It is common knowledge that remote working is a new reality and remote work tools are the new essentials. Pandemic initiated ‘work from home’ regulations have started norm and its positive implications are already being realized.
In this context, companies are adopting various tools in their daily operations to optimize functioning and work remotely. Professional critics all over the world have been noting that the integration of AR (Augmented reality) and VR (Virtual reality) into remote working tools is quite near in the future.
However, that’s beside our topic of discussion for today. For now, let’s cover the most basics to get you started and comfortable with remote working.
Through this blog, we bring to you the 10 best remote work tools, divided into 5 primary categories, that can help you organize and personalize working from home.
Project Management Tools
These tools can assist you right from project planning down to the very estimates of budget, resources, and man-power. All the managers, this one is especially for you!
First released in 2004, today Basecamp has three different versions available namely- Basecamp Classic, Basecamp 2, and Basecamp 3
Basecamp is a sandbox-style online all-in-one collaboration app, which allows people to work together online on assignments and projects with in-built messaging, to-do lists, and calendar for event creation and tracking. Basecamp can be used by teachers and students for free.
Key Features of Basecamp include:
✓ Client Portal
✓ Collaboration Tools
✓ Customizable Templates
✓ Idea Management
✓ Milestone Tracking
✓ All in one collaboration app
● Easy to use and setup ● Installation is available in Mac, Windows, Android, Cloud, SaaS
● 24/7 immediate online support ● Can be integrated with a wide range of other apps
● Limited reports ● Time tracking and resource management not available
Verdict: Basecamp is best for freelancers, small businesses, and intra-groups
Monday is an emerging project management software that was introduced in 2014. Its ease of use and flexibility facilitate smooth workflow for managers looking for efficient remote work tools. It integrates a light version of the Gantt chart instead of a full-fledged one, however, the effect remains the same.
Key Features of Monday include:
✓ Capacity Management
✓ Reporting/ Project Tracker
✓ Collaboration Tools
✓ Skills Tracing
✓ Resource Management and Scheduling
● Pricing plans categorized as per requirement ● Highly customizable templates ● Sleek and modern user interface ● Helps manage various business processes
● Does not support E-mail Marketing ● A 14-day trial may be insufficient to understand the software
Verdict: This cross-functional and intuitive app can be used by all teams irrespective of the size.
Cloud Storage Tools
Cloud storage has essentially become the primary need of the hour, regardless if you’re working from home or not. In the simplest terms, these remote work tools store data, loads and tons of it.
1. Google Drive
The drive is a file hosting service site rolled out by Google LLC in 2012. It is based on computer programming languages such as Python and Objective-C. All existing Gmail users can use the services and storage space offered by Google Drive. Needless to say, Google Drive is a segment leader in cloud storage.
Key Features Of Google Drive include:
✓ Access Controls/ Permissions
✓ Document Management
● Unlimited storage capacity ● Multi-app integration ● Multiple file formats supported ● Functional Add-ons
● Unavailability of Audit Trail ● Not possible to track access history ● Not available for Mac
Verdict: Drive is one of the most easily accessible, convenient, and effective collaboration tools there is.
Founded in 2007, today, DropBox is one of the favourite cloud-based file storage remote work tools used to store, share, and edit files all on a dynamic and real-time basis. It collaborates everything needed for a full-fledged digital workplace.
Key Features Of Dropbox include:
✓ Conflict Detection
✓ Document Management
✓ Surveys & Feedbacks
✓ Audit Trail
✓ Workflow Management
✓ Electronic Signature
✓ Real-Time Synchronization
● Instant Cloud backup facilitates easy data retrieval ● Smart graphic user interface ● Tracking system for old/ original/ base-files ● Cost-effective for larger teams ● Easy to understand and setup
● Lacks functional organization ● Task managing capabilities can seem inefficient
Verdict: Dropbox has various functions and operations to promote smooth file management across departments and also to eliminate redundancy. This makes it ideal across larger businesses.
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Productivity and Planning Tools
If working from home has been distracting you, we’ve got remote working tools for you. Plan better, perform better. As simple as that!
Todoist is a task manager app founded in 2007 based on programming language C++. It assists in creating tasks and subtasks to keep the workload more organized while simultaneously providing a clearer vision to plan and delegate the tasks.
Key Features of Todoist include:
✓ Time & Expense Tracking
✓ Milestone Tracking
✓ File Sharing
✓ Remote Access
✓ Notes Management
● Preliminary project management functions ● Can set reminders and due dates ● Affordable and cost-effective pricing plans vis-à-vis features
● Available across Windows, Mac, and Android
● Does not sync with the calendar ● Lacks multi-app integration
Verdict: This simple team and individual productivity app can be used to track both, big and small projects.
Evernote offers a versatile and premium version of a simple to-do-list. Over and above noting your ideas, Evernote can help you with several important functions that are best preferred handy. A wide range of templates are provided by the developers for different tasks or notes which can be customized as per the requirement.
Key Features of Evernote include:
✓ Image Recognition
✓ PDF Annotation
✓ Presentation Mode
✓ In-built document scanner
✓ Multi-app Integration
● Search within the handwritten text ● Multi-language recognition ● Easily saves contacts by scanning business cards ● Integrates other email and meeting apps
● Notes can be created in offline mode ● Note history makes it easier to find archived notes
● Can be pricey ● The interface can seem complicated ● No direct way to share notes with non-users
Verdict: Evernote can perform varied operations such as sharing, updating and tracking notes which can be quite beneficial for a team or organisation.
Video Conferencing Tools
It’s impossible to imagine working remotely without a reliable video conferencing tool. We’ve brought the top two VC tools that can boost coordination and virtual collaboration to improve your work from home experience.
Zoom is a cloud-based VC software developed by Zoom Video Communications in the year 2011. It uses a peer-to-peer platform to facilitate online chat and video telephony services for teleconferencing. It allows screen sharing for presenting one’s device to the participants of the meeting. The app has a two-factor authentication to avert any possible privacy and security threats.
Key Features of Zoom include:
✓ Time Zone Tracking
✓ Automatic Transcription
✓ Record & Playback ability
✓ Meeting Management
✓ On-Demand Webcasting
✓ Zoom Rooms
● Compatible with Windows and Android ● High quality of video and audio ● Hand raising function
● Does not have pop-ups
● Resolution to issues by customer care is not as satisfactory ● Participants muted earlier by the host can unmute themselves
Verdict: Excellent for larger meetings with a greater number of participants.
2. Google Meet
Google meet was rolled out as a replacement for Google hangouts. It offers a free platform for people to communicate with their teams for business purposes. This web-based and mobile-based app can allow up to 100K viewers to attend the conference at a time. Anyone who has a Google account can host or join a meeting simply by sending out or receiving the invite.
Key Features of Google Meet include:
✓ Electronic Hand Raising
✓ Attendee Management
✓ Discussion Threads
✓ File Sharing
✓ Audio Call
✓ Private Chat
✓ Meeting Preparation Tools
● Can sync with other apps under the Google Suite for adding to the event and mailing invitees ● Quality of connection is high for both audio and video ● Very useful Speech to Text tool
● No option to insert a virtual image as a background ● No option to record within the call ● Privacy threat since anyone with the link can join the meeting
Verdict: Extremely useful for small and medium-scale meetings.
Team Progress and Time Tracking Tools
Remote working should not mean that you keep wondering if your team is making any progress. With these time tracking tools, you can make sure your team is not lagging and productivity is maintained.
Hubstaff, as the name suggests, provides complete workforce solutions. Right from shift planning to send payments, this software takes care of all your team tracking needs. A remote company founded in 2012, Hubstaff is an excellent remote work tool.