Your final product is only as good as the team behind it. When you’ve got a team that works fantastically together, your business is in its best form. Sometimes, remote employees and teams can create some problematic issues. Suppose your remote team comprises members that work in different time zones. Or maybe someone lives in an area with spotty cell coverage. Making sure your team is on task and is supplied with the proper tools can turn a potentially disappointing situation into a promising one.
Here’s a list of five tools you can use to run your remote team to its full potential. As an employer or manager of a remote team, you should stay up-to-date with all of the apps and tools you can use to streamline your operations. These tools allow you to easily supervise your remote employees, and they enable your remote team to work together easily over long distance.
Let’s be real: your remote team is scattered, and you need something to centralize everyone’s workflow. Among all platforms, Hubstaff can provide any remote team with the tools necessary to collaborate, check in, and keep up with everyone and everything. It’s handy for you, too, as an employer, because Hubstaff automatically logs the hours worked by your employees. Hubstaff even integrates with popular project management services, so you can see how long you spend on particular tasks. Read more about Asana time tracking here.
When your team isn’t centralized in a single area, it’s hard to figure out how to organize documents and project information. Utilizing cloud-based storage systems, like Dropbox, enables your team to upload and store files that are then shared electronically. When someone drops a file into a shared folder, everyone who has access to the folder can download it. This centralizes everyone’s work even while they are separated by distance. Dropbox comes with storage packages, allowing a small business to pay for a smaller amount of space, or a larger business to purchase a large amount of space.
Google does a lot of things right, but they do one team-savvy tool very right: Google Drive. With this incredible tool, you can create Word documents, presentations, spreadsheets, forms, and drawings. Members can invite others to access the documents, even allowing multiple people to work on them simultaneously, updating in real-time. This application allows a number of people to access a single document, at the same time. It’s based online, so every edit made is updated instantly. You can watch team members type, draw graphs, or give presentations while you leave notes for them. With a plethora of storage space, you can save your files, images, and more to Google Drive. Using Google Docs in meetings allows everyone to not only communicate over the phone—or computer—but through documents as well.
Remote teams can’t be successful without a ton of communication. Of course, remote meetings were once held over a conference phone, but that is now a thing of the past. With video chat applications now readily available, your team can be all but right next to each other. With services like Skype, you can verbally and visually communicate with each other. With video meetings, members can present projects and draft ideas for everyone to see.
Communication is always the most important aspect for the success of any team. When it comes to meetings, they range in size and agenda. While you and your employees are separated, you can still interact with one another using a cool interactive meeting service called Twiddla. Twiddla comes with a number of packages, ranging from absolutely free to not-so-free. Using Twiddla allows you to create and share documents, images, webpages and more. Using codes and mathematical formulas, you can collaborate on calculations as well. Include multiple people on the meeting, which allows you to all work one a single existing Whiteboard with one another, much like you would in an office meeting room. Use this in conjunction with Twiddla’s audio call or Skype video chats to make your remote meetings as close to the real thing as possible.
Running a remote team is a challenging task. Distance has the potential to breed low-quality work and lazy communication. To begin, hire smart, dedicated people that have a stake in what you do. Incorporate some or all of the tools above into your working life, and you’ll find managing your remote team and communicating among them will be a breeze. These tools also aid in accountability and tracking hours, making your job that much easier.
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