As remote work continues to gain popularity, whether you’re ready to return to the office, it’s important to understand how to manage remote teams effectively. Many employees find remote work more productive and better at providing a work-life balance, allowing them to run errands during their lunch breaks and find time to cook meals for their families since they don’t have to commute. However, remote work comes with challenges for leadership.
Not only do these individuals have to learn how to manage remote teams remotely, but they must find the right ways to communicate to avoid impeding productivity. With so many apps and software available, finding the remote work tools you need for your team might be difficult. Luckily, we’re here to help.
Best Tech Solutions for Your Remote Team
Here are a few best tech solutions to consider when working remotely.
Human Resources Tools
The human resources department always needs tools to manage staff and payroll effectively. However, working remotely can get more complex, especially if your shift to remote work allows you to hire from out of state. Not only do different states have different taxes you must take out of employee paychecks, but they also have different employment laws you must follow, even though your company may operate in another state. HR also needs to ensure that their tools integrate with their security technologies, especially if the business has a physical location that employees can go in periodically. This allows an employee’s access permissions to cyber systems and physical buildings, such as parking lot gate systems, to automatically be revoked or granted without the HR department needing to provide these credentials manually.
Human resources solutions allow you to manage your entire team and perform correct payroll to ensure you take out the right amount in taxes. You can also file tax forms and track employee data like paid time off (PTO).
Since your team won’t be able to get up from their desks to go to a conference room to discuss projects, you’ll need to find a way to allow them to communicate and collaborate effortlessly, no matter where they work. Communication tools are one of the most important solutions for your remote team because they must be able to discuss different aspects of projects with other team members. Email isn’t a good solution because it may take time for someone to see and respond to an email. In most cases, your team must communicate in real-time to provide a seamless remote work experience.
Messaging software like Slack is a must-have for remote teams because it allows your employees to send instant messages for instant replies. In addition, Slack uses channels to separate different departments or projects, involving everyone in the organization who needs to be involved.
Of course, when using communication tools, it’s always best to have standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure everyone uses them to increase productivity rather than hinder it. Since Slack is a real-time messaging app, it can be distracting for employees. Using statuses to signal when individuals are deep into their work or busy with another project can help make communication more efficient.
Since remote teams can’t meet in person, one of the best ways to discuss projects is through video conferencing software like Zoom and GoToMeeting. This software allows employees to meet in real-time to discuss important aspects of projects and collaborate without commuting to the office. Many messaging apps have video conferencing built in, but depending on the nature of your business, you may choose a standalone application to send links to clients and customers.
Project and task management software can help remote teams manage deadlines and deliverables to ensure everyone is doing their part. Unfortunately, many small businesses didn’t have great project management before shifting to remote work, leaving them with a few challenges to solve when no one was left in the office. Project management software allows you to track every aspect of a project, no matter how small, to help employees understand what they should be working on daily. It can also set expectations with managers and leadership to ensure everyone is on the same page and understands when projects will be completed.
With project management tools, there’s no need for a manager to ask for updates on projects via Slack or email constantly. Instead, they can check their dashboard to see what everyone is working on throughout the day. In addition, project management tools allow teams to collaborate better by providing feedback and comments on tasks. Depending on the software you use, you may also be able to track time spent on tasks, providing you with key insights into how long milestones take to help you plan better in the future.
Remote teams don’t use pen and paper to complete projects. Instead, they’ll use different digital tools to create documents and presentations. Of course, if you already used technology to store your important business documents, you may not have to look too far for storage tools for your remote teams. Instead, you can use Dropbox and Google Workspace, which most of your employees are probably already using. With these tools, your team can collaborate on documents while they’re safely stored in your company folders. In addition, depending on your projects, you can secure them to allow access only to individuals who need to see progress.
Business Management Software
Business management software could mean many things, depending on the type of work you do. However, it covers everything you need to ensure the success of your business, including accounting software and invoicing tools that allow you to send and collect payments from suppliers, partners, clients, and customers. It may also include using a CRM to help you manage customer relationships and send drip marketing campaigns.
Depending on your team, you can provide different level access levels for remote workers to allow them to perform their tasks effectively. For example, your CPA may need access to accounting software to track expenses and perform audits. In contrast, your marketing team will need access to your marketing tools, including your CRM, to track the buyer’s journey and develop effective strategies.
Finding the best tech solutions for your remote team means doing your research to find software and tools that can accomplish everything you need them to. One of the best ways to discover what tools you need is to discuss it with your employees to find out what technologies they can use to make their jobs easier.