By: Mindi Rosser
With thousands of options, and new products being released every day, how do you know what your team needs? One of the hottest topics on our podcast and at the Yonder conference is the tools that each company is using to keep their team productive. When business depends exclusively on virtual communication to keep projects humming along and to stay in touch with colleagues, finding the right tools for your remote team is critical. And, not every tool should make it onto your list.
Because the topic of tools is so fluid in the remote work industry, here at Yonder we like to “focus on the message, not the medium.” Meaning, which tool you choose is not as important as what it does. The software that is perfect for one company will be a disaster for another company. Here are five common-thread tool categories that all distributed teams need to sync successfully:
1. File Storage (Google Drive and Dropbox are the most popular places to start) - Create an easy-access database for all documents and files that create your business. Commenting features are especially useful for collaborating on content. Updates are automatic, so you have no need to worry about who has or doesn’t have the latest version.
2. Synchronous Communication (All hail Slack!) - Even though nearly every distributed company we know uses the same tool for real-time communication, there are some other options out there. No matter what you choose, just make sure that your team can collaborate together in the same “place” at the same time, clearly and quickly.
3. Asynchronous Communication (aka: email) - We’re not offering a buffet of options here because good old fashioned email is (in our opinion) a no-brainer. It’s ubiquitous, familiar, and easy. A good number of distributed teams try to replace email with other tools, but end up getting even more disconnected from their clients and coworkers. Why overcomplicate your schedule and create an additional inbox? Email is straightforward, the industry standard for communication.
4. Task/Project Management - Every team needs to be able to track what needs to be done and who is doing what. But this is where the list of choices gets really long. For small teams, Todoist or Evernote might suffice, and for larger teams Asana and Trello are popular favorites. What is going to be best for your team is incredibly subjective. And, making a transition from one software to another can be incredibly taxing on your team, so spend time researching and testing the software before committing.
5. Human Element - In a sea of screens and artificial intelligence, it is crucial to your company culture and customer service to occasionally incorporate the human element. Since our team conducts more phone calls than video calls, we like to use UberConference, but if video calls are your thing, Google Hangouts and Zoom are also great alternatives. Sometimes there just aren’t enough keyboard characters or emojis to communicate your message. Whether you switch over mid-conversation or schedule a conversation, never hesitate to utilize the power of your voice in a virtual world.
Looking for more options? This list of fifty tools for remote working is especially useful for remote managers, who are trying to determine which tools will integrate best with their remote team’s workflow.
What about your remote team? Which tools would make it to the top of your list? Tweet us @yonder_io or leave a comment below.
Mindi Rosser is the Content Manager here at Yonder. She always has a podcast or audiobook playing, lives in her weightlifting clothes, and enjoys running nerdy N=1 experiments.