Having the ability to work from home has become the new norm across many industries and roles. For some, it’s a permanent job requirement; other times it’s due to working on site with a client or customer. Either way, it’s important that your company is well prepared when a team member works out of the office.
Working remotely requires technology that helps your team get the job done in diverse settings and overcome obstacles when unexpected circumstances arise. There’s nothing like that sinking feeling when you left an important file on a desktop computer back at the office or when you can’t reach a coworker that’s already left for the day.
The good news is there are countless resources to help make you and your remote workers’ lives easier. Access to e-mail and the company Intranet is a start, but consider these other tools to help further connect your team:
Connectivity Tools That Make Remote Work Easier
Asana is one of the top team collaboration and project management tools on the market; they’ve worked with a variety of business sizes from national brands to local startups and nonprofits. Each member of your team can create a workspace with all of their projects to track tasks and add notes, comments, attachments, and tags.
To help streamline your workflow, their software integrates with many of common work apps like Dropbox, Slack, and MailChimp.
Basecamp is one of the oldest project management tools in the game, and it’s still leading the pack. This tool is straightforward and easy to use, and with their “Basecamp With Clients” plan you can keep clients informed about ongoing projects seamlessly.
It even works over email – people who prefer email can simply reply to discussions via any email app without ever having to log in.
3. Google Docs
Google Docs are ideal for collaborating on a document with your team wherever they are. From a cell phone, tablet, or computer, your whole team can access a document at the same time and edit or comment—all in real time! Your changes are automatically saved as you type, but you can always go back and view the revision history in case an old idea comes back to life.
Dropbox has been the go-to file sharing platform for years, and it’s a great solution for small business. Dropbox Business syncs with many popular productivity apps (including Asana and Slack, mentioned above) and allows you to manage your team’s accounts.
Box is known primarily as an enterprise solution, and, like Dropbox, it is portable and integrates with many apps. Their advantage is that their interface allows you to create and edit Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets and presentations within your browser. This is the tool for you if want to collaborate on documents and have greater control of sharing capabilities.
Slack is a great small business instant messaging platform. It not only makes communication between you and your teammates easier, but better. Your team can create a group or private discussions, share materials and links with one another, or simply chat and build a good rapport. It also has a great app directory, which allows your team to integrate with other tools you use to collaborate.
Sometimes a phone call just doesn’t get the job done, but with Jing you can capture images and record video on your computer and then share them with your team. During a recording you can mark important details with a text box, arrow, highlight, or picture caption or provide commentary with your computer’s microphone while you illustrate with the cursor or text.
8. TEC Flex
Rather than having separate locations for storing voicemail, e-mail, faxes, etc., TEC’s VoIP system remotely stores them together, all in one convenient place. When working remotely, you aren’t tethered to an analog phone with a cord. TEC’s VoIP integrates into the tech that your team already uses, like your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
With easy call forwarding, TEC Flex allows you to get incoming calls at different locations, on different phones. Listen to messages, initiate calls, or make changes to your call routing schedule from one easy-to-use interface, the CommPortal Dashboard.
With a selection of so many great tools that are effective and easy to use, it can be difficult to decide which is best for your business.