The way we work has changed, especially for small businesses and startups. To remain competitive in a changing economic environment, businesses need to adapt and have the ability to manage teams remotely moving forward. While traditional arguments for remote working are centred around talent attraction and employee retention, recent events show how remote working plays an important role in business continuity planning.
Managing remote teams has become a routine part of operations, and that means businesses need better remote-team communication tools.
Since 2005, remote working has grown by 173%. This number is expected to rise significantly moving forward as a result of Covid-19. In fact, 74% of companies plan to make a permanent shift to more remote work post Covid-19.
Supporting remote workers also opens up new possibilities for talent acquisition. Thanks to remote-team communication tools, any business can hire the right talent from anywhere in the world.
7 Best remote team communication tools
So, what are the best remote-team communication tools? The answer, of course, depends on the nature of your business, but here are eight of the most popular tools:
Today’s business communications are largely about maintaining an ongoing online dialogue. Slack organizes your teams into channels both for business and for fun where team members can keep up on activities and even use private messages to communicate. It also allows for file sharing, complete with version control and searchability.
2. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is a great alternative to Slack for those who use the Office 365 suite due to the integrations it has. The team chat, video conferencing, and collaboration tools have become very popular in 2020. For a team collaboration software that requires little set up consider using Microsoft Teams.
(Shameless self-plug coming!) The simplest way to keep remote teams communicating is with a simple office telephone system that goes with you everywhere. Spoke is an app that can be downloaded to employees’ smartphones to turn personal mobile devices into an integrated office telephone system. Spoke promotes team collaboration with simple ways to unify employees, partners, contractors, and customers using an office phone system you can carry in your pocket. The advantage of having employees use their own smartphones is that they are more likely to be more responsive to calls and therefore will be more productive. The various communication tools built into today’s smartphone—video, email, file sharing, and more—also make collaboration easier and remote teams more productive.
4. Google apps
Google’s online tools are used by freelance workers and others as collaborative tools. In addition to secure file sharing with Google Docs, you also have access to shared calendars, email, and other tools like Google Hangouts for video conferencing.
Speaking of video conferencing, Zoom has emerged as the video conferencing tool of choice for businesses. Zoom is a great tool you can use for secure online team meetings and for external meetings with clients and suppliers. If you are wanting a reliable video conferencing software check out Zoom.
If you want a collaboration tool to help your teams manage projects and workflow, you might check out Trello. Trello lets you set up collaborative boards to track projects, share files, share project checklists, and more. It’s a great project management tool to track project activity from any location.
For file archiving and sharing, Dropbox is hard to beat. Dropbox provides a secure online repository to share project files and documents among team members or even to use as a remote server for documents that can be securely accessed from anywhere. You can grant access to colleagues and team members and always be sure they are working with the most recent files.
Facilitating communication, anywhere
When assessing remote-team communication tools, bear in mind that your objective is to facilitate collaboration and provide tools that offer seamless collaboration, simplify workflow, and promote productivity. The best team collaboration tools provide real-time communication and discussion, as well as a means to track the progress of projects and share the data needed to complete those projects. No one tool can handle the whole job, but once you understand your remote team’s needs, you can pick two or three of the right tools to make your operation more efficient, no matter where your employees are.
If you have a remote workforce that needs to be better connected or you’re ready to move from desk phones to a fully mobile-first workforce then get in touch with us today.