Remote work tools to manage a distributed workforce

The Covid-19 pandemic reshaped the world and affected businesses worldwide. As a result, remote work has become more relevant than ever before and many businesses have the entire or part of their staff working remotely. However, many businesses find it extremely challenging to have their distributed workforce stay connected and function effectively and efficiently. They are not always able to monitor their employees’ progress or communicate directly when needed.
Remote work
However, these obstacles can be overcome by using the right technological tools. In fact, a whopping 72% of US companies plan to make virtual collaboration tools their priority. A functional remote work tool can help employees communicate with their teammates, share ideas in real time, and implement workable solutions.

Below, we share some of the top remote work tools to manage a distributed workforce while maintaining an organization’s flexibility and productivity at a high level.

Remote Employee Monitoring Software

One of the main challenges that companies with a distributed workforce face are keeping track of remote workers and monitoring how much time they spend on specific tasks or projects.

By introducing simple and easy-to-use monitoring software for remote employees, not only are you able to track your remote workers’ productivity and hours spent working, but also their website usage. Keeping tabs on their performance can give you peace of mind knowing that your remote workforce is operating at peak efficiency.

Furthermore, this will help workers remain motivated enough to produce results regularly and go the extra mile for the company in a cost-effective manner.

What’s even better is that by measuring productive and non-productive hours, managers can gain a better understanding of employees’ work patterns and trends and identify any obstacles that hinder work so that they can work on improving employee performance and delivering better results.

Communication Tools

Globally distributed teams and their success depend on proper communication. Effective virtual communication can make up for the absence of face-to-face interaction. It is not enough to provide each remote employee with a phone number to call coworkers if they need to ask them something or get some type of feedback.

Remote teams require a variety of communication tools to meet their needs. They also need to allow asynchronous communication among colleagues located at different locations around the globe. For this reason, you should consider investing in chat tools and video conferencing apps.

Since it’s not possible to walk over to a team member and ask a quick question, remote workers need software solutions to make up for it. Some of the best and most widely used group chat tools are Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Google Chat which can ensure that everyone is aware of important updates and access information at any time.

Although these apps work perfectly for quick inquiries, when someone wants to explain something in lengthy detail, video conferencing tools like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet are necessary so that those communicating can see the expressions and gestures of the individual they’re talking to. 

When managing a distributed workforce, you must regularly organize online team meetings and virtual team-building activities so video conferencing tools are especially important as they can help build relationships and trust among team members.

Productivity and Collaboration Tools

We all know how important good communication is for successfully managing a distributed workforce, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Another vital aspect is collaboration. Organizations must also invest in tools that allow remote workers to stay productive and collaborate across different time zones.

Technologies for managing projects, sharing documents, and tracking progress help remote teams work together seamlessly, regardless of location.  

It can be difficult to stay productive when working remotely so your suite of remote tools should also make sure to include project management tools. Remote project management tools allow you to set weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals, assign tasks to your team members, and track the overall progress made on a specific project.

There are many remote project management tools available. While Trello and Jira are the most popular ones, you’ll have to determine which one is best for your company and its specific needs.

Last but not least, one of the key components of distributed teams is organizing and sharing files so that different team members can work on them together. An online office suite such as Microsoft Office Online helps co-workers create files in different formats and store them online but also allows them to share documents with other teammates for comments and important feedback.

Wrapping Up

Monitoring, communication, productivity, and collaboration tools are a necessity when looking to manage a distributed workforce efficiently. These must-have tools can help companies ensure that their remote staff is productive and efficient. However, to manage a global team easily, you must keep in mind that such tools should be tailored to your company’s specific needs and utilized in a way that boosts employee engagement.

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