A happy employee is a productive employee, and it is no secret that many businesses are putting a lot of effort into making sure that their workers are happy with their jobs and are not looking to leave the company.
Of course, it is important to note that different companies have different cultures. Not to mention that what works for some employees might not work for others.
On the other hand, some things are universal. Hardly any employee would be satisfied with their work arrangements if they did not have access to work tools, particularly when it comes to collaborating with colleagues.
Below, you will find a list of eight tools that can help remote employees collaborate, which translates to a better work environment and productivity.
Let’s start with Zoom. Working from home means not communicating with coworkers in person. For some, the idea sounds pretty unfortunate because it eliminates the social aspect.
There is no real replacement for in-person communication, but video conferences are arguably the closest alternative.
Zoom is a tool used not just in a professional work environment or by just corporations. Even the education industry uses Zoom for virtual teaching, e-learning, and online courses. And there are some independent coaches and mentors who like to host webinars via Zoom.
For remote work, however, the main purpose of using a video conference tool is to organize regular meetings and make sure that everyone is there. If someone has a question, they can ask it live, which saves time.
Finally, using video chat to communicate also leaves less room for communication errors. It is one thing when you are in a video call interacting with others and explaining things, and another thing when you send an email.
Finally, Zoom also works as a means of socializing, which is another benefit that is often overlooked in remote work environments.
Not all communication requires setting up a video call. If you need to send a quick message and get confirmation that the recipient got it, a simpler approach works as well.
Slack is arguably the most popular communication platform for remote workers. Intuitive and simple design, app integration, video chat, screen-sharing, emotes to react, and a custom status bar are some of the most notable features of Slack.
Keeping the whole team connected in one environment while also offering a tool to create separate and private communication channels is a must for remote workers, and Slack offers that.
A little bit of competition can be fun and function as a means to boost productivity and employee engagement.
Vantage Circle is a tool that is fun and intuitive to use. The peer recognition feature lets employees nominate colleagues for various awards and show their appreciation.
The company can also create a reward system in which employees collect points used to redeem gifts later.
If there is one thing that can make employees happy and productive, it is recognition from superiors and peers. Vantage Circle makes sure that that happens.
Google Drive, including Google Docs, is one of the best ways to share files and information while filling potential gaps.
For example, there might be a Google Sheets file that needs to be filled in by different people. Be it customer information, accounting, or other types of data; Google Docs lets you give access to different people and allow them to view / edit/comment on the document. You can even check the edit history in it to see who made the changes.
Leaving comments as notes is also a neat addition. If something is unclear or requires attention, one of the members can leave a comment for others to see.
Going back to Google Drive, it also works as a means of storage, which can help with one’s problems related to the disk space on a computer. You can transfer files from your device to Google Drive. The default and free Google Drive plan offer 15GB of total storage with the option to expand it by paying small monthly fees.
Trello is a popular project management tool that focuses on visual information via its kanban board format. Streamlining workflow is more intuitive than usual when you can create custom lists and add tasks to others working on the same project.
Similar to Google Docs, you can also add comments for clarity. As soon as a task is completed, it gets categorized and added to the list. From there, one can move to the next block and work on it next.
Additionally, Trello data integration is available to ease the analysis of work done to gain valuable insights.
Sharing your screen with a coworker can do wonders if you are going to take a few days off and need them to cover for you.
Or maybe there is a colleague who is struggling with issues they cannot solve themselves, and they need help from someone who has the necessary experience?
TeamViewer lets you share the computer’s screen with others and explain the topic live. In addition, you can also use the tool to record a video as a reference for later if necessary.
Timetastic is a comprehensive time-off management software with efficient features to simplify and transform your company’s leave management process, making booking time off work a breeze.
No more dealing with paper forms and updating messy spreadsheets. You get a central, up-to-date record of absences, so you can plan better, and work smarter. It also provides an easy way for your team to put in their sick-leave notice, so you don’t have to worry about updating your company calendar or their individual sick leave balance.
The best part is, that Timetastic also has a mobile app so everyone in the team can manage and track time-off balance on the go.
Time tracking tools are another category of remote work tools that should be used. If an employee feels like they are not getting enough compensation for the work they put in, they can prove how much they worked thanks to tracking time.
Another example could be friendly competitions. Colleagues might compete with each other on who can finish their project faster, and a time tracking tool is a great means to use as proof of how much time you spent on everything.
Evernote has been around since 2008, and it is considered the go-to option if someone needs a tool to take notes.
If you have information that you want to share with coworkers, utilize Evernote and take notes that others can check later. Even if the amount of information in Evernote feels overwhelming when you open a file for the first time, it should not be a problem to organize and find the details you need, thanks to the tool’s intuitive user interface.
About the Author
Laura Alexander is a freelance digital content manager and copywriter. She specializes in tech, eCommerce, and educational content. In her free time, she would do volunteer work in the animal shelter.