They say that we’ve finally reached the golden age of working from home.
And while they’ve been saying that for decades now this time they may be right.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way that we work forever.
More people than ever before are free to work in an environment that suits them, rather than being forced into the office.
Thriving Means Collaborating
However, to thrive in the new virtual world – you need the right collaboration tools for remote teams. Because without the right remote team tools everything turns into a grind, instead, of a joy.
Fortunately, we’ve got some great ideas to get you and your remote work team members working together productively in no time at all!
Best Remote Team Communication Tools
The only thing wrong with this software for remote team management and communication?
This collaboration platform only really integrates with other Microsoft products and if your entire team is already using Gmail and the G-Suite? Forget it.
However, there’s no doubt at all that remote teams work very well using the online collaboration tools provided in this tool.
We opted for something a little more flexible than MS in the office and we use Slack for everything from task management to video o calls.
Slack really suits our team culture and the creation process for individual “rooms” around ongoing projects is just very, very easy.
We all work remotely and we all use Google Drive which Slack integrates with as a standard.
There’s a free plan to get you started and your internal communication is bound to improve when your remote team members all start to sync when using slack.
Best Video Conferencing For Remote Teams
The best thing about Skype when working with remote teams is that there’s almost no learning curve – nearly everyone has experience using Skype.
Everything you can do in the package is easy and just a few clicks can configure large groups of other team members to get involved in digital collaboration.
The free version is often enough for small teams too, which can keep costs down.
Video calls are decent over Skype though you may find that there are audio/quality issues at times.
Zoom became the big deal in video for remote teams during the pandemic and rather like Skype it has very little learning curve to get started with.
It’s also free in its most basic form which means there’s no barrier to using it with remote workers to help everyone get on the same page.
It’s easy to do some screen sharing in Zoom and it has all the video conferencing tools you’re going to need with team members working remotely.
Is it the best video conferencing tool? Maybe, maybe not but it is convenient and very easy to deploy and that makes it very useful, indeed.
Best Cloud Storage And File Sharing
Project management across distributed teams is impossible if people can’t get instant access to the latest documentation and not everyone uses Google Docs.
The whole team can benefit from a file-sharing solution that sits in the cloud. Remote employees love the flexibility and it helps ensure they meet your customer expectations too.
OneDrive is a no-brainer for Microsoft-oriented working environments and it’s a great tool that’s included in an MS Office business plan or premium plan and thus, remote teams can benefit from it without you investing a fortune in additional tools.
If your remote working environment isn’t running Microsoft, then the one of the best remote working tools for file management is Dropbox.
It has the advantage of being one of the first such tools and remains one of the best online collaboration tools for remote working today. Once again, familiarity with Dropbox means that for most remote workers, there’s little to no learning curve.
If you don’t have something similar to Dropbox in place then you need it – it will improve remote team collaboration in your working environment instantly and team cohesion will see a huge boost.
There are few more important work tools than those that bring team access to all the relevant data and documentation.
Best File Collaboration Tools
If you use a team collaboration tool for applications then it’s probably going to be Google’s G-Suite or Microsoft’s Office 365.
Both of them are very similar, though G-Suite is a highly customizable toolset that can help with everything from workflow automation to instant messaging.
There’s a free trial to get you started and the one thing you’ll love about G-Suite is how easily it integrates with most other remote work software (as long as it’s not Microsoft Software).
The user-friendly interface makes it simple for different team members to work out how to use the “same tools” as they’ve been using in other environments too.
Microsoft was a bit behind when it came to offering solid remote work tools but there’s no doubt that Office 365 offers everything you need to keep working with their standard office suite even if you don’t have their operating system installed.
The key features are the ones you’d expect such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. and it’s a highly customizable tool group that can integrate with almost all other Microsoft desk software and mobile software.
Each team member can be assigned a role and then complete projects become super easy to manage and you can even get insightful workflow reports from the backend.
And unlike most Microsoft products, you can even save the outputs to Google Drive!
Best Project Management Collaboration Tools
Asana is project management software built with remote collaboration in mind and as such it’s become one of the most popular project management tools around.
It will take all your project data, chart your project progress, allow you to organize tasks and it integrates with nearly every other productivity suite.
The tool’s intuitive interface and key features that were built with project managers in mind make it super easy to manage projects even across multiple teams.
Basecamp is considered by many to be one of the best collaboration tools going and the premier project management tool.
With their sensible pricing policy, they’ve certainly won over a huge share of the market.
It’s way more than an instant messaging app and no matter how detailed your project data and planning needs, it’s easy to take care of them in Basecamp.
It’s a very user-friendly setup and their free trial gives you plenty of time to decide whether or not it’s right for you and your team. We didn’t find it very hard to get started with this software at all.
Other Related Questions
Which Collaboration Tool Is Best?
How long is a piece of string? We’re not being facetious here, you and your team are unique.
The best tools for your way of working will be different from the best tools for us.
The best thing to do is try and work out what you need to work better as a team and implement one piece of software at a time – if it doesn’t add value, don’t be afraid to swap it for something else, until you find a solution that works for you.
What Is The Best Way To Collaborate Remotely?
The best way to collaborate remotely also varies from team to team.
However, there’s no doubt in our minds that the big key is communication.
Collaboration rises and falls on the ability for people to stay focused and all heading in the same direction.
If you have to prioritize tools to implement make sure you cover communication tools first, they’re not optional if you want to succeed.
How Do You Collaborate on Projects Remotely?
You could do it via e-mail and phone calls but you will find that, very quickly, becomes unmanageable.
Fortunately, tools like Asana and Basecamp that we mentioned above make remote project work a breeze (or, at least, as much of a breeze as complex, rigorous work can be).
It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to achieve, it can almost certainly be done by a remote team.
What does matter is finding the right tools for the job and while we wish there was an exact recipe for this, there is not.
The real secret is to communicate well with your team, experiment with tools like the ones above that help promote collaboration and productivity and see what works.
If something doesn’t work, don’t worry about which list of the best tools it appears on – get rid of it and find something that suits your needs better, we guarantee that whatever it is someone has the solution.