The business world has needed to adapt to remote working over the last year. While working remotely has been around for a long time, the global pandemic accelerated this transformation and prompted many companies to re-think how they continue to build effective teams and successful businesses.
Transitioning to remote work can be a tough change if you are not prepared for it. Preparation includes choosing the right tools to support a remote culture.
There’s no doubt technology has played a massive role in the success of companies shifting to remote work. Finding the right tools to help teams work remotely is incredibly important. But with so many tools available today, it can be difficult to know where to start.
In this article, we look at some of the best tools for working remotely. Let’s dive in!
Communication tools for working remotely
With so many businesses mandating remote work, some even shutting down their offices, and offering full-time remote work moving forward, the days of tapping your teammates’ shoulders are over for many. Communication tools are a critical part of every remote business.
- Slack – If you don’t already use it, you’ve probably heard of it. Slack is one of the most popular messaging tools available today. It enables teams to communicate and collaborate on projects while promoting a culture of transparency. Learn more about Slack.
- Microsoft Teams – Another popular messaging platform is Microsoft Teams, a competitor to Slack. It offers similar capabilities for collaborating and communicating with teammates. Learn more about Microsoft Teams.
- Zoom – Zoom’s popularity exploded with so many people wanting that human connection without being able to be in the same room together. Both businesses and families are using Zoom today to schedule 1:1 video calls and group video conferencing. Learn more about Zoom.
- Tandem – Tandem helps bring teams closer together through a combination of real-time video calls, chat, and automatic status updates synced from your calendar. If you’re looking to recreate the office environment where your colleagues can walk up to your desk and have a chat, Tandem is worth looking at. Learn more about Tandem.
Project management tools for working remotely
Project management tools have been used for years to help coordinate teams and get work done, even before the remote days. They remain important tools today for bringing teams together and getting work done.
- Jira – Widely used among the software industry and more, Jira helps software teams prioritize work, manage a backlog, and assign tasks. Jira is perhaps one of the most popular project management tools available today as its customizable platform means a variety of teams can use it. Learn more about Jira.
- Asana – Asana is a great alternative to Jira if you’re looking for something that works well for smaller teams but still enables you to scale. With Asana, you can get up and running with basic project management workflows in minutes. Learn more about Asana.
- Trello – Trello is popular with teams big and small. It is a Kanban project management application that offers easy and real-time collaboration between teams. Learn more about Trello.
- Airtable – AirTable is a flexible task and project management tracker. It’s often described as a spreadsheet on steroids, giving users a familiar and traditional experience with an extra layer of robust features and workflows. Learn more about Airtable.
- Linear – Linear is one of the newer kids on the block when it comes to project management tools. Its sleek and polished design makes it simple to use. Software teams use Linear for issue tracking and project management. Learn more about Linear.
Time management tools for working remotely
It’s easy to get caught up in work with all of our competing priorities and the constant flow of information. Time management applications help remote teams manage and organize their time better.
- Google Calendar – Often not included on lists of tools for working remotely because it’s so baked into the workflow of teams already. Google Calendar helps remote workers manage their schedules and coordinate meetings and events with their teammates. Learn more about Google Calendar.
- Lattice – Lattice is great for coordinating repeating meetings such as 1:1s and check-ins. Its simplicity and intuitiveness make it a popular tool among remote teams today. Lattice integrates directly with Google Calendar to help teams prepare for meetings and keep track of action items. Learn more about Lattice.
- Toggl – Toggl helps people track the time they’re spending on various pieces of work. It’s great for businesses like agencies and software teams doing billable work. Learn more about Toggl.
- Reclaim – Reclaim helps workers defend their calendars and optimize their schedules for more productivity and fewer distractions. It integrates with Slack, Zoom, and Google Calendar and automatically blocks time on your calendar for doing work that matters most. Learn more about Reclaim.
Design and development tools for working remotely
One of the industries to really lean into remote work has been the software industry. Designing and developing software today looks much different than it did just ten years ago, thanks to the cutting-edge tools available today. Design and development tools help software teams build products remotely.
- GitHub – GitHub is a popular tool for version control and code repositories. With GitHub, developers can easily view, share and collaborate on pieces of code. Version control tools also make it super simple for keeping track of changes made to code. Learn more about GitHub.
- GitLab – Developers also love GitLab for version control and repository management. GitLab also has its own continuous integration and continuous delivery solutions, meaning users don’t have to install these separately. Learn more about GitLab.
- Adobe Creative Cloud – Designers have been using Adobe products for years. Adobe Creative Cloud enables design teams to work independently or collaborate with larger teams. The suite includes tools for graphic design, video editing, web development, photography, and more. Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud.
- Figma – Figma has taken the design industry by storm in recent years. The web-based design platform enables software teams to design and prototype ideas quickly. It has changed the game when it comes to design collaboration, as everything can be done in Figma. Learn more about Figma.
Writing and documentation tools for working remotely
Working remotely has resulted in a lot more writing and sharing of long-form content. Whether it’s product specs, a collaborative document to help drive a decision, or a draft for an upcoming blog, writing is a key ingredient of any successful remote team.
- Grammarly – Imagine a personal writing wizard sitting at your desk helping you write better content. That’s Grammarly. It sits in the background and flags errors and opportunities for improving your documents. It’s a must-have for anyone who wants to level up the quality of their writing. Learn more about Grammarly.
- Notion – Notion is a multi-faceted documentation tool that small and big teams love. What is great about Notion is that you can do more than write. You can create spreadsheets, databases, and design workflows to help your team be productive. Learn more about Notion.
- Slite – Slite is a lightweight documentation tool that helps teams save and share knowledge. It removes friction from the documentation process and makes it super easy to document and share information with your teammates. Learn more about Slite.
- Slab – Both technical and non-technical teams use Slab to create content that is easy to share and looks good. It offers powerful integrations, so you can use Slab to search for content on various other platforms. Learn more about Slab.
File sharing tools for working remotely
With more and more work being done in the cloud, teams need a way to easily share files and assets with teammates in other parts of the world. File sharing tools make it simple to easily save, manage, and share files across the world with a few clicks.
- Google Drive – Google is a household name today, and Google Drive is an excellent solution for sharing files, especially for teams who already use Google for email. It lets you share and collaborate on files and documents, and it integrates nicely with Gmail, making it an accessible way for teams to share and manage files in the cloud. Learn more about Google Drive.
- Box – Box is a common platform for distributed businesses, and they put a lot of focus on security. Users can protect their shared links via passwords that have an expiration date, and you can integrate Box with other platforms like Microsoft Office and Google Drive. Learn more about Box.
- Dropbox – Dropbox is one of the largest file-sharing platforms in the world. It includes a range of features and capabilities from documentation, file sharing, multi-media playing capabilities, and more. Dropbox also gives users the ability to set granular controls on their files so they can share files securely and confidently. Learn more about Dropbox.
Working remotely takes a lot of forethought and planning to be successful. Businesses should not overlook the role technology has in making remote teams be more effective. While productivity is obviously a big goal, it’s very easy to get burnt out working remotely. Make sure you take breaks often, set working hours and boundaries, and stick to them. Use some of the tools.