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Get familiar with these digital tools that are transforming remote work

Posted by Deepshikha Shukla

January 6, 2022    |     4-minute read (645 words)

To run your business with remote staff, you need to provide employees with tools that support work in a distributed, virtual environment. But there is no one-size-fits-all solution; the right digital tools for your business will depend on its type, size, industry and budget. 

That said, businesses that enable employees to communicate asynchronously to the extent possible can help mitigate the stressors that often accompany working from home — thereby improving productivity. 

Here are some key digital tools that empower remote workers to be productive from any location:

Cloud storage tools

Google Docs, Dropbox and Invision are examples of cloud storage tools that can be used to make quick backups. With these tools, employees can save important business documents to the cloud, from which they can be accessed by their colleagues. Storing data on the cloud also lets employees access documents in their most-updated version and from multiple devices. In a nutshell, cloud storage lets your remote employees work on the same shared documents asynchronously, decreasing the likelihood of costly do-overs in the future.

Task boards

The reliance on email prompts the average person to check email once every six minutes, and many of us are logged in to communication tools such as Microsoft Teams, Skype or Slack all day long. But task management tools like Google’s TaskBoards and Trello encourage employees to ask questions in a way that promotes asynchronous responses as opposed to the real-time pull of email and instant messaging. These tools work by organizing collaborative projects into “boards” that provide a clear view of what your colleagues are working on, and when.

Scheduling tools

In a business setting, we may seek an efficient way to book a recurring meeting time in our colleagues’ calendars, such as every Monday, for example. Ideally, it should not take more than 30 minutes and it aligns with people’s preferred work patterns. Scheduling tools such as Calendly and Google calendar can help you book time slots accordingly, meaning without infringing on co-workers’ schedules.

Communication tools

Businesses with remote employees need a platform where teams can share, discuss and collaborate without potentially interrupting one another. Slack and Microsoft Teams are two examples of chat-based collaboration platforms that also offer document sharing and other useful features for business communications. Both also enable people to let others know when they’re away and when they’ll be back online, which is conducive to the asynchronous messaging needs of remote employees.

Video calling tools

Video conferencing software and apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Webex have become increasingly popular as a form of communication among businesses. Even though they transpire over a digital screen, team members are able to interact face-to-face. These tools also allow you to share your current screen and give control to the other person, thus enabling you to collaboratively work over files in run time and in a secure way.

Project management tools

The work management tool you need will mostly depend on your business type. You may need a digital whiteboard, programming tool, customer relationship management software or a platform for tracking the progress of various projects or tasks. 

Basecamp is another real-time tool that helps teams to create and manage projects and can also streamline everyday tasks. For example, every time you onboard a new client or launch a project, you can assign team members to it and then track progress and maintain transparency across the team. 

Data automation tools

Automating repetitive business tasks or processes is an efficient way to boost productivity. For example, automating data inputs, HR systems, help desks and meeting reminders can simplify remote work.

Data automation tools such as Docsumo eliminate the need for manual data updates and help ensure important information isn’t lost when working remotely. Alternatively, you can outsource business processes to handle regular and repetitive tasks, which allows staff to focus on core activities.

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