging
Need to reach out quickly to remote colleagues and get fast turn-around on projects? Instant messaging is one of the most popular platforms companies use to stay connected, often in real time.
Companies that responded to Remote.co’s survey put three instant messages at the top of their lists: Slack*, Skype, 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 for remote teams to stay connected, our survey respondents said. Depending on the circumstances and the number of participants involved, this point of contact could involve cell-phone calls, Skype, or good old-fashioned land lines.
6. Screen Sharing
It’s hard to beat great visual data to drive home your points when collaborating with remote workers. Companies that offer screen sharing have features that allow remote team members to hand over control and share information from their computer screen with colleagues participating in conference calls.
Join.Me and GoToMeeting* are two widely used screen sharing platforms.
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, with a lobby, conference rooms, corner offices, and other shared spaces for remote workers to get together online for team meetings and project collaboration.
Sococo is a great example of this kind of virtual office with a visual aspect.
Our list includes many fantastic tools for remote teams, with some overlap due to providers who offer both screen sharing and video conferencing, for example. It’s worthwhile to investigate the many virtual options that are available when you’re making a decision about which tools for remote workers will meet your company’s needs.
By Adrianne Bibby | July 28, 2016 | Categories: Remote Management