Top 13 tools for remote work
Now companies are switching en masse to working from home. But how do you reorganize so that managers don’t lose their grip, and business processes don’t suffer? In this article, you will find useful tools for working remotely.
Any manager’s nightmare is employees who can’t be reached. They take twice as long to do their work and just drag their feet or forget about tasks. This is what many people associate teamwork from home with. And for nothing, because there are plenty of tools for teamwork that will allow you to do your job just as efficiently as in the office. We have compiled a selection of solutions that allow you to be more productive, even while lying on the couch.
Synchronizing with the team
- Google Hangouts
The platform allows messaging and video conferencing. Currently divided into:
- Google Hangouts Chat, which allows you to send private messages and create dedicated virtual chat rooms, each with up to 8,000 people;
- Google Hangouts Meet, the service decided to help users in the quarantine and made free premium options, which allows conferences of up to 250 people and streaming for 100,000.
There are times when not everyone can attend meetings or when someone’s home Internet connection crashes. In this case, you can turn on the recording and upload it to Google Drive. To prevent extraneous noise from disturbing the team’s meeting, you can mute all participants except the speaker. You can also show the computer screen during the conference.
- Microsoft Teams
A corporate platform that combines chat, meetings, notes, and attachments in a workspace. Integrates with Skype, Word, SharePoint, OneNote, Power BI, Planner.
It’s part of the Office 365 package and is unlikely to be available to small businesses under normal circumstances. But because of the quarantine, the company has also decided to help users and offers a free premium version for six months. Microsoft Teams lifted the limit on the number of users for video calls and conferences.
The advantages of Zoom are:
- stable connection;
- it’s possible to organize a conference for 100+ participants, all you need is a link;
- it’s possible to share the screen and flexibly configure the window with the display of participants;
- it’s possible to record an online meeting;
- allows you to plan in advance and conduct conferences;
- flexible configuration of the microphone and camera, you can quickly change the device and reconfigure it when you call;
- it is possible to change the background.
- you can Integrate Zoom with thousands of other workplace apps
The program is especially popular now, but the service was launched back in 2013. This is a reliable tool for remote work with its own features and advantages. To participate in calls, you need to download Zoom from the official site.
NuovoTeam is an all-in-one employee app that helps organizations track and monitor their non-desk workers and field force.
- NuovoTeam facilitates employee productivity tracking, communication and collaboration across your workforce.
- Monitor employee location, employee work hours with clock-in, clock-out, track work status and assign tasks.
- Enable organization-wide unified contact management and make way for communication with VoIP calling, instant messaging, video calling and group chats.
- NuovoTeam Newsfeed and broadcast messaging can also be effectively use for HR and crisis communication.
- It is ideal for organizations for Non-Desk Workers and Frontline Workers across Logistics & Transport, Healthcare, Construction, Manufacturing, Remote Teams, First Responders and Oil & Gas Industry.
- NuovoTeam is available for Android and iOS.
Communicating with customers
- Virtual PBX
The convenience of virtual PBX is that the office is moved to any location, along with your laptop. Customers don’t notice any changes, because they call the same phone number as usual. The quality of communication does not suffer in any way, although you make and receive calls at home.
What else is great about PBX:
- you can connect in one day, all you need is a headset, a laptop, and the Internet;
- you can use the numbers of the countries and regions you need, it’s possible to build a call-center or sales department wherever you want;
- allows you to set what number will be displayed when a manager calls a customer;
- you can set up a voice menu to switch the customer between departments or different employees, an answering machine, schedule notifications during quarantine, etc.
Benchmark Email provides you an email marketing platform, which is one such digital marketing medium that allows you to nurture your audience. You can do the practice of cultivating your audience with the Benchmark Email Automation Pro, a marketing automation tool, with ease. Emails are triggered by website and email engagement. There are prebuilt email series that you can choose to send automatic emails. If you are new to automation, those prebuilt email templates can be handy.
Following are the reasons that make Benchmark Email a perfect tool for remote work.
- You can schedule your email campaigns.
- Your designer can store images and video in the email campaign. The email campaign creator can access those things at convenience.
- Sign-up forms reduce your dependency on the development team.
- In 9 different languages, Email and Chat Supports are available for the Benchmark Email tool.
Live engagement reports anyone can see from anywhere.
- Automatic processing of requests from the site and social networks
Often, companies deal with a problem when requests fall into dox or mail and “wait” for the manager to get to them. When a manager works remotely, it’s even more difficult to control this process, so it’s better to automate it.
How will the processing of requests go after that:
- the person goes to the site and fills out an online form or leaves their contacts on social media if you have a Facebook Leads running;
- after submitting the request, an automatic call to the manager begins;
- when they pick up the phone, they are automatically contacted by the customer;
- the potential customer is pleasantly surprised by the speed of the response, and this increases the chances of successfully closing the deal.
- An application to monitor email opening
In many teams, the most important issues are solved not in chat or on the phone, but in correspondence. Therefore, it’s good to know if your colleagues have opened your email or not yet, or if they have clicked the link in the message.
Any email tracker will help you with this. For example, there is the Unlimited email tracker for Google mail. This app shows you how many times someone opened the email and clicked on the link in it. This information appears in Gmail next to every email.
The app also allows you to do delayed sending. An email can be sent automatically at the time you set it up. Or set a reminder if people haven’t opened or clicked on links in the message.
FlippingBook is a company that provides software and cloud service for creating professional online documents in a fast and easy way. For remote teams, FlippingBook is a great way to stay creative and productive. All you have to do is upload your PDF to FlippingBook and just in a few minutes get a ready interactive flipbook to share with the world. This way, you can create unrivaled marketing and sales content right from your favorite cozy armchair at home.
Teams of three or four people can use standard tools for this. For example, you can use Slack and Microsoft Planner.
But such tools are not suitable for all teams, especially if the company is in sales or provides services. Here, it’s important to clearly understand those in charge, get reminders of tasks, and move them to the next stages of the funnel. Let’s look at what tools for working with remote employees can help with this.
If you haven’t yet decided to use it, it’s time to do it. Especially since you can learn by video link, online presentations, or video tutorials. For example, you can try ClicData, a 100% cloud-based data analytics platform. It also has ready integration with telephony and call tracking. This will help automatically transfer calls into the system and create deals, contacts, tasks, see advertising sources of calls.
Notion is a universal solution that includes several modules at once:
- tasks and project management, there is a mini CRM;
- tables and databases;
- notes and documents;
- knowledge bases;
- task tracking and to-do lists.
The solution is convenient, but it doesn’t replace a full-featured CRM. You can’t connect telephony to it, you can’t set up an automatic funnel, and you can’t unload the database. The price for the team costs $ 8 per month.
A free service for teamwork. Provides virtual kanban boards where objects can be dragged and dropped. You can create a board for each employee or make a kind of funnel on which to move deals and tasks.
When working remotely, it’s not as hard to brainstorm as it seems. Miro is a service for making mind maps, kanban boards, visualizing customer journey maps, etc. It contains a lot of free ready-made templates with pleasant and diverse designs.
Unfortunately, you can create a limited number of templates for free, and team subscriptions start at $8.
Not all people are technically savvy and can set up the right software on their computer to work from home. This is where programs that allow the sysadmin or colleagues to share access to the device come in handy.
- Chrome Remote Desktop
Chrome Remote Desktop allows you to connect to team members’ computers and give other users secure access to your computer. To do this, it first asks for your permission. It can be used for Windows, Mac, Linux, and even your smartphone.
The previous solution requires all participants to have a Chrome account. Teamviewer allows you to work without it. Other than that, their functions are similar. Also, according to the creators, it’s the only technology in the world that allows real-time access to an iOS device from any desktop or mobile device.
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Toggl is a program that helps you keep track of how long it takes to complete certain tasks. How it works:
- the user installs the Toggl;
- each time he/she starts a task, they write down its name and click on “Start”, a project can also be assigned to each of them;
- when the task is finished, the user presses the finish button;
- the report for a week, day, month, or any given period shows how much time was spent on the task or project;
- tasks can be scheduled in the calendar;
- the employee can include the time spent in the report.