With the recent boom in the development of web-based tools, working from home, or, as a matter of fact, anywhere, has not only become easier but also increasingly appealing. The autonomous nature of the job is what attracts workers to seek out this method of earning.
Remote working provides them the benefit of being able to strike a balance between their work and personal life. The workers can control their schedules and work during the most productive hours of their day. This method is also convenient and time saving for the employees, as they don’t have to go to the office every day.
Other than being advantageous to workers, remote working has its perks for the employers as well. Besides being cost effective, it also allows firms to hire people who don’t have to be tethered to the same location.
However, even with all of its benefits, managing remote employees can also prove to be quite challenging for employers. More often than not, some workers try to take undue advantage of the flexibility remote working provides by either goofing off, when they should be working, or not completing the assigned tasks on time. Moreover, contacting employees during times of urgency or emergency becomes tougher, due to the ineffective communication.
While these challenges may seem difficult to overcome, they are not insurmountable. In order to improve employee efficiency, businesses and organizations that use remote teams should try to enhance communication and collaborate with their workers using the wonderful internet facilities like cloud solutions.
Listed below are some tools that can aid in effective management of your remote team using cloud based technologies and communication applications:
Slack, undoubtedly, works like a charm for team communication and team building. With a relatively easy interface, it can act as a suitable online headquarter for your remote team, regardless of its location.
This superb tool is very helpful in organizing your conversations by topics and projects. Not only does it allow you to communicate via text messages and calls, but it also has features that enable you to edit and share documents.
It lets you enhance your collaborative efforts by setting up integrations with other applications that your team makes use of, into your workflow. This means that you can control various applications from within slack, for instance, task management through Trello or Wunderlist, screen sharing with Screenhero, using a virtual whiteboard with Sketchboard and much more.
It is accessible from anywhere and is available for all devices and operating systems.
Make the most of your meetings by converting your discussions into productive exercises using this simple yet useful tool. With AgreeDo, you can create structured meeting minutes and then share them with the attendees for their feedback and comments before the meeting.
During the meeting, the team manager can then assign different tasks to all team members. AgreeDo enables the managers to track the results of the meetings and allows them to create follow-up meetings to further discuss the results, so that there are no loose ends. Moreover, AgreeDo is protected so that all the information entered and processed within its system remains secure.
Trello makes it very convenient and manageable to supervise your team and the tasks they perform on a daily basis. It offers many creative ways for task management all in one place. The best part about it is that it is flexible and easy to use; the layout is like an online bulletin board or as it is called the “Trello Board”, complete with “cards” pertaining to each assignment.
Another one of its great features is its ability to make lists; you can then keep adding cards to these lists, which is a good way of keeping track of the tasks that need to be done, tasks that are in progress and the ones that have been completed and you can make as many lists as you like.
The lists and cards can be arranged and ordered to your liking which makes it all the more efficient and easy. All this coupled with the amazing user-friendly interface and the fact that it is available on PCs, tablets and phones, is the reason why Trello is the number one choice for task management, whether you work from home, an office or anywhere in between.
Fed up of scheduling appointments with your team of workers? Tired of miscommunication and wasting time finding the right words to express your ideas and relay orders? Well, you can say goodbye to all this grief when you sign up to use Mural.
Mural is a digital, real-time “White Board”, where you and your team can work together, regardless of which part of the world your workers are in, without having to face problems of time differences and long arduous video chats.
You can leave sticky notes and reminders that can be seen instantly by your team, whether they are in a different time zone or next door; and when words aren’t enough, you can use pictures, draw sketches and much more. Perhaps, one of the best features of Mural is that it is cloud-based, so you can always post and share ideas with your team wherever you are, from any device.
Mural offers the best and most efficient way for your team to collaborate and work together to get the job done easier and faster.
Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud-based file sharing applications, and rightfully so. Anything you save on Dropbox can be accessed from all your devices. Shared folders can be set up for a team so that the members have access to all the files.
Moreover, members can comment and leave their feedback on the shared files too, which make this application extremely useful for remote teams, no matter what corner of the world they belong to.
iDoneThis is a productivity log which uses emails for communication. As soon as the day is over, it sends out an email to all the team members asking them to highlight the tasks they managed to complete during the day.
Then, it generates a digest the next morning containing the accomplishments of all team members. This enables the entire team to celebrate their achievements as a whole and this, in turn, raises team spirits. Hence, it is another tool which should be used by team managers to promote team building, especially for remote workers.
Zapier is an excellent online automation tool, especially for small business owners. It helps to follow the tasks users do via various web applications and build blueprints called zaps. These zaps then perform the tasks that you need to do automatically and save the time that doing them manually would take. It brings consistency to the workflow and, hence, should definitely be used to save time and shift your focus onto the more important things.
Make sure you give all the aforementioned tools a try as they can go a long way in helping remote team managers attain augmented productivity and can assist them in effectively managing their teams from afar.
By: Muhammad Shoaib