Tools for Remote Teams That Improve Communication

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Managing a remote team requires special attention to many specific details. Remote locations and different times of availability can affect team communication and make it difficult to keep track of work progress. However, special tools for remote teams help managers engage their employees, monitor their work activities, and receive useful feedback from team members. Here’s our selection of apps that managers of remote teams will definitely appreciate.

Time management tools

1. actiTIME

actiTIME is a powerful time-tracking and work management tool. It helps keep track of time expenses, monitor work progress, and manage teams across countries and time zones. In it, you can group employees by time zones (locations), collect time-track and billing data for specific local offices, and run time & cost reports based on this data. Simple and robust, this tool is great for big and small teams. It helps regular employees structure their workday and provides business owners with crucial data on the work process.

2. TimeDoctor

This solution is based on the automatic time-tracking method which sometimes works best for remote teams. It tracks websites and applications that an employee is using and creates a report of how work time is used. Managers can see what tasks are being done during the workday, and reveal potential poor time usage. The app also optionally takes screenshots of employees’ workstations and allows managers to review them. The tool works both online and offline, and syncs the data with the cloud server as soon as an Internet connection is available.

3. HiveDesk

HiveDesk is designed specifically for automated time tracking for remote teams. It records data on what applications are used and what websites are visited, takes screenshots, and allows to run reports and detect productivity trends. This tool also provides check in and out, and automatically checks out after a specific period of inactivity. It provides team and project managers with important data on how time is spent on project tasks and where they can improve processes.

Project management tools

4. Trello

One of the most popular project management tools, Trello offers an easy and visual way to work on a project. It is a great solution for remote teams, ensuring clarity and transparency in the course of the collective work. Trello suits best for running projects in small groups, which is often the case of remote teams. It uses the Kanban board concept that visualizes and simplifies project management, allowing to easily monitor progress. The tool is available in web browsers and on Android and iOS mobile devices to enable efficient management from anywhere.

5. Airtable

Getting organized is a challenge even in an office environment, not to mention the difficulties of remote collaboration! Airtable helps tackle this challenge: in it, you can organize your team’s work, review tasks, schedule your team members’ activities, and see how plans are getting done. This tool provides a fast and visual way to organize work and find optimal workflows for your teams and projects.

6. I Done This

Having relevant information on work tasks’ status at hand is an important task of any team or project manager, but it’s not easy to achieve when working with a remote team. I Done This app helps keep the team in sync: it allows to monitor team progress, see what needs to be addressed, and understand the dynamics with progress reports. Simple and robust, this app is an essential tool for staying updated even if all your team members work from different locations.

Communication and collaboration tools

7. Jell

Jell helps organize and structure communication within a team. Daily online standups help you keep informed about what your remote employees are doing. Check-ins allow your team members structure regular communications: weekly recaps, monthly reports etc. if you’re a business owner or a manager, you’ll appreciate the Goals feature that provides all employees with the big picture: roadmap, objectives, and key results.

8. Workplace by Facebook

The worst thing about organizing team communication in one place is adopting a tool that is new for everyone. People are usually reluctant to get started with the new tool and use it properly. That’s why special Facebook app for work communication can be of help. Familiar functionality, combined with team communication and data security features, allows you to connect the team and get work done.

9. Quip

Quip is a powerful platform for team collaboration on all work-related topics. It combines documents, spreadsheets, slides, and chat in a single tool that helps organize active communication within a team with less effort. It eliminates the need to switch between windows, tools and screens to find all relevant information: instead, it keeps all relevant data in one place, improving collaboration and making teamwork more efficient and productive.

Tools for maintaining productive work environment

10. Chimp or Champ

A good manager cares about their team’s happiness. But collecting information about possible problems within a team is usually a headache: people are reluctant to provide feedback at all and negative feedback in particular. Chimp or Champ app helps overcome this problem. It sends a weekly check-in to the employees and collects their answers as an anonymous feedback. This way, managers can figure out what is the problem – not who! – and take actions to handle it.

11. WooBoard

When you’re managing a remote team, it’s not really easy to build a team culture and improve teamwork. WooBoard offers features that help managers motivate remote employees, bring their company’s values to life, and increase employees’ engagement. With its ready-to-use reward and recognition system, the app is perfect for engaging and connecting people that work from remote locations.

12. Awesome Boss

As hard as it is to remember little things about your employees (especially in a remote team), it helps build trust and meaningful relationships in the team. Awesome Boss app will help you with that! The system stores information on people’s preferences (for example, favorite coffee), important days, anniversaries, and other details. It sends you an alert before an event – birthday, anniversary, etc. – and suggest gift options. The app also helps build engagement programs and reminds you when to take necessary action.

Time zone management tools

13. Figure It Out

This is a web app and a Chrome extension for those who work and communicate with people from different time zones. It beautifully shows local time in locations around the world, supports 24-hour or AM / PM clock, automatically detects your locations, shows national holidays in remote locations, and groups together up to three locations that share the same time zone.

14. World Time Buddy

Managing teams located across time zones can easily turn into nightmare: checking local times and team members’ availability consumes time and distracts from important management tasks. An automated scheduling tool is a significant help here. World Time Buddy is a world clock that allows to compare current time in required locations and schedule meetings, webinars and phone calls. It reduces effort spent on planning online meetings and conference calls for remote teams and saves everyone’s time.

Video conferencing and meeting tools

15. Zoom

Zoom is a meeting and video conferencing tool that works for various purposes: video chats and meetings, tech support sessions, training and webinars, events, etc. The tool offers HD video and audio and supports up to 100 participants and 49 videos on the screen. It also allows to record meetings to local devices or to the cloud and share them later with others. Meetings and other events can be scheduled in Outlook, Gmail or iCal – Zoom offers integration with calendar tools. Data security is ensured by end-to-end encryption, password protection, role-based user access, and waiting rooms.

16. Doodle

Organizing a meeting in a remote team is a pain. Asking everyone when they are available and coordinating can hardly be considered an appropriate option – but thankfully Doodle app can do the coordination work for you. Run a poll and figure out when every team member is available – and then set up a meeting. The app also stores information about your polls and your upcoming meetings so that you don’t forget anything.

17. High Five

High Five is a cloud video conferencing tool that helps conveniently organize meetings within a team without having to go through complex download and configuration processes. This tool is focused on user friendliness and convenience: it allows to customize meeting URLs, doesn’t require PIN codes or passwords for joining meetings, and simplifies screen sharing. Participants can join the meeting from the web, Mac, Windows, or Android devices.

Are you using other tools for remote teams? Share them with us at productivity@actitime.com!