Skip to navigation
13 Min Read

Remote Work Tools Virtual Teams Can’t Live Without

Nicole Klemp

While most businesses have reopened their offices since the end of the pandemic, millions of employees are still working from home, and many plan to continue. Research conducted in June 2023 found that 13% of full-time employees were fully remote, and 30% had a hybrid arrangement. That means nearly half of all full-time workers work virtually at least some of the time. 

Chances are, you either work remotely yourself or have team members who do. With distributed teams becoming the norm, organizations must invest in remote work software that enables productivity, engagement, and collaboration between colleagues both in the office and at home.

In this article, we’ll look at a few different categories of remote work tools and share some of the top options for each, so you can find the right solutions to help your virtual teams thrive.

Project management tools

A robust and comprehensive project management solution is crucial for helping employees prioritize work and stay on track. And for remote teams, project management tools must be collaborative and accessible from anywhere. Here are a few of the top-rated options.


Asana offers a comprehensive workflow management solution, empowering users to organize tasks, create to-do lists, monitor progress through project boards, set crucial deadlines, engage in collaborative discussions, and facilitate requests among team members. Leaders and managers can also leverage the tool to oversee projects and monitor team progress. 

Monday offers a ton of flexibility in shaping workflows to fit your requirements. You can increase team alignment, efficiency, and productivity by tailoring the tool to meet your needs. Asana consolidates work, processes, tools, and files all in one place to streamline your operations and serves as a centralized project management hub for your organization. It connects teams, bridges information silos, and helps you maintain a single source of truth across all projects.


Using Trello is like supercharging your to-do list. The tool is condensed into a user-friendly interface that can be seamlessly shared with others in real-time. Built around a system of “cards,” akin to virtual post-it notes, users can categorize and arrange text, images, drawings, and mockups to their liking. It also includes a convenient progress gauge for tracking project pipelines and the ability to schedule appointment reminders. Trello offers a premium version at a cost, but if your team is on a budget, it has a really robust free version.

Design collaboration tools

When design teams aren’t working together in the same place, they need collaboration tools that allow them to create together virtually, in real time. They also need cloud-based tools that enable them to share designs with other stakeholders, make edits, and get approvals. The following tools are rated highly in the design collaboration category.


Canva’s mission revolves around enabling individuals, regardless of their artistic aptitude or graphic design expertise, to effortlessly craft visual content. The tool’s intuitive drag-and-drop functionality is easy to use and accessible from any device or location. Canva provides an extensive library of templates and images (many free) to help designers of all levels create professional-looking content. The tool makes collaboration and oversight a breeze, so teams can review design work and ensure it stays on brand.


InVision is a web-based tool and mobile application that transforms design concepts into fully interactive prototypes, incorporating gestures, transitions, and animations. Virtual teams can collaborate and add comments on designs, with real-time project progress updates maintained through actionable to-do lists. Initial project setup on InVision is free, but expanded usage will require a paid plan.


Visme, a web-based collaborative platform, consolidates team activities into a single accessible hub. Particularly advantageous for designers, it facilitates the creation of a wide range of visual projects, including presentations and infographics. Visme offers built-in features to monitor each user’s workload, track progress, and monitor activity on ongoing projects, enhancing team efficiency and communication.

Messaging tools

When you can’t lean over the cubicle wall to talk to your teammate, you need a software solution that enables real-time virtual chat. The best solutions also make it easy to send files, share images, and more. The following tools help virtual teams stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world.


Slack has become synonymous with remote work. It’s a versatile collaboration tool that helps virtual teams connect, share, and work more efficiently. (It’s also great for sending funny GIFs, which is always an engagement boost!) Slack is great for one-to-one chat, team collaboration, and as a platform for leaders to communicate transparently and in real time with the entire organization.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams offers a wealth of features, tightly integrated with other Microsoft applications. With robust functionality, a plethora of tools, and numerous conversation spaces, Teams goes beyond chat, offering comprehensive video conferencing and voice-over IP phone capabilities. It’s a great messaging tool option if your organization already uses other Microsoft platforms.


For teams dispersed across the globe or engaged in regular communication with international clients or prospects, WhatsApp serves as a valuable communication platform. It facilitates the creation of group chats, enables text messaging, supports multi-person video calls, and offers free voice calls over Wi-Fi networks, making it an ideal choice for seamless global communication.

Cloud storage tools

To maintain efficiency, remote workers should have easy access to the files and documents they need to do their jobs. With cloud storage, there’s no need to email documents back and forth—shared files give remote workers instant access to what they need when they need it. Here are a few of the top options for enterprise cloud storage that enable remote work while maintaining the safety and security of sensitive information. 

Google Drive

Google was one of the pioneers of cloud-first, browser-based storage. Google Drive seamlessly integrates with Google Workspace applications such as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Drive’s cloud synchronization feature enhances accessibility and collaboration, and the platform is designed with stringent privacy and security standards in mind. With a Business Plus subscription, you get an impressive 5 TB pooled storage per user, so employees will (probably) never run out of space.


Known for its file-sharing capabilities, Dropbox is an excellent choice for cloud storage, boasting a substantial maximum capacity of 5TB (like Google Drive). It extends support to unlimited devices, including computers and smartphones, and fosters seamless compatibility with third-party applications. To safeguard sensitive data, Dropbox employs encryption both during data transit and while stored, ensuring tighter security measures.


As part of Microsoft 365, OneDrive has a deep integration with Microsoft’s operating system, so it’s an ideal choice if your organization is already using the Microsoft suite. Storage capacity depends on the type of plan and number of users but is comparable to its cloud storage competitors. Microsoft is known for its top-notch security features, so OneDrive is a great choice if your employees handle a lot of sensitive or confidential information.

Employee feedback tools

Employee feedback is essential to building engaged, high-performing teams. From quarterly engagement surveys to weekly meetings with managers, employees need tools that allow them to provide honest feedback. And to make that feedback actionable, HR leaders and managers need data-driven insights that point them in the right direction. The following 15Five tools can help you build a continuous feedback culture in your organization.


If you want to send engagement surveys to your entire company or specific employee groups, 15Five’s Engage surveys offer excellent customization and flexibility. Our best-practice templates and scientifically validated surveys are user-friendly and grounded in the latest research. They’re easy to deploy, and employees can complete them on any device in a mere 6 minutes, ensuring a seamless and efficient process.


15Five’s 1-on-1 feature is thoughtfully designed to enhance the productivity of employee-manager meetings. By simplifying the process of addressing priorities, challenges, and progress, 1-on-1s fosters alignment, motivation, and engagement among team members and their managers. The tool also equips managers with a solid conversation framework, enabling more effective communication.


Weekly check-ins help keep employees on track and give managers and HR better visibility into what’s happening with their people. Designed for efficiency, 15Five Check-ins take just 15 minutes for employees to complete and 5 minutes for managers to review. They serve as a valuable tool for building rapport and alignment while identifying any challenges or roadblocks that may keep employees from doing their best work.

Video conferencing and screen sharing

Video conferencing software was a lifeline for many people who were cut off from the outside world during the pandemic. It also made it possible for knowledge workers to continue to earn a paycheck when their offices closed. For remote teams, seeing each other’s faces and expressions is much more personal than just being a voice on the phone or a name in an email. That (virtual) face-to-face interaction can deepen the connection between colleagues, and with screen-sharing capabilities, collaboration is easier and more efficient. The following tools are some of the best options to choose from.


Zoom exploded in 2020 and earned its reputation for exceptional performance and a generous free plan. Zoom Meetings transitioned from a relatively unknown video conferencing app to a household name (and a verb). Today, it’s the go-to choice for video conferencing, surpassing even Skype in popularity. Zoom impresses with its user-friendly interface, extensive feature set, and remarkable stability. It continues to deliver on the company’s promise to provide smoother and more dependable video calls.


Webex has a long-standing presence in the video conferencing arena, founded in 1995 and later acquired by Cisco. Webex is a feature-rich conferencing service that offers businesses access to Cisco’s impressive suite of tools and hardware. (This sets it apart from newer, general-purpose solutions like Zoom.) While its performance and reliability are well-known, Webex service can also be costly compared to other video conferencing options.


If there were an award for ease of use, Google Meet (formerly known as Hangouts) would be the clear winner for video conferencing. It’s a versatile service for secure, high-quality video meetings and calls accessible across all devices. Guests can quickly join from their mobile device or web browser with no need to install additional software. Google Meet automatically adapts to your network speed, ensuring top-notch video quality regardless of location. And features like live captions, powered by Google’s speech recognition technology, enhance accessibility and inclusivity during meetings.

Password management tools

If you had to come up with the number of passwords you currently maintain, would you have any clue? We need a password for everything these days, especially if you work remotely. Keeping employees’ passwords safe, secure, and easily accessible should be a top priority for your organization. The following password management tools are the best of the best when it comes to ease and security. 


1Password boasts one of the industry’s most robust password organization systems, coupled with comprehensive support for multi-factor authentication. This password manager simplifies the generation, storage, and auto-filling of passwords across all your online accounts, accessible from any device. Beyond passwords, it securely stores sensitive documents, medical records, SSH keys (for developers), and other confidential information. Collaboration is made secure and straightforward, as 1Password facilitates sharing and teamwork.


Dashlane excels in performing both the fundamental and advanced tasks expected of a password manager. It bundles a VPN and a dark web monitoring feature, maintains a login history, and conducts regular scans for weak or compromised passwords. While Dashlane’s top-tier plan may come at a premium price (and its free plan is limited to a single device), its ultra-smooth password capture and replay system, along with a range of user-friendly features, positions it as an exceptional choice for premium password management.


Keeper offers an intuitive experience across numerous platforms and browsers, complemented by robust multi-factor authentication support, secure sharing capabilities, auditing tools, and complete password histories. The solution also uses a proprietary security architecture with full end-to-end encryption. Keeper’s business plan option is catered to small or medium-sized businesses and provides each employee with access on unlimited devices. As an added bonus, each employee also gets free access for their family members.

Learning & development tools

An opportunity to learn and grow in their career is one of the top reasons people choose to join a company—and a big reason why they decide to stick around. People need the right training to excel in their current roles as well as learning opportunities to take on new challenges, both personally and professionally. The following solutions offer learning and development opportunities that can be pursued both within an employee’s job purview and for interests outside of work.


Udemy is a leader in online learning, with a comprehensive catalog of topics, from critical workplace skills to technical subjects, including preparation materials for over 200 industry-recognized certifications. This extensive collection supports well-rounded professional development and is available in multiple languages, with curated content recommendations, hands-on practice exercises, and more. Udemy also provides leaders with valuable insights through its reporting and analytics features.


Coursera offers access to a repository of over 5,800 courses, professional certificates, and degrees from a network of hundreds of top companies and universities. Leaders can curate skill paths for their employees, guiding them to training in technology, data, leadership, and more through beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels of expertise. Role-based assessments help managers identify skills gaps and advancement opportunities, and Coursera provides hands-on projects and immersive learning to help employees level up.


15Five’s comprehensive training and coaching solution, Transform, is designed to help your managers learn and grow. Managers gain access to a dynamic learning environment featuring both live and on-demand training, with instructor-led sessions and coaching-based practice. This learning approach encourages the practical application of skills within the workplace. And with Transform Microlearning, managers can develop their skills through bite-sized, on-the-job training content. 

Be part of a growing HR community

Engaging with a community of peers can help remote workers feel more connected and supported. 15Five’s HR Superstars community brings together HR peers and experts to share valuable resources and insights to learn and grow.

Join now >