Years ago, remote work was an alien concept in the workplace. However, trends are rapidly changing and working from home is fast becoming the norm. This makes it challenging for organizations that have to maintain communication and collaboration among employees who live in different parts of the world. The use of technology such as remote team collaboration tools makes it easier for everyone to stay productive and motivated.
What Are the Challenges of Managing a Remote Team?
Before we delve into the list of the top remote team collaboration tools, it is important to understand what challenges we are facing with this current work setup. Identifying the common pitfalls that lower our productivity level can help us identify the tools and features we need to address them.
One of the top-cited challenges for remote teams is the lack of face-to-face supervision. Managers worry that employee productivity levels could decline without access to managerial support and communication. At the same time, remote workers and teams might feel that managers are out of touch with their needs and are unable to fulfill them.
There is also the problem of a perceived low level of productivity. While this might not necessarily be true, this can be an issue when the tasks are not properly communicated and there is no clear reporting for accomplished tasks.
Social isolation can also be a factor that causes remote employees to lack motivation and for their productivity to drop. The isolation can impact their mental health and well-being. In extreme cases, prolonged isolation can also lead to anxiety and depression. This could lead some to leave the company since they are no longer satisfied and happy.
Lastly, a lack of cohesiveness in remote teams continues to be among the top obstacles to team productivity. This is when the use of remote team collaboration tools can prove to be of help. These tools allow for transparent and consistent communication among teams (remote and on-site) to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Top Remote Teams Collaboration Tools
A reliable project management system is the most effective way to keep employees productive. Communication via email just won’t cut it anymore. You need a more efficient remote teams collaboration tool that would simplify your tasks, team communication, and handling of documents and files.
SharePoint is one of the best remote teams collaboration tools out there and it is especially recommended for managing hybrid work. A remote project team can build a SharePoint Team Site where all members of the team can access the details of the project in one place. It increases efficiency and collaboration when project planning. Moreover, it gets everyone on the same page about the project goal and the responsibilities assigned to each member of the team.
SharePoint goes beyond the typical project planning software. It has video meeting capabilities to allow the team to discuss the project in-depth. It is also equipped with real-time group and private chats, a document library, a task list and relevant reports, contacts, and the project statement. The key project metrics are visible from the dashboard so every team member is aware of the timeline for any given project and the current status.
The best part about using SharePoint for managing remote team projects is that it can be easily integrated with external tools.
This is one of the top project management tools available. It is a favorite among remote workers because of its versatility and robust features. While Monday isn’t cheap, it makes up for it with functionality.
Many new remote project management software tools have come and gone, but Basecamp continues to be among the most reliable of them. This is a preferred choice for managers and agencies due to its simple design and usability.
It is also robust in features that enable team members to share ideas, organize projects, track project progress, and access relevant team files. This tool isn’t perfect, however, as it lacks some of the essential features that remote teams highly need these days, such as archiving topics, creating subtasks, and time tracking capabilities.
Slack is a messaging tool for remote workers. However, it is more than that because it is touted as one of the best remote collaboration tools in the digital space. Slack is a platform that allows remote teams to communicate and share ideas in real-time. Therefore, it is a nifty platform to keep your team communication in one place. It can also be downloaded on your mobile phone to give you on-the-go functionality.
ProofHub is another project management solution that is available for remote teams and all sizes of businesses. It is recommended for smaller teams and businesses as it is a cheaper alternative to Monday.com.
It is a tool trusted by many remote workers and project managers for its ability to facilitate seamless interactions among team members. It is also packed with features such as a feedback system, remote team discussions, and online proofing of team documents. ProofHub is the ideal tool for teams seeking a higher level of management proficiency.
Zoom is a video conferencing app that has rapidly grown to become the go-to option for online meetings and video conferences. This platform can support up to 65 attendees for virtual meetings, making it an ideal solution for larger teams. It is suitable for keeping updated with remote team project progress or for one-on-one check-ins.
No list of remote teams’ collaboration tools would be complete without Trello. Known as the king of Kanban boards, it simplifies the way your team communicates and keeps track of ongoing projects. It has a simple yet clean design that makes it easier to stay on top of your to-do list.
Trello is free to use. Despite that, users can maximize its functionality and features.
There is a wide variety of remote teams collaboration tools to choose from. Collaboration will become more efficient with these tools as long as you can match their features with what your team needs to be productive.