Of all the work perks employers offer, remote work is among the most popular. Remote work grew in popularity by 173% between 2005 and 2018. In 2018, an estimated 5 million employees (3.6% of the workforce) worked at home half-time or more, according to Global Workplace Analytics.
As events like the global COVID-19 pandemic unfold, many teams are making the switch to remote work. But how can you be sure your remote workers are productive when you aren’t in the same location? A variety of web tools can help you ensure your telecommuting employees are working effectively.
If you need to manage projects and communicate with teams without relying on hundreds of emails, Asana may be the tool for you. The cloud service helps you manage tasks and communicate with remote employees. Organize tasks by project, and build out tasks in detail with subtasks, assignments, and due-date ranges. Asana has a few pricing options, with the option to try free before purchasing. Paid plans start at $10.99 per user, per month, when you pay annually.
With Trello, you won’t need to keep track of lengthy email threads or hope that team members update tracking spreadsheets. The web tool uses a card system to help teams stay organized and create task lists that you can update anytime. Much like in an agile workflow, you can drag and drop cards between different lists to update their progress. To reprioritize tasks, just reorder the lists. While the basic tool is free for anyone, Trello’s Business Class tools give you more control over your boards. Prices start at $12.50 per user, per month, with a 20% discount for annual subscriptions.
On its simplest plan, BlueJeans allows you to hold meetings with up to 50 attendees. Host up to 150 attendees on the My Company plan. Unlike other tools, BlueJeans enables people to host conferences using any computer, iPhone, or Android. Your entire team can participate anytime they’re connected to the internet, making this app crucial for remote teams. Prices start at $9.99 per host, per month, with a 20% discount for annual subscriptions.
4. Google Suite
The Google Suite includes Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Forms, Gmail, Google Hangouts, and more. When it comes to products that help your team create projects, manage teams, and communicate, the G Suite hits all the marks. Plus, every Gmail account includes Google Drive and cloud storage. In the free Google Drive, you can share up to 5 GB worth of photos, videos, documents, and more with your teams. Paid plans start at $6 per user, per month, and include a shared business calendar and 30 GB of cloud storage.
5. TSheets by QuickBooks
TSheets runs on web browsers, tablets, iPhones, and Androids. It not only tracks employee time for payroll, but it also helps you track progress on projects. Plus, you can see who’s on the clock with GPS tracking and use time data to generate invoices. TSheets offers a 14-day free trial and starts at $20, plus $8 per user, per month for the Premium option. The TSheets Elite plan comes with additional features like geofencing, project tracking, and a project activity feed.
Slack is an instant messaging app that’s a great communication alternative to emails. You can organize conversations by channel or group to keep tabs on projects and help your team collaborate online. Users can also search threads for keywords or shared files, take polls, and more. Try Slack for free with no limits on the number of members you can add or how long you use it. The Standard plan, for small- and medium-sized businesses, starts at $6.67 per active user, per month, when you pay annually.
Teamwork is a work and project management software that helps teams collaborate and communicate. Customize each project or use one of Teamwork’s templates for infographics, podcasts, webpages, and more. Workers can then set timers for each task and subtask to show how long each part of the production process takes. When you finish a project, run reports to measure KPIs. Teamwork offers a free plan. Paid plans start at $9 per user, per month.
8. I Done This
This online tool allows you to see daily updates of your remote employees’ activity. Workers simply reply to an email each day, listing their activities for that day. The next morning, you receive a report of everyone’s work. Managers can track their team’s progress over time with reports. I Done This costs just $9 per user, per month, when you pay annually.
Made by remote workers for remote workers, Todoist is a robust to-do list app for teams. The platform is simple but filled with customizable options. Todoist lets you track project progression, set due dates, share comments or files, and more. The whole team can stay informed. Plus, the system provides automatic backups that you can restore at any time. Try Todoist free for 30 days. After that, plans start at $3 per user, per month, when you pay annually.
Basecamp can help you keep your team’s tasks and client projects organized and on track. Use it to monitor project discussions, tasks, documents, scheduling, and other milestones in a user-friendly format. This all-in-one tool can do the work of four tools in one, for $99 a month after a 30-day free trial.
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