Have you been considering transitioning your employees from a traditional office to working remotely, or are you looking to hire more remote team members? Technology has made this shift easier than ever before.

Have you been considering transitioning your employees from a traditional office to working remotely, or are you looking to hire more remote team members? Technology has made this shift easier than ever before.

The move towards remote work is on the rise. In the last 15 years, the remote workforce has tripled. As of 2019, 5 million employees work from home, according to the American Community Survey of the US Census Bureau. Of those surveyed, 80% reported they want to work from home.

The COVID-19 / coronavirus outbreak expedited this trend, creating a large-scale, unexpected experiment in remote work and remote jobs. Now more than ever, it is necessary to establish best practices for seamless and secure ways to get work done.

While video conferencing, file sharing, project management, and time tracking tools are helpful for productivity and communication, adaptive analytics and secure data-access technologies are just as crucial.

Real-time analytics help management assesses worker performance in a remote setting, while secure data technology, such as Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and locked PDFs, ensure internally sensitive information stays secure.

Going remote may seem complicated, but there are distinct advantages to shifting to an at-home workforce and hiring remote talent. Working from home increases productivity, decreases overhead, and expands your hiring pool to the best talent across the globe. Though different time zones can cause communication issues, remote work also makes for happier, more efficient employees. Of course, managing a remote workforce is more than simply switching from in-office meetings to video conferences. Companies need a plan to help assimilate and develop remote talent.

The Types Of Tech Tools Needed For Remote Teams

As more employees look to work remotely, businesses can be prepared for this evolution by using the right tech stack. Your remote employees will need tools for:

  1. Business Management: for accounting, documentation, human resources, and other business needs.
  2. Communication: for quick check-ins, meetings, feedback, conferences, and webinars
  3. Project Management: to keep track of tasks, time management, prioritization, delegation, and collaboration.
  4. Data & Security: to keep communication secure through public internet channels protect and store critical data.
  5. Hiring Remote Workers: freelance marketplaces for flexibility and scalability

There are a variety of products to tackle the behind-the-scenes “housekeeping” of running a business, so you can devote more time to doing what you do best.

Human Resources & Payroll Remote Work Tools

1. Workful

Geared for small businesses, Workful provides a simple, affordable solution for HR and payroll management. The easy-to-use dashboard can file tax forms, sync with timesheets & PTO, and help track your employees’ information, time management, and time off.

2. Zenefits

Zenefits streamlines onboarding, benefits, payroll, and PTO into one simple platform. Ideal for entrepreneurs and small to mid-size businesses, Zenefits offers a 14-day free demo.

3. Rippling

Like Zenefits, Rippling is all in one platform for your company’s HR and IT needs. You can manage employees’ payroll, benefits, devices, and apps, with a variety of different pricing models to suit your needs.

4. Namely

A people operation platform for small to mid-sized businesses (25 to 1000), promising to increase employee engagement and productivity. Namely handles HR, payroll, benefits, and talent management on a cloud-based user-friendly platform.

5. Gusto

Gusto calls itself the people platform for small businesses. The app is a one-stop shop to run payroll, manage benefits, onboard your team, use time tracking and time off request tools, handle state and federal taxes, and access HR experts.

6. Quickbooks

“Bookkeeping and beyond” to help you track your sales and expenses, view profit and low reports, pay your employees and vendors, and track unpaid invoices. Quickbooks can easily connect to business bank accounts or Paypal and Square to consolidate yours.

7. Wave

An accounting software platform geared for entrepreneurs, small businesses, independent contractors, and sole proprietors. Wave allows you to track your income and expenses, create invoices, accept payments, pay employees, and scan receipts.

Cloud Computing Remote Work Tools

Cloud computing provides on-demand delivery of IT resources. By eliminating the need for physical equipment and in-house infrastructure, cloud computing is cost-effective, scalable, and convenient. Below are the big three public cloud vendors. Keep in mind, you can also use cloud brokers to mix and match cloud services to optimize services.

8. Amazon Web Services (AWS)

AWS, founded in 2006, is a highly customizable cloud-based program offering integrated web services to companies and individuals. A dominating name in creative cloud computing, AWS has three different pricing models and a free 12-month tier. With over 175 services, AWS is a market leader.

9. Microsoft Azure

A Windows and Linux compatible solution from a tech giant, released in 2010. Microsoft Azure takes a “cloud-first” approach, suitable for any industry. Microsoft Azure has a 12-month free tier and a cost calculator to understand the costs to support certain services.

10. Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud is a user-friendly cloud services provider with strong AI and machine learning capabilities. Google stands out for its open-source technologies and culture of innovation. Like AWS and Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud offers a free 12-month trial.

Team Communication Remote Work Tools

Finding the right communication software for your remote team is paramount to the success of your company. Adopt products that facilitate team collaboration, organization, productivity, and team messaging.

11. Slack

This is collaboration software for your whole company, aimed to replace email. The most popular service of its kind, and also one of the most expensive. Slack uses channels as organizing spaces to work on different projects or topics. Depending on your industry, Slack may have some functionality gaps that would lead you to look elsewhere.

12. Microsoft Teams

Heavily integrated with other Microsoft Office apps, Teams is best for companies already using Microsoft products. You can access, share, and edit documents in real-time, or host audio, video or web conferences. Teams interface is orderly and compartmentalized, with a less casual air than Slack and Chanty, which may inhibit open dialogue.

13. Chanty

Simple AI-powered team online chat for small to medium-sized teams. Unlike Slack, Chanty doesn’t limit searchable message history. Through an organizational feature called Teambook, Chanty organizes all files, tasks, conversations, and files into folders.

Video Conferencing Remote Work Tools

14. GoToMeeting

Perfect for online meetings. A mobile-friendly, stand-alone web conferencing and video call platform by LogMeIn. GoToMeeting offers features such as screen sharing, recording, and transcription, as well as GoToWebinar and GoToTraining solutions for large-scale virtual events as well as communication between co-workers. Payment plans range from $14-$19 per month. Standard meetings can hold up to 250 participants, whereas a Business plan tier can accommodate up to 3,000 participants.

15. Zoom

A simple conference solution for video calling and video chat, with free and paid plans ($14.99-19.99 per host, per month). Ideal for large audiences, the platform can host up to 1,000 participants and 49 videos on a single screen. While some other platforms cap the number of simultaneous video fees, anyone attending a Zoom meeting can have a high definition video feed and webcam on. The team chat feature offers fire sharing, a searchable history, and a ten-year archive.

16. BlueJeans

Founded in 2009, the California-based company offers inter-operable cloud-based video conferencing that supports Dolby voice. The simple, trusted platform for virtual meetings improves productivity with meeting highlights and transcription services and integrates with over 30 apps. BlueJeans has three pricing tiers and a 30-day free trial.

Project Management Remote Work Tools

Project management and task management tools help your remote team manage deadlines, resources, and deliverables. To keep your team on track, look for project management software that offer three main functions:

  1. Communication features: allowing your team to collaborate, provide feedback, and ultimately execute on tasks and projects more efficiently.
  2. Time tracking tools: offering key insight in order to understand how long projects take, how profitable they are, and how to reach project milestones faster in the future.
  3. Visual collaboration tools: to encourage team members to brainstorm and visualize ideas.

17. Trello

View all of your company’s projects in one glance with this easy to use system. Trello is a visually-optimized collaboration tool, utilizing kanban boards, lists, and cards to organize and prioritize projects. Butler, a built-in workflow automation software, increases productivity by performing functions on your behalf and detecting inefficiencies. Help your team management by keeping everyone ont task, even at a distance.

18. ClickUp

“One app to replace them all.” Click-up makes it easy to transfer content from other productivity tools and project management software. Their software can handle everything from agile project management for company-wide efficiency to simple to-do lists. Offering a list, kanban board, and calendar view and dependencies for each task, ClickUp is fully customizable task management for every type of team. Some users may find its inability to create user groups and subfolders lacking.

19. Wrike

An ideal project management tool for mid-sized companies, with interact Gantt charts, calendars, and drag and drop dashboards. The highly intuitive interface and support for recurring tasks make Wrike an appealing option, though the high price point and lack of integrated live chat and invoicing leave something to be desired. Wrike also offers a mobile app.

20. Miro

Designed to increase distributed team productivity, Miro is a simple collaborative whiteboarding platform ideal for fostering creativity and idea generation. Imagine one big whiteboard that never needs to be erased. The interactive Mind Mapping Framework allows teams to capture and organize ideas quickly together. A great tool for designers, helping teams to develop projects and discuss them in real-time.

Bonus: Best Sites To Hire Remote Workers

By using trusted freelance marketplaces, you can scale your remote team quickly, or hire professional freelancers for contract-based work. There are numerous benefits to hiring carefully vetted software developers, designers, and product managers from an exclusive network. For one, you have access to a leading talent pool with highly specialized skills. You’ll also avoid the potential growing pains of transitioning an in-office to a remote workforce; established freelancers are primed to work independently and on schedule to meet project goals.

1. Toptal

The top three percent of freelancers in the world, affording businesses large and small the flexibility to hire expert professionals for any projects that your team needs. Toptal’s standards are exacting; all applicants must pass a rigorous vetting process to prove their technology, customer service, and project management skills are up to snuff.

2. Hired

A curated marketplace matching employers with tech talent, mainly for full-time roles. Hired has automated assessments for all candidates to standardize the hiring process. Pay a fixed price for all your hiring needs rather than a per-person price. Average time to hire is 25 days after uploading the job.

3. Upwork

A well-known freelancer platform with a worldwide pool of freelancers of varying skills levels. Post a job for free and get bids within 24 hours, or search through developer profiles. Upwork offers prices to meet any budget; the quality will vary accordingly.

Conclusion: Find The Best Remote Working Tools For Your Teams

Remember, creating a digital workplace involves more than adopting the right technology and signing up all of your team members. Remote work requires a shift in mindset so that all workers feel engaged and part of a single team.

When building your remote team, refer to reliable freelance marketplaces to find top talent that are results-oriented and well versed in remote work culture.

The possibilities for remote work are ever-expanding, which means more and more tech solutions are available to create a robust workforce of remote employees to do their best work.