The research is in. Remote workers are more productive, turnover less, and save businesses money. However, companies face a unique management challenge as they become more comfortable allowing their employees to work remotely.
How do managers in this virtual office environment ensure team cohesion, encourage efficiency, and boost morale?
Beyond hiring self-motivated people with strong communication skills, you need the right tools. Ones that will help bridge both the physical and psychological distance between you and your team.
Fortunately, there are tons of amazing apps out there that can help you do just that.
If you want to keep your remote workers efficient, productive, and happy, you should start with this quick list of insanely useful (and remarkably cheap) apps.
Slack is a chat tool where employees can instantly connect with their colleagues, both one-on-one and in groups. In so many ways, Slack is a better alternative to traditional texting, file sharing, and email.
But what really makes Slack stand out is it’s seamless design and ability to install apps, bots, and plugins that automate tasks, report on business activities, and keep employees engaged.
2) UniTel Voice
UniTel Voice is a virtual phone system that allows you to run your business from anywhere, on any device. It includes all the features and functionality of a traditional business phone system — without the complexity, high cost, or need for equipment.
Because UniTel Voice is completely cloud-based, you’re no longer chained to the physical office phone on your desk. With the UniTel Voice mobile app, you can turn your personal smartphone into your office phone and take it with you wherever you go.
Managers can track sales calls asses marketing ROI, record support calls for quality assurance, and make instant phone system changes.
InVision allows you to quickly create interactive clickable prototypes, mock-ups, and wire-frames, so you can gather instant feedback from your remote employees and stakeholders. But it’s not just great for designing websites, landing pages, and products. You can use it as an online whiteboard to present ideas and brainstorm concepts.
InVision is the perfect online platform for collaborating with your remote team. It makes presenting designs, workflows, and ideas a real experience, infinitely better than sending dozens of PDFs, screenshots, or relying on a simple Google Doc.
Asana’s delightful usability has made it the Slack of project management. In a nutshell, Asana is a tool that makes it easy for remote teams to track projects, tasks, and progress. It gives you everything you need to stay in sync, hit deadlines, and reach your goals.
Asana is incredibly intuitive and incredibly powerful. You can use it to manage basic to-do lists or complex team projects. It allows you to map out each step of your project and organize all the details of your work in one place.
Whether your remote team is building a product, running a marketing campaign, setting company goals, or planning a mission to the moon, Asana will help you plan, manage, track, and launch initiatives that get results.
Sync it’s like Dropbox, but less expensive and more secure. It allows you and your team to easily store, share, and access files from just about anywhere. Most importantly, Sync protects your privacy with end-to-end encryption — ensuring that your data is always safe, secure, and 100% private.
Sync allows multiple users to work from the same set of folders. It automatically backs up files, and keeps them synced across your team’s computers and devices. With apps for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, and the web, your team will never lose a file again.
6) Tap My Back
Many times, the biggest challenges to managing people remotely are that things you do naturally when working side by side in the office, such as providing work recognition and real-time feedback. Luckily, there’s an app for that.
With Tap My Back, you can provide your remote employees with real-time appreciation and continuous feedback no matter where they work or what time zone they’re on. You can track your employee’s mood, feedback, and engagement.
Tap My Back uses an automated check-in system that gives people on your team the ability to share how they feel on a continuous basis, so you can keep your fingers on the pulse of your organization.