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Employees say remote work makes their lives easier and helps them create a positive work-life balance while some managers still worry that remote work could cause the quality of work to suffer. Today, the majority of world companies have gone remote. We don’t have another choice but to get accustomed to the new reality and ensure the work is done properly, on time, and without stress.

Getting High Effectiveness and Results — Tips How to Manage Remote Teams

Daily Check-in

Productivity in any workplace, online or offline depends on how well-developed the structures are. Remote team management might be a little more difficult as there is a bigger risk of being “disconnected”. So it’s necessary to set daily check-ins, meeting times, channels of communication, and deadlines.

One-on-One Conversations

Communication is arguably the most widespread problem when it comes to managing remote employees. Even if you can connect with your virtual teams every day, a lack of personal interaction may negatively impact the relationship between you and your team members. Therefore we recommend arranging personal video calls with members of your virtual teams to maintain company culture in multiple time zones.

Setting Up the Boundaries

Introduce the rules to your distributed team at the beginning of your cooperation. Try to omit phrases such as “quickly”, “properly”, etc, as they may confuse team members. Setting clear deadlines, goals, and requirements work much better. Clear timetables for meetings and professional communication are also essential if you work in different time zones.

Social Interactivity

As a team leader, you must ensure that none of your team members feel isolated. Creative use of technology will help mitigate the risk of social isolation. Various games, quizzes, meetings, and 24/7 open chat rooms will make your employees feel socially active and engaged.

How to Choose the Right Remote Work Software

Here are tools for managing remote employees that will definitely come in handy while organizing the workflow, paying the bills, tracking time, and even hiring remotely.

Best Solutions for Remote Sharing

Google Drive

Google Drive

Google Drive is a cloud-based data storage that enables users to store their files online. It was launched back in 2012 and reached 1 billion active users in just 6 years, which makes it one of the biggest cloud storage providers on the market. This service is available for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android users in the format of a website or application. Google Drive gained its popularity due to various factors, which include 15GB of free space for each user and integration with Google Docs, which allows multiple users to work collectively on the same documents. For those who need more space, Google Drive offers paid plans for 100GB, 200GB, and even 2TB of data. Google also offers an Enterprise version of the service created to meet business’s needs, allowing companies to use unlimited storage along with some advanced file audit reporting tools. By choosing this solution, business users can count on 24/7 phone support along with 99,9% uptime for servers guaranteed by Google.

Chrome Remote Desktop

Google Remote Desktop

Chrome Remote Desktop is a Google Chrome browser-based solution that allows one user to see and control another user’s desktop remotely through the browser window. In order to set a connection, Google Chrome and remote desktop extension must be installed and configured on both computers. There are multiple ways how this solution might be used — troubleshooting, accessing your own work machine from another device, etc. Worth mentioning that Chrome remote Desktop also supports copy-paste functions and real-time audio transmission, which might become handy in certain situations.

TeamViewer

Team Viewer

TeamViewer is another great example of remote desktop software. Similar to Chrome Remote Desktop, it allows users to access computers, mobile devices, and network machines from any place with an internet connection. Worth mentioning that TeamViewer enables streamlined cross-platform access, which means that users can connect to and control an iOS or Android device from Windows or Apple computer and vice versa. Another nice thing about this tool is that multiple support technicians can log in to the same session, which makes solving complex cases much easier. This software also enables users to transfer files between linked devices, which is quite a useful feature when compared with competitors. TeamViewer is free if used for private purposes, however a business license must be bought if you are planning to use it in a commercial setting. TeamViewer offers its commercial users three different subscription packages starting from $49/month and up to $199/month depending on the customer’s needs.

Best Tools for Time Management

Toggl

Toggl

Toggl is a multifunctional solution that offers three different products: smart hiring, team management, and project tracking tool.

Toggl hire allows you to screen candidates with skills tests, collaborate with the team on feedback, organize pre-recorded video intros, and much more. According to the website, the tool helps you to go from 500 to a shortlist of 50 in a few hours without manual work.

Toggl track functions as a simple time tracker that puts a timer into any web tool and allows users to analyze and track time spent on different projects. Using Toggle plan, you can set deadlines, visualize plans, schedule, and collaborate within multiple projects.

Toggl offers different plans depending on the size of the team and the set of features required. It’s worth mentioning that Toggl is widely used by a lot of well-known enterprises such as Amazon, Netflix, Uber, Spotify, and more.

You can choose from a free account that has some essential features. For example, Toggl hire offers such options: basic — $17 per month, a premium that offers anti-cheating measures, ATS integration, API access, and much more for $199 a month, and business — $400 a month.

Harvest

Harvest

Harvest is another very popular tool for time tracking used by McDonald’s, Volkswagen, Dell, and other big and small companies. Harvest allows you to integrate timers into tools that you already use and track time from desktop and mobile applications. The tool also offers a wide selection of visual reports that help to improve performance and improve how to plan and price future projects. The tracked time and expenses can be easily turned into invoices and get paid fast with PayPal and Stripe integrations.

You can start with a free 30-days trial, get a free account for 2 projects and one seat, or a pro account with unlimited projects and a number of people for $12 a month.

Hubstaff

Hubstaff

Hubstaff Time is a productivity platform for time tracking, workforce and project management with a wide variety of features. Data-driven reports explain the profitability of projects, track expenses and time spent on the projects, and send alerts if they are exceeded. The system also sends activity reports that help to identify team members who are struggling with some of the tasks. GPS tracking, online timesheets, geofencing, and online invoicing are other useful features that will definitely come in handy while managing remote teams. The tool supports integration with more than 30 business apps, so you can easily connect it to the tools that you’re accustomed to.

Hubstaff offers a free 14-days trial period, free plan, desk starter for 2 users — $14 a month, and desk pro starting at $20 per month.

Best Tools for Work Management

Trello

Trello

Trello is a tool for organizing projects at work and at home with more than 35 million registered users. You can define projects, requirements, set deadlines, delegate tasks, facilitate communication within teams, and much more. Cards and labels display relevant details about tasks, identify the card’s purpose, and task status. The Trello system is user-friendly and intuitive with robust organizational tools that significantly simplify task delegation and streamline workflows.

The pricing for Trello starts at 0$ and has different plans depending on the size of the team and the set of features you require.

Asana

Asana

Asana is a web-based project management tool that is, according to multiple users’ opinions, easy to use and features a Kanban-style user interface. This tool might be a good choice for businesses that are looking for PM software with flexible customization options. Even their free plan has enough features to serve most of the small business needs — with no monthly fee you can enjoy unlimited teams, projects, activity logs, messaging, and file storage. Also, Asana helps not only to track day-to-day tasks but also allows to automate processes using easy-to-understand graphical workflow builders. Worth mentioning that Asana is able to integrate with over 100 well-known apps like Dropbox, Google Drive, Tableau, Zoom, and Slack, which might be a strong advantage for companies that already use various third-party software.

Saviom

Saviom

Saviom is considered to be one of the most widely used ERM (Enterprise Resource Management) tools. It allows businesses to manage not only human but also non-human resources in an efficient manner. The main features of Saviom are resource planning, capacity planning, and resource forecasting. Using this tool, managers can clearly see what work is happening across the whole organization’s structure on a single screen or, alternatively, it is possible to go as low as to the individual employee level to understand their capacity and level of their skills. It is designed mostly for medium and big companies which have a big pool of resources with varied skill sets. Saviom might be a good choice for businesses that grow and feel that their legacy home-grown resource management tools or even spreadsheets become outdated and limit the company’s performance.

Top-notch Communication Tools

Slack

Slack is a very convenient tool for communication and task list management. It has a very project-friendly structure, enables sending and receiving easy, automated reminders, has powerful search capabilities, useful bots, and more.

Skype

Skype for Business comes with enterprise-grade security and allows you to easily connect your teams and clients, manage employee accounts, conduct online meetings, send and receive text messages in real-time, and more. You can find more features of Skype for Business here.

Zoom

When the pandemic started, Zoom became the most popular tool among educational and business institutions. A unified platform for video and phone calls, chats, salesforce integration has end-to-end encryption and can even monitor participants’ interaction and engagement during the meetings.

Wrap Up

Employees are the best asset of your company. Make sure they feel comfortable, socialized, and connected. Your business will also greatly benefit from a well-organized, productive, and technologically-enhanced workflow.

At inVerita, we use ClickUp for managing our teams. What tool does your company use?

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