Working from home has been growing in popularity in recent years. However, we’ve seen this trend explode recently. Global Workplace Analytics reported that in 2016, 43% of the U.S workforce worked from home at least some of the time. But with the drastic global change that we all are facing, they estimate that those currently working from home will continue to do so even after things return back to normal:
“Our best estimate is that we will see 25-30% of the workforce working at home on a multiple-days-a-week basis by the end of 2021…”
If this prediction comes to pass and the demand for remote workers grows, “work-from-homers” are going to have to adapt and adapt quickly. This is why remote working tools play such an essential role in the near future.
Those who are new to the game will initially find it difficult to stay on task, stay focused, and remain productive. But when you throw in a couple of remote work tools, the transition will go much smoother, and soon working from home will feel like the new normal.
Whether you’re working at a distance or managing a remote team, here’s a comprehensive list of the best 15 remote working tools that you can’t do without.
Real-time communication is necessary in many cases but, sometimes, it hinders our ability to focus. If you’re in meetings all day or you’re constantly distracted by chats, you’ll hardly be able to do work that requires deep concentration such as design, writing or coding.
This is where asynchronous communication comes into play and this is where a screen recorder can be your best friend.
Screen recorders are a great way to relay information that can be better explained through visuals rather than long emails. In fact, you can use some of them to send video emails. It’s also great for recording how-to videos or recording and sharing conference calls and video meetings.
ScreenRec is absolutely a must-have remote working tool. With the simple press of a hotkey, you can record your entire screen, or a selected region in high definition. You’ll be able to record sound from your computer, your mic, or both, but that’s not even the best part. What good is recording your screen if you can’t share it?
ScreenRec automatically creates a private shareable link that you can copy and paste anywhere, so you don’t have to worry about waiting forever for your video to upload. It’s absolutely free with no watermarks or limitations. This is definitely a work from home productivity tool that you need.
This is another screen recorder that offers easy recording without hassle. CamStudio has some basic editing features that allow you to lightly customize your videos. Video files are saved in AVI format and can be burned to a DVD or uploaded manually to sharing sites.
OBS is one of the most complex screen recorders/editors that you’ll come across. This open-source recorder gives you hundreds of recording and editing features. It may take you some time to get the hang of it, but once you do, it’s a great way to create professional-looking how-to videos and tutorials.
Movavi is a great tutorial creator. This versatile screen recorder captures your screen and webcam footage simultaneously. Even though it doesn’t allow you to record system audio, it does give you basic video editing features. So if you want to record a quick video that requires you to do a lot of talking, Movavi is an app that you may want to try.
These task management apps will help you and your team stay focused and on task by implementing various features that help you view and distribute tasks easily.
This remote work collaboration tool (and project management software) takes organization to a whole new level. Each task created gets its own designated area where documents, comments, chats, and more can be shared. This format minimizes confusion and increases remote team productivity.
Trello is all about the visual representation of tasks for remote collaboration. All tasks are neatly organized on various cards all displayed on a single page. You can easily assign work to individuals or teams and see who is working on what.
Basecamp has been a popular tool for virtual teams for quite some time, and it’s no wonder. Founder Jason Fried has been a home office advocate for a long time and he even wrote a book about remote work. So, you can be pretty sure that, at Basecamp, they know what challenges distributed teams face.
This tool offers the complete productivity package with task assignment, meeting scheduling, group chats, document sharing, and progress tracking. They may be on their third version of this remote work software, but it just seems to keep getting better.
Wrike is a remote collaboration tool that puts you in the driver’s seat. With fully customizable boards, you can set your team up to assign and view tasks and their progress. The Gantt chart makes Wrike a team collaboration tool on another level by giving you an even deeper look into which team member is contributing the most amount of work.
Remote communication tools will help you stay connected with colleagues via conference calling and document sharing.
When you think of the best communication tools for remote teams, Zoom is probably one of the first that comes to mind. This video conferencing app has grown in popularity in recent months and rightfully so.
Zoom has established itself as the most reliable video chat software available for free. It can hold up to 100 participants without glitching or failing. Most definitely a powerful software, Zoom easily allows everyone to join a virtual meeting and use screen sharing, chatting, and document uploading.
Skype is the tried and true remote team communication program that brings everyone together for video chatting. On the scene for almost two decades, Skype is continually growing and adapting to today’s work-from-home demands. Video chatting, voice calling, chatting, and file sharing, there’s not much you can’t do with Skype.
Dropbox is known as the ultimate file sharing application online. It’s cloud-based allowing any team member to access documents, videos, pictures, and any other files that are uploaded to the team’s account. Sharing a file is as easy as dragging and dropping it to the shared team folder.
Sure, technically, Slack is an employee communication tool, but it offers so much for all-around team management that it’s hard to keep it one category. Scheduling, assigning, file sharing, tracking, and more. Slack pretty much does it all which makes it a top contender in our remote working tools roundup.
Time management apps are perfect for keeping teams that are scattered across different time zones on the same page as you and your team schedule meetings and set deadlines.
It’s never easy trying to keep track of time zones. Knowing the current time in each of your colleagues’ locations can be a true hassle. Worldtimebuddy does the hard work for you. Simply select your areas of interest and see their current times on a single page.
Toggl is a complete time tracker that tracks all of your work tasks down to the most trivial ones like checking emails and travel time. This is a great remote work tool as it lets you view exactly how much time and money is being spent on your everyday work activities.
3. Rescue Time
Rescue Time is an automatic time tracker that runs in the background as you work. This is the ideal work from home productivity tool as it lets you know how much time you are spending on each of your tasks (and, of course, how much time you are wasting.)
There you have it! Each of these remote team working tools is sure to keep you and your team on top of everything. Whether you’re using ScreenRec to record your important meetings, or Asana to keep everyone on task, it certainly doesn’t get any easier than this.