Thanks to COVID, we’re jumping ship from the physical office—and probably for the rest of 2020. With a remote team, though, you need more tools than you had at the office.
After all, if you picked up stakes and went remote overnight, do your employees really have the tools to do their job comfortably?
Do they have a work phone? A laptop? Software for communication?
As a leader, it’s your job to keep the team ready and motivated. That includes giving them the tools they need to do their jobs remotely.
Now, you’ve likely been working remotely for months. This is the time to evaluate what’s not working, what needs to change, and whether you can finally get management to sign off on remote Margarita Fridays.
We kid, we kid. But if you’re trying to keep employee morale and productivity up, use these 4 best tools for remote work.
4 collaborative tools for remote work
1. Equipment or a stipend
Hopefully, your team has work computers at home. (If not, how in the world do you get anything done?)
But aside from a laptop, your people probably need other equipment, too. That might include:
- A cell phone: Employees don’t have access to their work phones right now. Unless you want clients to bother Linda at all hours of the day, pay for a work number (and any other communication tools for remote work she might need). If that’s not in the cards, get a Google Voice number to protect Linda’s personal information.
- A mobile hotspot: What do you do if your employee doesn’t have wifi at home? That’s rare, but some folks can’t afford internet at home. If your employee is in that boat, get them a mobile hotspot and cover the data costs.
- Furniture: Do you really want your employees working from kitchen tables, couches, and (occasionally) their bathrooms? Since you’ll probs work remotely through 2020, help employees feel comfortable. Give them a remote work stipend to buy anything they need to be productive and comfortable. The average stipend is $250 and it will do wonders to boost employee morale.
2. Meeting scheduler
Nobody’s got time to schedule meetings via email right now. Use a meeting scheduler tool to keep your remote team sane. Our faves are Calendly and Doodle. Whatever you do, get remote workers a meeting scheduler to minimize all the, “When are you free?” emails. This collaborative tool for remote work will easily recover 2 hours of head-scratching every week.
3. Productivity tools
Ahh, productivity. The manager’s nightmare in a remote-first world. How do you make sure people are actually working and not sipping on quarantinis?
Task management will go a long way here, and it’s the best tool for remote work, if we’re being a little biased.
See what’s on everyone’s plate with productivity tools like Asana, Monday, or Trello. Make a workflow so you can see what’s done and what’s in the pipeline. Best of all, you can see what’s going on at all times without bugging your reports for constant status updates.
By the way, eliminate the urge to creep on your employees. Sneaky screen recording software and micromanagement hurt morale. Instead of spying on people, focus on their KPIs and output. Offer time trackers like Timeular if they need help optimizing their time, but don’t use it as a tool to stalk your reports.
4. Collaborative presentation software
The world still expects you to deliver results, even in quarantine. All those presentations you were doing in-person have now moved to Zoom.
But as you’ve probably already learned, Zoom meetings work differently. Your presentations just don’t deliver the same punch they once did.
How are you supposed to ask the board for more money with a slapdash PowerPoint? Check out Kroma.ai for collaborative, smart presentations that make presenting as easy as pie.
The bottom line
We can’t expect employees to shoestring their jobs for 9 months. But since our pal COVID isn’t going away anytime soon, you’ve got to keep your team online. Cobble together any of these 4 tools that are still missing from your organization. These tools will help you not only overcome the challenges of remote work, but get on the other side of the productivity hurdle.