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 organization 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". 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.
If you miss it, it’s on you!
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.
Not everything can be communicated on text, right?
Slack lets you hop on quick calls with your coworkers to discuss trivial queries that are difficult to communicate via text.
Your trip to the Bahamas shouldn't be a secret.
Your Slack status is a remote analogy to your in-office ramp walks. So while you are away, maximize 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.
The rainbow is a promise.
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 favorite color.
Fun Fact: Slack is an acronym for "Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge."
It is available for various 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 ten integrations. But some of its exciting features can only be enjoyed if one upgrades to a paid plan. Paid plans start at $6.67 per active user per month.
Microsoft Teams, Skype, Troop Messenger
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G Suite & Google Drive
G Suite and Google Drive are top-tier remote working tools and cloud storage platforms. The best part is you don’t have to spend hours setting it up. Coming to features, the list is endless.
Say what you need, and Google will provide it.
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.
Supports you like no one else.
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.
It’s like we never left the office.
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. The Google Drive plan starts at 100GB for $1.99 and progresses with increased storage if more storage is required.
For GSuite, pricing starts as low as $6 per user per month and goes up to $25 per user per month, depending on the opt-in plan.
Microsoft Office 365
White Board Mind Mapping Tool
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.
From collecting dots to connecting dots
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 synchronization.
It is free for the first three mind maps to share, collaborate, and import. For growing organizations, it’s best advised to opt for a business plan starting at $6.29 per month.
Product Manager Tool
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.
Ship early, ship often.
JIRA is a powerful, agile project management tool well known for turning tasks into new releases. The self-hosted JIRA helps break projects into achievable chunks and improves collaboration by helping teammates avoid email volley balling. A few of many JIRA features include customizable 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 two tiers of the paid plan starting at $10 per month for small teams of less than ten users. If your organization has 10,000+ users, enquire about their enterprise solution.
Asana, GitHub, Trello, ProofHub
Remote IT Support
TeamViewer is a reasonably popular choice for remote troubleshooting among IT professionals. Computer glitches, system crashes, and device failure often bring business to a standstill. With a remote working tool like TeamViewer, you can provide instant remote support to your employees and clients on all devices.
Remote support powerhouse
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 a high degree of visibility of your IT infrastructure. TeamViewer RMM helps you centralize 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 optimize 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 three users to open one remote session each simultaneously.
GoToAssist, Dameware Remote Everywhere
Employee Engagement Tool
Though organizations have #watercooler groups on Slack, still most employees are not able to connect. And this is where a remote working tool like Donut fills in. It helps build peer relationships in remote teams. With Donut, employees connect for fun and recreation activities, thereby getting to know each other beyond job titles.
Leveling up the knowledge transfer game
With remote working coming in pictures, most mentorship programs have dried out. With Donut in place, you "donut" have to worry about successful matchmaking of mentor and mentee.
Building bonds across department or distance
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).
Need Of An Hour Remote Working Tools
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 precisely where Grammarly fills in for you!
Your writing assistant!
Grammarly ideally 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 enables you to correct your grammar and also gives you comprehensive writing feedback.
Grammarly is available as a web editor and app for both iOS and Android. It also has an extension for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge.
Fun fact: Initially, Grammarly wasn't a freemium business; they monetized backward.
Grammarly's 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.
ProWritingAid, Sapling, Ginger
World Time Buddy (WTB)
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.
Not "JUST" basic time converter!
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, allows you to 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 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. In contrast, the paid version starts at $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 to 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 regarding reliability and security.
Scrum meeting or fun Fridays, Zoom it.
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 various devices and platforms: Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS. Anybody can use it 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 hated 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.
Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Skype
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 its automatic form filler will let you sign in to all your online accounts with a single click, look, or touch.
Your digital vault
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 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.
Last Pass, Zoho Vault
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 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.
Happy Remote Working! :)