Managing remote workers can be a challenge, but with the right tools, it can be a breeze. In today’s digital age, there are plenty of tools available to help managers and team leaders keep their remote teams on track and productive. In this article, we will cover the 10 essential tools you need when managing remote workers.
1. Video Conferencing Software
As a remote team leader, video conferencing software such as Zoom or Google Meet is a crucial tool for effective communication and collaboration with your colleagues. With the rise of remote work, it’s becoming increasingly important to have a reliable and user-friendly video conferencing software that can keep remote teams connected and engaged.
One specific example of when video conferencing software could be useful is during team meetings. When leading a remote team, it’s important to hold regular team meetings to discuss project updates, address any concerns or issues, and build relationships with team members. Video conferencing software allows team members to connect face-to-face, even if they are located in different parts of the world. This can help to build trust and foster a sense of community within the team.
Alternatively, consider the example of conducting job interviews. As a remote team leader, you may need to interview candidates who are located in different parts of the world. Video conferencing software allows you to conduct interviews in real-time, enabling you to assess the candidate’s communication skills and cultural fit. It also allows you to record the interview, making it easier to review and compare candidates.
2. Instant Messaging Tools
As a remote team leader working nomadically, it can be challenging to stay connected with team members and maintain effective communication. This is where instant messaging tools like Slack can come in handy. Not only does it allow for quick and efficient communication, but it also provides a sense of community among team members, even when they are not physically together.
Imagine a remote business that is focused on promoting work-life balance and encouraging employees to take breaks throughout the day. However, the business is struggling with finding a way to stay connected and communicate efficiently during those breaks.
Enter Slack, the ultimate communication tool for remote teams. Despite the irony of using a work communication tool during break time, Slack can actually help this remote business achieve its goals of promoting work-life balance. With Slack, team members can quickly and easily communicate with each other during breaks, without the need for lengthy emails or phone calls. They can share ideas, ask questions, and collaborate in real-time, all while enjoying their downtime.
In addition, Slack provides a range of integrations and automations that can streamline workflows and reduce the need for manual work. For example, the business could use a Slack integration with a time-tracking tool to ensure that team members are taking regular breaks throughout the day.
3. Virtual Whiteboarding Tools
Virtual whiteboarding tools are software programs that allow teams to collaborate and brainstorm ideas in real-time, no matter where they are located. These tools are especially useful for remote teams, as they provide a digital alternative to physical whiteboards and allow team members to work together on projects, ideas, and problem-solving.
Virtual whiteboarding tools are a bit like a digital playground for teams to collaborate and experiment. Just as children use playgrounds to explore and create, teams can use virtual whiteboarding tools to collaborate, brainstorm, and experiment with ideas, no matter where they are located. With the right virtual whiteboarding tool, remote teams can work together seamlessly and bring their ideas to life in a digital space.
Virtual whiteboarding tools are especially useful during a product development meeting. Imagine a team of remote designers and developers working on a new software product. They need to brainstorm ideas and collaborate on the product’s design, but they are located in different parts of the world. By using a virtual whiteboarding tool, they can create a shared digital canvas and collaborate on the design in real-time, adding notes, sketches, and ideas as they go. This enables them to work together seamlessly, as if they were in the same room.
Two examples of virtual whiteboarding tools are Miro and Stormboard. Miro is a collaborative whiteboarding platform that allows teams to work together on a digital canvas, using sticky notes, diagrams, and other visual elements to capture ideas and collaborate in real-time. Stormboard is another virtual whiteboarding tool that allows teams to collaborate and brainstorm ideas, with features such as mind mapping, voting, and commenting.
4. Project Management Software
As a remote project manager, using project management software like Asana or Trello is essential for keeping projects on track, managing resources, and ensuring that deadlines are met. As hybrid work has become more popular, project management software has become even more important as it provides a central hub for team members to collaborate and share project information.
For example, imagine a remote project manager working for a digital marketing company. The team is responsible for managing multiple campaigns across different clients, which involves coordinating with designers, writers, and other team members located in different time zones. By using project management software, the project manager can keep track of project timelines, assign tasks to team members, and track progress in real-time. This allows the team to work more efficiently and ensures that deadlines are met, no matter where they are located.
Using project management software is especially valuable when employees are located in different time zones. It allows team members to access project information and collaborate on tasks at any time, without the need for constant communication. This means that the project manager can focus on strategic planning and managing resources, rather than spending all their time coordinating with team members.
By contrast, not using project management software to stay organized can lead to chaos and confusion. Team members may not know what tasks they are responsible for, deadlines may be missed, and projects may be delayed. In short, it’s like trying to navigate a maze blindfolded – you’ll eventually get to the end, but it will take a lot longer and be a lot more frustrating.
5. Online survey and polling tools
Online survey and polling tools are powerful resources for remote businesses to gather feedback and insights from their customers and employees. With the right online survey and polling tool, businesses can create custom surveys, collect data, and analyze results in real-time, providing valuable insights into customer and employee satisfaction, market trends, and business operations.
Imagine a social media company with employees located in multiple countries worldwide. The company used SurveyMonkey to create an employee engagement survey, asking team members to rate their satisfaction with their job, the company culture, and the level of communication. The results showed that employees were generally satisfied, but had some concerns about communication and work-life balance. Armed with this information, the company was able to make improvements and address employee concerns, resulting in increased job satisfaction and employee retention.
By contrast, without online survey and polling tools, businesses may be left in the dark about customer and employee satisfaction. It’s like trying to navigate a ship through a storm without a compass – you may eventually reach your destination, but it will be a lot more difficult and unpredictable.
6. Virtual Event Management Tools
Virtual event management tools are essential for companies that want to organize and manage successful internal events, such as webinars, conferences, and team building activities. These tools provide a range of features and functionalities that make it easy to plan and execute virtual events, no matter where team members are located.
With the right tool, you can handle a range of tasks, from creating event pages and managing registrations to hosting live sessions and engaging attendees in real-time. This allows you to focus on delivering a high-quality event, without getting bogged down in administrative tasks.
One of the best features of virtual event management tools for company internal events is that they enable you to create engaging and interactive experiences for attendees. With features such as live polling, Q&A sessions, and breakout rooms, you can keep attendees engaged and ensure that everyone has an opportunity to participate and share their ideas.
In addition, virtual event management tools provide a range of analytics and reporting features that allow you to track attendance, engagement, and other key metrics. This data can be used to measure the success of your event and make informed decisions about future events.
Employee Management Tools
7. Time Tracking Software
As a remote manager, time tracking tools are an essential resource for keeping track of team members’ work and ensuring that projects are completed on time. These tools may have gotten a bad reputation in the past, but they are necessary for holding team members accountable and keeping everyone on track.
Tools like Toggl and RescueTime provide real-time tracking of team members’ work, giving remote managers a clear picture of how team members are spending their time. This enables managers to identify any inefficiencies or roadblocks in the project and make adjustments as needed to keep things moving forward.
But time tracking tools are not just about keeping people accountable – they are also a valuable resource for improving productivity and identifying areas for improvement. By tracking time spent on various tasks and projects, remote managers can identify patterns and make data-driven decisions to improve workflow and boost productivity.
8. Employee Onboarding Software
Employee onboarding software is like a compass for remote managers looking to guide new team members through the process of joining a remote team. With the right software, managers can streamline the onboarding process, ensure that new team members have all the information they need, and make the transition as smooth as possible.
One specific scenario where employee onboarding software could be useful is when onboarding team members in different time zones. With a virtual onboarding platform like Lessonly, managers can provide new team members with a comprehensive onboarding experience, regardless of their location. This enables new team members to get up to speed quickly and start contributing to the team’s success.
Another scenario where employee onboarding software could be useful is when onboarding multiple team members at once. With a platform like TalentLMS, managers can create custom onboarding courses that provide new team members with all the information they need to be successful in their roles. This enables managers to onboard multiple team members at once, without sacrificing the quality of the onboarding experience.
Team Building Tools
9. Virtual Team Building Software
Virtual team building software is like the glue that holds remote teams together. With the right software, remote teams can build connections, boost morale, and strengthen relationships, even when team members are located in different parts of the world. And the best part? It can be a lot of fun!
Imagine if a web development company organised a team building event using Kahoot! – a fun and interactive game-based learning platform. The event would be a huge success, with team members from all over the world participating in a series of virtual games and challenges. The event could bring the team closer together, providing a much-needed break from the daily grind of remote work and allowing team members to bond over a shared experience.
But team building software is not just about having fun – it also provides real business benefits. By building connections and boosting morale, remote teams are better equipped to collaborate effectively and achieve business goals. Plus, team building activities can help to reduce stress and burnout, which can have a positive impact on productivity and job satisfaction.
10. Employee Engagement Tools
Employee engagement tools are like the secret sauce for remote businesses looking to boost employee morale, productivity, and job satisfaction. With the right tools, remote managers can create a work environment that keeps employees engaged, motivated, and happy.
Imagine a hypothetical remote tax company that uses Officevibe to measure employee engagement. With Officevibe’s user-friendly survey tool, the company is able to gather valuable feedback from employees and identify areas for improvement.
To boost engagement, the company implements a range of strategies, including regular check-ins with team members, providing opportunities for professional growth, and fostering open communication. Additionally, the company uses recognition and rewards programs to show employees that their hard work is valued and appreciated.
As a result of these efforts, employee engagement levels soar, leading to improved productivity, better communication, and a more positive work environment. By using Officevibe and implementing engagement strategies, this remote tax company creates a work environment where employees feel supported, motivated, and engaged in their work.
And best of all, happy employees lead to happy customers, and that’s a recipe for success!
In conclusion, managing remote workers can be challenging, but with the right tools and strategies, it’s possible to maintain productivity and team culture. From video conferencing software to virtual team building software, there are a variety of tools available to help remote teams communicate effectively, collaborate efficiently, and stay connected. By choosing the right combination of tools for your team, you can ensure that your remote workers have the resources they need to be productive and engaged, no matter where they are located. With the increasing prevalence of remote work, it’s more important than ever to invest in the right tools and strategies for managing remote teams.
Jared has worked remotely for 15 years in various marketing capacities, and has managed hundreds of marketing campaigns along the way. He has held freelance, agency, and in-house positions for companies large and small.