5 Tech Tools That Are Changing The World of Remote Work
Some organizations think even a temporary shift to remote work can be scary. Many leaders fear that employees will have difficulty staying focused on their daily duties, and the relationship between managers and employees can suffer.
The reality is a remote team can have a ton of benefits if managed well. 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.
Here’s a list of tools we recommend to help during your transition to remote work:
1. G Suite
This is a given, but utilizing the full suite of tools that Google offers is a must. Through video conferencing, chat, and their wide collection of productivity apps, businesses can collaborate no matter where they’re located ensuring streamlined, reliable access.
Worried about employees staying on task? Using tools similar to Asana can help you and your employees stay focused and productive with a virtual to-do list, letting team members know when it’s their time to review a project, or keeping employees on track for tasks due that day.
While you should be respectful of remote workers’ time zones and work schedules, make it a habit to connect with them via video call when an issue or priority is top of mind. Using video conferencing apps like Zoom creates more opportunities for the free flow of information and feedback, a necessity for maintaining remote workforce engagement.
Communication is key with all employees, but it’s even more imperative when it comes to remote workers. To ensure remote team members feel included, it’s better to over-communicate so they don’t feel isolated. Through using communication applications, such as Slack, you can create continual permission for employees to bring up issues that aren’t coming up in team meetings or one-on-ones, or to ask quick questions they would normally do in person.
As for the do not disturb concept, there can be constant messaging going back and forth, but there is a, “turn off notifications” option within Slack when carving out chunks of time when you’re not available. Set the expectation that you won’t respond right away.
Continuous performance management solutions like 15Five are extremely helpful when it comes to facilitating effective feedback and regular check-ins between employees and managers. These elements are crucial for maintaining an engaged and motivated team, and helps team members feel acknowledged for their hard work.
Plus, routine check-ins with your team members can help managers gauge how they’re feeling, identify challenges, and keep employees focused throughout the year.
Keeping in close contact with your employees and maintaining high levels of collaboration are two key areas to focus on when working remotely. But these dynamics can quickly be disrupted when transitioning from regular, in-person office hours to distributed locations. Luckily, these five platforms can be implemented quickly to help your team make an easy shift into remote work without sacrificing the quality—or quantity—of work.
Baili Bigham is the Content Manager at 15Five, continuous performance management software that includes weekly check-ins, OKR tracking, peer recognition, 1-on-1s, and 360° reviews. When Baili isn’t writing, you can find her binge-reading a new book or strategizing ways to pet every dog in San Francisco. Follow her on Twitter @bgbigz.