New to the remote workforce? Well, you’re not alone. Covid-19 has displaced loads of office workers, forcing them abruptly into working from fulltime.
This sudden move to work from home has teams everywhere scrambling to try and figure out how do do this best, and what the best tools are out there to make remote work productive and enjoyable.
We’ve put together an extensive list of essential tools for remote employees that will help your team effectively work from home. We hope that as you navigate through these uncharted waters, you’ll find resources that will help you build a successful remote team.
There are many benefits to using Drive, like sending large files or storing files for everyone on the team to access. It’s easy to add comments on working documents and replace existing files once a decision has been made. The best part is that anyone on your team can access the information they need at any given time. It’s great for storing reports, like marketing and sales dashboards as well as creative images that multiple teams, like social media and email marketing, can access.
Notion is hard to summarize in just one sentence, and we mean that in a good way. It’s equal parts database, note-taking app, project management system, knowledgebase, and collaborative document.
Notion is a great place to store ideas and lists (i.e. blog post ideas, partnership and collaboration ideas and more), but it also serves as a fantastic project management tool –– especially when it comes to distributed teams.
They offer real-time collaboration as well as notes and comments, so you’ll never be wondering if you’re working on the latest document. With all of your information in one centralized location, it’s easy to access everything one might need on any given day.
If you’re looking for strictly a project management tool, Basecamp is our go-to. Their motto of “Work better, together” says it all. Your whole company can migrate and work out of Basecamp together, bringing even more unity, clarity, and collaboration to each department.
Building out teams, splitting work into projects and adding whoever needs to be involved creates a clear path for success!
Their To-Dos features allow you to add tasks, assign team members and include due dates so you always know what everyone has on their plate and the progress they are making at any given time.
One of their best features is the Automatic Check-ins. You can set up recurring questions, like “what are your top 3 priorities this week?” which help give you a clear idea of your teammates’ priorities.
Long gone are the days of throwing all of your passwords into a central document for everyone to access and people constantly asking for the link. Now, it’s all in 1password. This is the password storage and organization tool you’ve been needing for your business (and probably personal life too!).
With advanced protection, this secure password manager allows you to create custom groups, vaults and manage who has access to what information. According to IBM, they rolled out 1pasword to their 50,000 person team in a matter of two weeks. But even if you’re a small team, having a centralized location of information is key to success!
Need a quick meeting? Want to connect face-to-face with your team members? Google Meet is one of the easiest ways to do it.
It takes seconds to grab a Meet link to share with your entire team. Not to mention, there is nothing to download or install making meetings frictionless. If your team has recurring meetings, like daily check-ins or budget reviews, this is a great tool to adapt into your Calendar invites. All the information is there when you need it and it makes joining by video or call very easy.
The possibilities seem endless with Zoom for internal remote meetings with your teammates. For larger teams, you can add up to 1,000 participants and 49 screens on any meeting! Not to mention, there are built-in collaboration tools where you can message one another, share files, links and more creating a very interactive meeting.
Another feature to highlight is the ability to record any meeting which makes sharing it with others that couldn’t join a breeze.
While we’re on the theme of messaging, Loom is one of our favorite software tools to send quick one-off videos. According to Loom, “you can capture your screen, voice, and face and instantly share your video in less time than it would take to type an email” and we’re here for it.
In a remote atmosphere, this can be effective in a number of ways. Use Loom to onboard new employees, to document processes, meet when your calendars or time zones do not align or maybe just to send a Happy Birthday message to a teammate! Its use cases are endless.
Listen, we’re sure you’ve heard of Slack by now, but it’s still worth mentioning. Slack is the easiest way for your team to communicate. Communication is instant, centralized, and easy to keep track of.
Creating channels for your teams will allow them to sync daily as they solve problems or build new products. Instead of filling up your team’s email inbox with multiple questions, you can take it to Slack to get it answered fast, keep it organized, collaborate and move forward!
While working remotely (or even in the office), the “status” feature is particularly helpful. Status’ let everyone know if you’re on a call, out to lunch or at a doctor's appointment.
We could go on about Slack best practices, but perhaps it’s best to read through their guide of Slack for Remote Work.
Our only tip is to make sure you toss in a #random channel for all the fun stuff, because right now, we could all use a baby or a puppy to brighten our day.
These aren’t necessarily software or organization tools, but they are the necessities when it comes to focus and efficiency when working remotely.
If you have kids at home this is a must! Put those headphones on and nothing will exist outside of them. It will enhance your focus when you’re working or talking to your team on Google Meet!
Having to switch between multiple windows on a laptop can decrease work efficiency. Having double monitors, whether you’re at the office or home, allows you to spread everything out and arrange your work in an order that’s easy to find.
Hydration is important, and Corkcicle is here to help with it.! Seriously though, drink all the water! According to Dr. Axe, “The answer on how to stay hydrated with water is typically drinking between 25 percent and 50 percent of your body weight in ounces of water daily. So if you weigh 160 pounds, you typically want to try to get between 40–80 ounces of water a day.”
Might as well drink it in style.
You may find having a physical notebook all the more useful while working remotely, and Moleskins work great. Write down your focus for the day, take notes during a meeting or jot down ideas so you can keep moving forward with the task that’s currently in front of you.
During this time when most businesses are working remotely, a company t-shirt or sweater is the perfect tool to keep the culture together and help your employees adjust to their newly-remote role. Not only are they appropriate to wear while working from home, but they can help your team stay connected to company culture.
Our team has gone as far as to start #TeamShirtTuesday, where we all wear our Real Thread gear proudly. It’s silly but it’s fun And you should join!