With 2020 came the tornado of remote working, even for those who were happily working in their office bay! With almost a blink of an eye, your living room became your permanent office space. While most of us thought that an active internet connection is all we will ever need to connect remotely, our bubble burst in the very first week. Remote work is not as easy as it sounds. It comes with a set of challenges unique to each company. Skuad had cracked and aced the remote working model before the COVID-19 catastrophe. If you are an organisation that had to adopt it overnight, fret not! We understand how challenging remote working can be. So here is a set of robust remote working tools that are a must have for getting things done.
And the award for the Favourite Messenger App goes to “Slack”. In remote time, Slack is like those office coffee vending machines; you can’t do without it. It’s a go-to remote working tool for businesses as it helps them communicate effectively regardless of their time-zones.
Slack allows users to create funnel messages into different custom made channels. This way only the concerned team is aware of what is being discussed, agreed upon, and needs immediate attention. Others don’t have to experience notification fatigue because of texts that are of little or no importance to them.
Slack lets you hop on quick calls with your coworkers to discuss trivial queries that are difficult to communicate via text.
Your Slack status is a remote analogy to your in-office ramp walks. So while you are away, maximise the use of the “Update your Status” feature as this will alert the team member of your absence.
Slack has a massive selection of integrations that can save you time and escalate productivity. Dropbox, Google Drive, JIRA, and over 2,200 other apps can tie knots with Slack.
Slack is not as boring as it used to be. You can switch from light mode to dark mode and try out different in-built themes. Or you could even make it look like your favourite colour.
FUN FACT: Slack is an acronym for “Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge”
It is available for a variety of devices and platforms; Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS.
Slack offers a free plan where the users are limited to 10,000 archived chats and only 10 integrations. But some of its interesting features can only be enjoyed if one upgrades to a paid plan. Paid plans start at $6.67 per active user per month.
The OG remote working tool and cloud storage platform. The best part is you don’t have to spend hours setting it up. Coming to features, the list is endless.
The toolkit provided by GSuite is a long list! Yes, longer than your shopping list. From Calendars to Docs to Jamboards, Google’s free library of the tool kit is all you need to bring your project to life.
Did you know that GSuite supports 100+ different file types? GSuite applications empower you to collaborate with others, no matter what file format it is.
GSuite has taken real-time team collaborations to the next level. Most GSuite applications allow several members to make an edit at the same time. And the best part is, you can trace all the iteration and restore them if required. Not only this, you can even tag your peers, add comments to assign an action item.
FUN FACT: Did you know that Gmail introduced the web development technique named Ajax? It is the secret behind its user-friendly interface.
Google Drive and GSuite applications are available on desktop, mobile, and tablet for both iOS and Android environments.
For starters, the free plan offered by Google Drive allows 15 GB of cloud storage per user. In case more storage is required, the Google Drive plan starts at 100GB for $1.99 and progresses with increased storage.
For GSuite, pricing starts as low as $6 per user per month and goes up to $25 per user per month depending on the plan you opt for.
For businesses operating remotely, MindMeister is a great tool for virtual brainstorming. It is like a remote analogy to those whiteboard meeting rooms where the team would go and rack their brains. And come out strong with holistic product life cycles and endgame strategies.
MindMeister is a robust mind mapping, project planning, and idea management tool. It helps innovative teams capture the nuances of a concept in intricate visual networks. MindMeister mind maps are a notch up as you can add videos, post-it notes in them, or attach PDFs or spreadsheets. With the built-in presentation mode, you can turn your mind maps into dynamic slideshows or embed them on your website.
MindMeister’s collaborative features are extensive. You can add as many team members as you want, share different levels of access with them. It even allows you to see who contributed to when and what. Besides this, you can even vote on ideas, add comments, and communicate via in-tool chat.
Whether you’re working on Windows, Mac OS, or Linux, you can always access your mind maps right inside the web-browser. MindMeister also has native apps for iPhone, iPad, Android phones, and tablets with full offline capabilities and automatic synchronisation.
It is free for the first 3 mind maps with the ability to share, collaborate, and import. For growing organisations, it’s best advised to opt for a business plan starting $6.29 per month.
Building a product from scratch is like a mission to Mars. It requires you to layout product lifecycle maps, set deadlines, figure out the priority flowchart for all the micro-tasks that will support a bigger deliverable, and more.
JIRA is a powerful agile project management tool well known for turning tasks into new releases. The self-hosted JIRA not only helps break projects into achievable chunks but also improves collaboration by helping teammates avoid email volley balling. Few of many JIRA features include customisable workflows, scrum lists, kanban boards. JIRA can be seamlessly integrated with thousands of apps and integrations.
JIRA Cloud is built for a multi-screen world. The application is available on desktop, mobile and tablet for both iOS, and Android environments.
JIRA has 2 tiers of the paid plan starting $10 per month for small teams of not more than 10 users. If your organisation has 10,000+ users, enquire about their enterprise solution.
TeamViewer is a fairly popular choice for remote troubleshooting among IT professionals. Computer glitches, system crashes, and device failure often bring business to a standstill. With remote working tool like TeamViewer, you can provide instant remote support to your employees and clients on all devices.
With TeamViewer in place, IT Support Teams can resolve tech mishaps, as though you were debugging in person. They can securely connect to remote devices, take control of remote systems and troubleshoot problems. So that everyone can get back to business faster!
With TeamViewer Remote Monitoring Management (RMM), you can also gain high degree visibility of your IT infrastructure. TeamViewer RMM helps you centralise your device information without relying on end-user input, detect and patch software vulnerabilities. It even protects your devices against external threats and human error.
You can integrate TeamViewer APIs into other systems and applications. This helps optimise your processes and increase productivity.
TeamViewer allows you to connect across platforms as long as the connection supports either Windows, MacOS, Chrome OS, iOS, or Android.
For Corporate License, the pricing starts from $90. It includes 200 licensed users, allowing 3 users to open 1 remote session each, at the same time.
Though organisations have #watercooler groups on Slack, still most employees are not able to connect with each other. And this is where remote working tool like Donut fills in. It helps build peer relationships in remote teams. With Donut, employees get to connect for fun and frolic activities thereby getting to know each other beyond job titles.
With remote working coming in pictures, most mentorship programs have dried out. With Donut in place, you “do-nut” have to worry about successful matchmaking of mentor and mentee.
Donut allows you to set up meet-and-greet scenarios between employees from cross-functional teams. This way, employees build personal connections with remote peers they hardly interact with.
Donut works on all the devices; desktop, mobile, and tablet for both iOS, and Android environments.
For starters, the free plan introduces up to 24 people per round in 1 channel. The paid starts at $49 per month for up to 49 participants. Going ahead pricing is determined by the number of people in your Donut channel(s).
How many times did you write a near-perfect article and still got a poor peer review? Yes, we know the number is an embarrassment. While writing articles or emails, we get blind spots, and what we see as a perfect piece has grammatical errors. This is exactly where Grammarly fills in for you!
Grammarly perfectly helps you cover up for those missed grammar lessons. When writing blog posts or emails, one can miss out on punctuation or create grammar blunders. It helps you correct your grammar and also gives you comprehensive writing feedback.
FUN FACT: Initially Grammarly wasn’t a freemium business, they monetised backward.
Grammarly free version allows for critical grammar and spelling checks, and conciseness. Features like readability, genre-specific writing, and plagiarism check are available with paid versions. The paid plan if availed annually gives the best value.
Still, caught up in the time zone maze while figuring out a web meeting time that works for most team members? Leave these worries to your best friend World Time Buddy.
WTB is a convenient world clock, a time zone converter, and an online meeting scheduler. It’s a staple remote working tool if you work with distributed teams. WTB detects your home location, let’s you add the whereabouts of all your teammates and Voila! Perfect slots are right in front of you.
FUN FACT: WTB was born out of frustration with existing world clock apps, online meetings, and time conversion tools.
World Time Buddy is available as an app for both iOS and Android and as an extension for Chrome.
The free version of the Work Time Buddy allows you to coordinate between 4 locations and has a limited calendar. While the paid version starts $36 and provides you the privilege to add 20 locations and more along with zero ad interruptions.
Today, Zoom is like the Instagram of remote work. It’s the only place where you can show off your remote working wardrobe while acing presentations at the team meetings. With Zoom, you can empower your business meeting and leave no “room” for compromise when it comes to reliability and security.
Skuad trusts Zoom for the seamless meeting experience it provides, topped with the absence of dropped calls and choppy videos. From clean UI to features like advanced background noise suppression, sharing slides as your virtual background Zoom is the #1 video conferencing tool. It lets you level up your Fun Friday meets by making them more engaging with features like Touch Up My Appearance, reactions, polls, hand raising, etc.
Zoom is available for a variety of devices and platforms: Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS. It can be used on any device be it a smartphone, tablet, desktops, or even TV.
FUN FACT: Eric Yuan, the founder of Zoom, came up with the idea because he used to hate taking a 10-hour long train to meet his girlfriend, now wife during university days.
With a free plan, you can host up to 100 participants for 40 minutes. And host 1-1 meetings for an unlimited time. For user management, unlimited meeting length, and reporting, one requires a paid plan. Zoom paid plans start from $149.90 per year.
If you have all your eggs in one basket, make sure you’ve built a strong basket.
1 Password can be that strong basket. It’s the best cloud-based password management tool. When signing in to apps and websites, this tool records all the endless usernames and passwords. With this app in place, all you need to do is remember one strong master password. And it’s automatic form filler will let you sign in to all your online accounts with a single click, look, or touch.
1 Password allows you to sync data files and passwords with its servers or save them locally with your Dropbox or iCloud accounts. It also helps maintain password hygiene by checking for weak, compromised, or duplicated passwords. The Advanced Protection feature of 1 Password allows you to create firewall rules, monitors sign-in attempts of the team. And even warns you about the sites that are missing two-factor authentication or using unsecured HTTP.
1 Password not only safeguards your passwords from 3rd parties, but also from themselves. All your master passwords and metadata are end-to-end encrypted with keys that only you have.
1Password is available on all your devices, browsers, and operating systems. So you’ll always have all your information with you.
For business, the monthly paid plan of 1Password pricing starts at $7.99 per user monthly.
After testing out various remote working tools, we understand the importance of the right set of collaborative tools. Collaborative tools are the catalyst that helps Skuad perform and connect seamlessly. It feels like we’re meeting a deadline from the same room.
If you are an organisation still struggling to find your perfect matches, try these best in class remote working tools. After all, you wouldn’t want to waste your precious time on deal breakers, right?
Drop in your comments if you find this list useful or if you are already using some of these remote working tools.
Happy Remote Working 🙂