There is no denying that remote work will be more prevalent as the workforce rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, many predict hybrid work, which will allow a combination of traditional in-office work combined with work from home will be the way of the future. With that said, figuring out how to properly manage and engage remote teams will become a more crucial task than ever before. Read on as we take a look at some tools to help with this transition and provide some tips from the experts to make your remote work environment run as smoothly as possible.
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Technology Tools to Consider

remote office

There are so many different types of technology out there, it’s sometimes overwhelming to figure out what tools and software can help your employees and which ones don’t provide any added benefit. In this section, we are going to share several sites recommendations for the best tools to use. There is some overlap, but we want to provide a few different resources for you to delve into.

The company WhatFix which provides a SaaS-based platform including in-app guidance and performance support for web applications and software products has put together a fabulous resource of 18 tools to help your remote workforce. Disclaimer, the company’s own product is included. The full list is split into helpful categories. We are sharing it below.

Training Tools for Remote Teams:

  • Whatfix Digital Adoption Platform
  • Eduflow
  • Vyond

Communication Tools for Remote Teams:

  • Zoom
  • Slack
  • X.AI
  • Krisp
  • Donut

Collaboration Tools for Remote Teams:

  • Microsoft Teams
  • 1Password
  • Taskade

Employee Development Tools For Remote Teams:

  • Uptick
  • Lattice
  • Teampay

Productivity Tools for Remote Teams:

  • TomatoTimer
  • Toggl
  • I Done This
  • RescueTime

15Five, a people management solution company, writes about the transition to remote work and the importance of incorporating technology. “The transition to managing remote employees can be made easier with advances in technology and a belief that your employees will be just as productive, and maybe even more so when you give them the trust and flexibility to do their job wherever they’re located. Communication and collaboration tools can help teams stay connected and productive.”

That blog post goes on to list the following tools in addition to their own that they find to be particularly important:

  • G Suite
  • Asana
  • Zoom
  • Slack
  • 15Five

The company actiTIME which provides time tracking software has put together a comprehensive list of 18 tools for remote teams. Disclaimer: They include their own product on the list. Take a look at the rest of their recommendations below.

Time Management Tools:

  • actiTIME
  • TimeDoctor
  • HiveDesk

Communication and Collaboration Tools:

  • actiPLANS
  • Jell
  • Workplace by Facebook

Project Management Tools:

  • Trello
  • Airtable
  • I Done This

Time Zone Management Tools:

  • Figure It Out
  • World Time Buddy
  • Timefinder

Remote Access Software:

  • Zoho Assist
  • Splashtop
  • AeroAdmin

Video Conferencing and Meeting Tools:

  • Zoom
  • Doodle
  • High Five

 

Tips for Engaging Remote Teams

video conference
Technology can definitely help to engage remote teams, but good management and proper strategies in place also will make all the difference.

Gallup has put together a great list of 4 ways to improve employee engagement. We are sharing it below:

  • Measure what matters most for employees’ performance- Leaders often focus on metrics that don’t tie strongly to employees’ psychological needs and ultimate performance.
  • Act quickly: Employees who strongly agree that their organization acts on survey results are 1.9 times more likely to be engaged. If you’re not using a survey that provides a framework for taking action, now is the time to switch.
  • Make it an ongoing process: One of the most common mistakes that leaders make is to approach engagement as a sporadic exercise in making their employees feel happy. Employees need ongoing purpose and development, not biannual perks, to achieve more for your organization.
  • Empower managers to drive engagement: Engagement isn’t just an “HR thing.” Managers account for 70% of the variance in team engagement. There are no quick fixes when it comes to human relationships. It is essential that managers effectively interact with and develop each team member over time.

Hppy, an HR and Employee engagement community has put together a great list of approaches when working with remote teams. We are sharing their advice below:

  • Manage and plan for results on the job, not time spent on tasks. This can apply to employees in the office as well.
  • Set-up a working schedule that respects the employee’s autonomy and set clear expectations as to when a situation requires an immediate connection.
  • Extend that flexibility to a commonly-agreed reporting system, that sticks to the flexibility of remote working.
  • Leverage technology tools (teleconferencing, online meeting and file-sharing services).
  • Equip remote employees with the necessary resources to get the job done.
  • Recognize that even though they are remote, they are part of a team.
  • Keep them informed on the business status, to make sure that they are always connected with your company.
  • Don’t neglect the social aspect. Try to engage in some personal meeting, where you can communicate openly and build a camaraderie relationship.
  • Have a non-formal communication channel, where you can also discuss things outside of the subject of work.
  • Encourage a team culture. Even if you’re mostly connected online, you can still agree on common values, ways of working and communication principles.
  • Recognize their efforts and achievements.
  • Don’t micromanage. Remote workers should have a high degree of responsibility and self-awareness based on which they were selected.
  • Try to have at least two offline meetings throughout the year, where you get to spend a couple of days as a team, discussing both work and personal issues.
  • Use a mood-monitoring tool to stay ahead of employees engagement levels.
  • Have a feedback system in place, to make sure there are no pending issues, frustrations or ignored suggestions.

 

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