Remote work is becoming more popular by the day, whether it’s because of the global pandemic that has forced people into isolation at home or simply because remote work brings numerous long-term benefits to a growth-oriented company. The fact of the matter is that remote work can significantly cut overheads and operating costs while actually improving productivity, team cohesion and company culture, and employee satisfaction. After all, who doesn’t like working from the comfort of their home or as a digital nomad halfway across the globe?
That said, it’s not like managing remote teams is an easy task, especially when you consider all of the processes involved in employee and workflow management, team collaboration, company culture, and more. That’s why you need to have technology on your side, so let’s take a look at the five tech tools that will help you build and manage a thriving remote workforce.
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Project and task management tools are vital
Managing cumbersome projects with dozens of smaller tasks and objectives over email can be, and always is, a complete nightmare. Files get lost, emails reach the wrong people while keeping the intended recipients in the dark, stuff doesn’t get done in time, and so you start losing money, time, and patience. For this and many other reasons, it is essential to provide your remote teams with project and task management software that has all of the features necessary for employees to work together seamlessly on a centralized online platform.
Among the most important features, you will find complete workload visualization and intuitive task management, advanced analytics tools to monitor progress and KPIs, team messaging and collaboration tools, automation features, and more. Basically, the more features the tool has, the easier it will be to accommodate the needs of a remote workforce.
Integrate team management and time tracking software
Following the same mindset, it’s also important to integrate time tracking software into your operation so that you can gain a comprehensive overview of your employee collective, keep track of shifts and schedules, and monitor individual teams and their performance on a daily basis. This makes managing remote employees a breeze, and it will also allow you to take a personalized approach to employee management.
Using time and attendance software will allow you to gain real-time insight into your teams, hours, and shifts. Ideally, you should find software that will also help you to automate shift management and scheduling and let your employees remotely accept shifts, request leave, and see last-minute changes to the schedule.
Provide effective communication tools
Of course, you can’t hope to run a successful remote workforce without any effective and efficient communication tools at your disposal. And no, email no longer counts. While email correspondence is still vital for business success, it’s much more important to facilitate real-time communication through innovative tools and phone systems. Now, traditional phone systems simply aren’t equipped to accommodate the needs of a remote team, especially if you have employees in different countries.
This is why VoIP systems are quickly becoming commonplace nowadays as the go-to cloud solution. If you’re unsure how VoIP works exactly, be sure to search for online guides to get the full list. Essentially, though, a VoIP phone system is a cloud-based solution that brings numerous digital features to the table, such as video and audio conferencing, full mobile optimization, transcription, analytics, and more, all without incurring astronomical call charges that you would get when remote employees communicate internally and externally.
Evaluate the performance of remote teams
We’ve mentioned analytics several times, and that’s because most of the tools you choose to implement should provide you with meaningful insights about your employees and their work, as well as your customers and all internal and external communication. While it is important for these tools to have built-in analytics features, you should still integrate a comprehensive standalone reporting tool that will allow you to collect and collate all of that data into one big chart or report. This way, you will get a bird’s eye view of your entire operation and you’ll be able to manage your remote workforce with ease.
Don’t forget about file storage and sharing services
Last but not least, don’t rely on email communication to share files between teams, and especially if you’re sending sensitive business information and digital products to your customers and clients. Instead, be sure to choose more secure tools and file sharing apps like Google Drive or Dropbox that will allow you to keep all of your work in one place and exchange information data with your team without the risk of data leaks and loss.
Remote work is becoming commonplace in the modern business world, and technology is the foundation that makes it possible, feasible, and cost-effective for companies of all sizes. With these tools in your arsenal, you will have no problem building a thriving remote workforce.