COMPLETE SURVEY ON TOOLS USED TO MANAGE REMOTE WORK
Remote Working is still very new and there is no handbook or a reference for a complete guide. Managing employees and their productivity differs from company to company. While some companies are very flexible with their employees, there are several companies which are very strict with their employee’s time. So currently there is no thumb rule that can be applied to everyone.
Every company has some bottlenecks which are inevitable, Inertia in the project management and lethargy of an employee these are two non-quantifiable problems. While proper communication and tracking can solve the first case while accountability towards employees can solve the later.
To understand it much better, we have conducted a survey across companies to understand better about the different kinds of tools that they are currently using and also which are most useful. From this, we are compiling the type of tools that are required for managing remote employees.
We categorized tools into there are 3 major types
- Communication tools
- Project management tools
- Documentation tools
In remote work, communication is the key to exploring the potentiality of the candidate. Proper communication can create a virtual office and it makes your employee alert all the time and decreases lethargy in an employee. Following are the major tools used by many firms
Teams is a chat-based collaboration tool that provides global, remote, and dispersed teams with the ability to work together and share information via a common space. You can utilize cool features like document collaboration, one-on-one chat, team chat, and more. Microsoft Teams is also fully integrated with many other Office 365 services, such as Skype, SharePoint, Exchange, and Yammer. Pricing starts at $12.50 per month, per user.
The free platform, which blends the approachable chat UI founds in apps like slack with video and voice chat. It‘s also the only chat in this list that offers push-to-talk features and the Instant Invite link that lets you share a chat server with anyone. The app has a downloadable PC program you can run on your computer which is the handy, lightweight version best for running in the background.
The most popular video and audio conferencing tool with simple UI. It’s very easy to use and we can share the screen in the background to make to know anything instantly. We can accommodate at least 100 for 30 to 40 minutes in a conference with free of cost. It is good to conduct any webinars or value addition programs to employees. Prices may vary depending on the basic personal meetings to $19.99/month/host.
Remo is a visual top-down view, 2-D map comprised of interactive “rooms.” The app uses video, audio and chat to allow people within the space to interact naturally in real-time, from anywhere in the world. Each room within the Remo space can be customized to the needs of the user. The employees really will get office feel if properly we can use this app. The standard plan starts at $50/month for up to 25 attendees.
Wisp Remote Collaboration
If you don’t have any constant access to news updates, company policies, a complete list of co-workers, no need to worry. Its help you to collaborate with remote employees in a more engaged and effective way.
You can share company news, create polls, communicate company policy, share files up to 200 MB in all formats. Prices may vary depending on the strength of the company. For small companies with less than 49 employees, it starts at $49/month only.
There are many tools like skype, Go to Meeting, slack, Ryver, Hangout chats which are similar to the above tools.
Project Management tools
Inertia in project management is like a wound which my fester further and deviates us from project management. Proper management skills can bring accountability from the employee side and responsibility from project manager side. Following is the brief list of tools that are available in the market to manage our projects or employees.
It is a simple project management tool which can give a glimpse of any task in small boxes. It contains a board and card system where the board is used to define multiple tasks and the card is used for stand-alone tasks. It contains a colouring system which can be used to symbolise the project pace. Up to 10 projects are free in Trello and it has minimal chargers if we want to more projects. Deleting the obsolete projects would help to use this tool for long.
It provides a flexible portfolio and project management software capabilities. Sharable boards in this tool make easy for everyone to know the project status. Internal and external connectivity makes easy for the clients to get a project status and portable nature of desktop to mobile without losing portability is an added advantage. Invite key stakeholders to your work board and choose from over 50 column types to identify priorities, deadlines, costs and more.
Pricing varies for different plans like Basic Plan: $25/month for 5 users, Standard Plan: $39/month for 5 users, Pro Plan: $59/month for 5 users and Enterprise Plan: $188/month for 5 users.
Basecamp is ideal to use when we want to divide the project. The divided project will be given proper attributes and pinned with a person allocated. We can integrate it with third-party tools to as per our customization. It’s pop up notifications are unique which alerts us as per the time. Mangers can raise automated questions and employees can have a separate view of their stuff. Its hill charts are so worthful which makes us quantify the project progress. It’s available for fixed and flat pricing of $99/month
Gantt charts are used in this tool so that critical projects can be easily assessed within minutes and it shows coloured deviations if the task is not accomplished. Its drag and drop interface makes routine tasks simple and it automates those tasks. Record every minute of your hard work, either manually or with timers, and our built-in integration with Zoho Invoice will automatically generate invoices from your timesheets. We can integrate le this tool with third-party tools. It’s paid plans start at $25/month to $100/month for enterprises.
There are various tools which track our project management like Jibble, Toggl, Teamwork, Time conductor and Hubstaff.
Making communication meaningful can minimise communication. Documentation tools help us and make employees more accountable. The tools which we use must be simple and lightweight so that it stops unnecessary complications.
Following is the list of tools for documentation.
G Suite (Google docs, sheets, slides)
Mostly widely used documentation tool. It can be appreciated for its simple build and good interface. Documents can be shared with access or without access so it helps to avoid misuse of valuable content. It compromises many google products and email id can be customized with your company name. Its interactive whiteboard is a unique feature.
G Suite offers three main plans: Basic, which costs $6/user/month and comes with 30GB of Google Drive storage; Business, which costs $12/user/month and provides unlimited storage and extra security and admin controls; and Enterprise, with unlimited storage and advanced controls, which costs $25/user/month
It contains team folders and makes us easy to share and edit. Dropbox paper, smart sync, Remote wipe and live support are its unique features. Admin dashboard helps in team monitoring and audit sharing activity. Like all other tools, it allows third party integration. A Dropbox Basic account is free and includes 2 GB of space. Dropbox Pro used to cost $9.99 per month for 100GB, $19.99 per month for 200GB and $49.99 per month for 500GB.
Airtable gives you the freedom to arrange your work just the way you like. It features a centralized database to help teams work together coherently and becomes 10 times more efficient. You can instantly make changes synced across everyone’s devices in real-time.
Airtable can store information in a spreadsheet so it is easy for you to add whatever contents to its field, just to work in an organized manner from any corner.
When it comes to pricing details, you cannot create date ranges in a calendar view, nor can you plot multiple date fields on a calendar view on a free plan. The Airtable Plus plan costs $12/user/month on the monthly billing plan.
Apart from the knowledge of tools, the most important thing is which tool suits you. The above survey is just to give you knowledge on various tools. You need to have clear cut knowledge on your work culture and project capacity so that you can use the most suitable tool for you.