What once was a dream of working from home is now a reality for millions around the world. With snail mail and in-person meetings out and modern remote work tools in, your entire team can shift to virtual mode without skipping a beat.
With the world at your fingertips, you’re capable of leading effective teams from practically anywhere but the moon. Digital tools are making remote team members more productive and more connected than ever to each other and their clients — no in-person meetings (that definitely could have been emails) needed.
Ready to make your daily commute no more than a hallway long? Consider these 15 remote work tools to fuel your company’s growth.
3 Remote Work Tools for Boosting Productivity
Remote work can be a blessing and a curse. On one side, it gives you flexibility and higher levels of happiness. On the flip side, you may be stuck at home with your pets, kids, or partner with no boss telling you not to check Instagram for the 50th time. 🤦♀️
Tackling the productivity dilemma and keeping your work life separate from your home life can go hand in hand. These productivity tools can help you keep your team focused on their company goals during business hours, so they can enjoy their personal lives to the fullest the rest of the day.
One of the biggest struggles remote teams face is keeping everyone on the same page about what needs to be done and when. With ClickUp, there’s no need to corral everyone into constant video calls or use the dreaded “reply all” on every email to do so.
ClickUp is a project management tool that helps remote teams organize workflows and stay on top of deadlines. When you create a task, you can break it down into small, daily subtasks that relevant team members can easily tackle, chat about, and follow up on right on the assignment. You can even assign comments or create reminders for yourself on the platform.
To track your broader project progress, you can visualize your workflows with a Kanban board, timeline, table, or other visual views.
Pricing: Free for up to five team spaces. Paid plans start at $5 per user per month.
If you want to help your team work at their full potential, Toggl can be the perfect solution.
Toggl is a time management app and browser extension that allows you and your team members to start the clock when they start a project and stop it when they’re done. Over time, you’ll receive time reports that tell you where your team is breezing through processes or getting stuck, so you can find solutions to bottlenecks and strategically assign tasks. As you improve your processes, you’ll have a high-performing team that flies through tasks in no time.
Toggl can also help employees and freelancers complete their timesheets faster or help you track billable hours for clients.
Bonus points: Toggl integrates with task management tools like ClickUp, Asana, and Trello, so you can start your time tracking right where you’re starting tasks.
Pricing: Free for up to five teammates. Paid plans start at $9 per user per month.
How many mindless tasks are you repeating every single week? Whether you’re always moving Gmail files to Dropbox or turning Facebook posts into Tweets, busy work really can keep you busy for hours.
Zapier, an automation tool, helps you take your hands off the keyboard and put your brainpower to better use. It enables you to connect two remote work tools, so when an action happens on one, it triggers an action on the other. For example, you can create an automation (or a “Zap”) in which the trigger is a new survey entry on Typeform and the result is a new row on Microsoft Excel with the entry content.
Tell the Zapier robots what to do once and you never have to repeat the same process again. 🤖
Pricing: Free for five Zaps and 100 tasks per month. Paid plans start at $19.99 per month.
3 Remote Work Tools for Staying Organized
We hate to break it to you: In the digital world, an organized mess doesn’t exist.
At the same time, you can’t just Marie Kondo away the files that don’t bring you joy. What you need are remote work tools to keep your remote workspace organized for better efficiency and record-keeping.
Dropbox is a cloud storage tool that helps remote teams share files and folders in real time. It’s one of the fastest storage systems out there when it comes to syncing files across devices, allowing for smoother team collaboration.
Dropbox can also be a great home for all your business records, social media images, and more — and you only need to share individual folders with the people who actually need access.
One of the best Dropbox features for digital teams is the ability to share files outside your organization securely. You can add a password to your most sensitive files before you share. Even if you send a share link into the wrong hands, they won’t be able to open it, so you can protect both employee and customer data.
Pricing: Free for one user and 2 GB. Paid business plans start at $199 per year or $19.99 per month.
2. Google Drive
Is your team constantly sending documents or spreadsheets back and forth? Google Drive may be the more productive file-sharing solution. This remote working tool not only allows you to tuck your standard files into organized folders, but it allows you to do the same for Google Docs, Google Sheets, and more cloud-based tools that allow your team to edit documents at the exact same time.
No more excuses for cluttered desktop screens — you can purely keep your files on the internet and only download them as needed.
Pro tip: Use OneDrive as an alternative if you prefer the Microsoft suite over the Google tools.
Pricing: Free for one user and 15 GB. Paid business plans start at $6 per user per month.
You already know that Password123 is a terrible password. Here’s the next PSA we want to send: Telling every employee every company password is a terrible idea.
LastPass is a secure password manager that allows you to generate and save strong passwords (along with other sensitive info) into shareable folders. When you give an employee access to a folder, they’ll be able to use their own login to unlock the password vault. Once unlocked, they can log in to the accounts they need with just a few taps — without ever seeing the actual company password (unless you wish to share it).
This remote work tool also keeps your team members organized by encouraging them to save their personal passwords into private vaults, so they’re never logged out of their work email again.
Pricing: Starts at $3 per user per month. Free trial available.
3 Remote Work Tools for Driving Communication
Communication is key for a happy work life and a successful team. But when poking your head into the next cubicle isn’t an option and customers can’t just walk through your doors, you need great communication tools like these to make online interactions feel a little more human.
The days of getting tied to a clunky office phone are behind us. These days, you can access your phone through a mobile app, a desktop app, and a website.
OpenPhone is an internet phone that allows you to access your business calls (and texts) from anywhere. Whether you’re on an iPhone, Android, tablet, or computer, you can chat with customers all over the world, instead of leaving them hanging. It creates a better customer experience, so you can build greater loyalty over time.
You can also use OpenPhone to chat directly with your remote employees for more efficient teamwork.
Pricing: Starts at $13 per user per month. Free trial available.
The whole world has experienced the year of COVID-19, which means you’ve probably experienced Zoom, too. Whether it was for work or for socially distanced wine nights, people everywhere adopted this video conferencing tool even quicker than Skype.
So what’s so great about Zoom for remote teams? It’s one of the most collaborative platforms for video chats around. Rather than being limited to simple face-to-face virtual meetings, you can use functions like screen sharing, webinar broadcasting, and a whiteboard to add value to both team and client meetings.
For strategy sessions or teamwide meetings, you can even use a breakout room functionality to chat with a specific team before coming back together.
Pro tip: Stay on mute until it’s your turn to speak to avoid becoming “Office Enemy No. 1.” 🤐
Pricing: Free for personal meetings with up to 100 participants. Paid plans start at $149.90 per year per license.
If you want to streamline your internal communications, Slack can be a useful tool. This collaboration tool allows you to create dedicated chat rooms for each team, as well as different topics or projects, or use direct messaging to reach out to teammates privately. You can use Slack to share documents, screenshots, links, and even your favorite GIFs — which team members are bound to react to with custom emojis.
This offers a great alternative to more formal emails when you simply want to check in, do an informal team poll, or have a quick question about a project. Slack also integrates well with OpenPhone, so you can read your texts and voicemails in the app too.
Pricing: Free for up to 10,000 messages. Paid plans start at $6.67 per user per month.
3 Remote Work Tools for Global Teams
When your team is scattered all around the world, you face different struggles than those based in the same office or country. To help you deal with all the time zones, regulations, and more, here are three remote work tools that are perfect for global teams.
Hiring abroad can be complicated, no matter what country you’re headquartered in. Deel makes the logistics easier.
Deel is a remote work tool that helps you create contracts, manage taxes, and pay employees all while staying compliant with relevant local and international laws. With Deel, you don’t even have to convert currencies on your own, and your team can choose how they get paid. (They can even choose Bitcoin!)
Want to make sure your team always gets the health care they need? Deel can connect you to insurance plans as well as add-ons to keep your employees protected while they’re traveling. ✈️
Pricing: Starts at $49 per contractor per month or $500 per employee per month.
When you’re signing on for work with a global team, do you say good morning, good afternoon, or goodnight? Timezone.io helps you solve the problem of clashing time zones by allowing you to visualize where in the world everyone is.
Team members are grouped together based on shared time zones. When you scroll over their profile pictures, you can see their name and the exact city they’re in. You’ll no longer need to worry about whether or not you’re calling someone while they sleep. Instead, you’ll know the right people to reach out to at the right time.
It’s not always easy to train global teams or connect with international customers. If you live in completely different time zones, your schedules may not line up for a video call.
Vidyard is a video recording app and browser extension that allows you to quickly record your screen, your voice, and your beautiful face all at once. You can easily record personalized videos to walk a client or new hire through a process, answer complex questions, and more. And your recipient can review at their own speed.
Plus, when showing is better than telling, you can even use Vidyard to add engaging visuals to your internal and external knowledge bases.
Pricing: Free for one user. Paid team plans start at $300 per month.
3 Remote Work Tools for Engaging Your Team
Working from home can be lonely. Even the biggest introverts on your team need to feel some human connection every so often. And no matter how many Zoom filters you use, work meetings don’t always help people connect. Create a fun virtual environment and team culture with these remote work tools.
1. Group Greeting
A heartfelt card can give anyone all the warm fuzzies they need for the week. 🥰
With Group Greeting, you can go one step further than a generic e-card and let your whole team write custom messages from wherever they are. It only takes a minute for each person to sign!
Group Greeting has beautiful cards to celebrate the momentous occasions in your team members’ lives, whether it’s their birthday, work anniversary, or wedding day. It also offers cards to help you show you care when a team member is going through tough times.
Pricing: Starts at $42 per year for 10 cards.
What’s an office without a work party? Just because your office is virtual doesn’t mean you have to miss out. Let the staff bond while you treat everyone to a slice of pizza, pie, or whatever your team members call it around the world! 🍕
Pizzatime specializes in planning pizza parties for remote teams. All you need to do is request a party at least a day in advance, and Pizzatime will take care of the logistics — finding the best time, ordering the pizza, and more.
You can even add on some fun, virtual experiences to liven up the party. Bring on the trivia hosts, DJs, yoga teachers, and more!
Prefer a group coffee date? Try out Pizzatime’s sister company Coffeetime to get your next get-together brewing. ☕
Pricing: $69 per party. Pizzas start at $20 each, and experiences start at $150 per hour.
Keep your team engaged and let them say thanks to their teammates with this employee reward and recognition platform.
Bonusly is a remote work tool that makes it easy to engage, recognize, and reward the people on your team. The platform allows team members to publicly recognize their colleagues by giving small bonuses that add up to meaningful rewards. Employees can redeem their points for rewards at any time. Bonusly offers an extensive international rewards catalog full of gift cards and charitable donation options. You can even add custom rewards.
It’s an easy way to make work more exciting than ever.
Pricing: Starts at $3 per user per month.
Make Remote Work More Efficient
Your team may be working in different time zones and locations, but that doesn’t mean you’re at a disadvantage. Remote work tools can help you function just as efficiently (if not more) than any team in a shared office. Whether you need project management software like ClickUp or a communication tool like OpenPhone, you can improve how your team works together and with clients.
Try out OpenPhone for free to see how the business phone app can make your life easier.
Emily is a freelance business and marketing writer based in the desert, though her writing is anything but dry. Her passion is writing compelling, human-friendly content that helps growing businesses perform better.
Love this! Thanks so much for creating this very helpful list, Emily. Look forward to seeing your other blog posts on Openphone.