Still, you're off to a good start—with 84% of current remote workers preferring to work from home, plus the rising costs to hire non-remote workers, it makes perfect sense to start suiting up for this new future of work.
In this post, we've compiled a list of must-have remote management tools to help you collaborate with ease, skyrocket productivity, and kick your business goals out of the park—all without the jargon.
There are thousands of remote team tools out there. Good thing you don't need a gazillion to guarantee results. The secret sauce of thriving remote teams? A combination of the right team tools, used in tandem with solid processes, and reliable team members.
Here are 12 essential tools for remote teams that will get you and your coworkers working from home with confidence.
Virtual meetings seemed like a great idea in the beginning. (Be honest, nothing beats being able to take a call in your silk PJs). But we totally get why more and more people are seeking less taxing ways to collaborate remotely.
To start our list of remote project management tools, say goodbye to Zoom fatigue with Loom–a tool that lets you record quick videos of your screen, so you can cut down meetings and focus on high-impact work that matters.
Mastering asynchronous communications is a must for remote teams — especially for those with international teammates on the other side of the globe. No need to hop on calls at 5 AM when you can record a message in a jiffy. With Loom, you can:
Keeping your remote team aligned and updated can be one of your biggest challenges. When it comes to building your dream workflows and databases all in one place it would be amiss not to mention Notion. With its simple yet elegant interface, you won't need any fancy coding skills to bust out beautiful SOPs for your team.
It's easy to get lost in big, complex projects; keep the momentum going without sacrificing quality by using Notion as your main database.
Just take a peep at the thousands of ready-made templates you can build on today:
As a manager or business owner, breaking down high-level tasks into smaller sections does wonders for productivity. You don't need to do everything yourself — in fact, the faster your business can function without your direct involvement, the better off you'll be.
Delegate like a boss using Notion's tagging feature, which gives your team clarity on who "owns" specific items and empowers them to take action. Even our founder, Marshall Haas, loves using Notion as his main SOP database.
Email lovers, there's a cool new kid in town! The days of agonizing over who to cc are over. You'll never have to freak out over forgetting an attachment again.
Have you ever wished you could reply to an email with an emoji, instead of having to think up a one-line reply? That era's gone, too.
With a sleek, collaborative dashboard, Slack allows teams to communicate faster and more creatively than you could in your old email interface. It's an app built for modern remote teams ready to break silos in the ways they communicate.
When working from the office, all you needed to do to go out and grab a coffee was to just say so. Now the rules are a bit more complicated. Do you shoot an email to your boss? Or better yet send a mass email?
With Slack, the answer is neither. Simply set a status update to let your coworkers know what's up. Whether you'll be out swimming with dolphins for a week, or taking a fifteen-minute walk around the block, set your status to help your team know when you'll leave and when you'll return.
When it comes to reliable and powerful video conferencing, Zoom still tops our list of team productivity tools. Whether you need the flexibility to take conference calls on your mobile device, host large webinars, or just have a quick ten-minute standup, this app has all you need.
Want to focus on the conversation without worrying about taking notes? Click record to store a copy of the video for later viewing.
Maybe you have an early call and don't have time for a touch-up. Don't worry–Zoom helps you be camera-ready through its appearance adjustments (red lip, anyone?)
Split your team up into smaller rooms using Zoom's breakout room feature. As a host, you can jump between groups to check in on your team. After, use the whiteboard feature to share your ideas with others.
For best results, you'll need a remote project management app that's as detail-oriented as you. Trello is an incredibly flexible and powerful tool for any type of project. Use checklists, files, photos, and different views — everything is customizable depending on your need.
Simply create a board or a list, add your teammates — and voila! Start collaborating anywhere, even from your mobile. When you get used to its interface, you can even explore making:
Just like Notion, your imagination is the only limit in this app
Save your team precious hours by automating menial, time-draining tasks. Butler Automation, Trello's built-in automation tool, helps you automate just about everything.
For example: adding a "Pending" tag can move the card to the top of a list called "For Approval."
You can even prompt Trello to mention certain people when you move a card to a new column.
The best part? All automation takes only seconds to set up, and you'll reap the benefits over and over again.
As a business owner, you probably have to deal with a lot of data every day. From inventory to webinar sign-ups to social media numbers, it gets tricky to consolidate so much information. Trickier if you do it manually.
Airtable helps you and your remote team stay up-to-date by integrating data from apps you already use.
There's a long list of fun things you can accomplish with Airtable — from launching new products, to keeping track of inventories. Everything is customizable, with ready-made templates. Its elegant and easy-to-use interface makes Airtable a no-brainer to include in this list of team productivity tools.
Data doesn't have to be a bore! Make your presentations pop by familiarizing yourself with the different views available–from the Gantt View, Grid View, Gallery View, and Form View.
When it comes to your business' finances, you'll need something secure that can also keep up with the speed your biz operates.
Make domestic and international transactions a breeze through Veem, and skip having to fill out bank info and other details while you're at it; all you need is an email address! Hallelujah.
Send out professional invoices, link to a secure encrypted portal, and start transacting in over 100+ countries and 70+ currencies.
Veem charges $14.99 per month US and $18.99 per month CA for new customers.
Instead of downloading files and attaching them over email, make file sharing a breeze for your remote team through Google Drive. Reduce the clutter by having all you need in one place. Your team can collaborate from anywhere–be it mobile, device, tablet, or computer.
One of our many favorite things about this app is its offline functionality. View, access, and edit files even when you're disconnected; and, since Google is connected to the cloud, as soon as you reconnect the file will automatically update everywhere.
For the full experience, we recommend getting the Google Drive App on your mobile as well. Even if you just want to double-check some files, or check in on the progress of certain projects, it's useful to have everything accessible at your fingertips.
You can even edit documents on the go. Got inspired by an advertisement and want to send it to your team? Take a picture and upload it to your folder for later sharing.
You may not think it, but your company documents leave an impression on your business. Make sure it's a good one by using a tool that helps you craft professional and elegant documents with ease.
Whether you need to make:
PandaDoc will help you and your team feel empowered with its easy interface and builder.
Ever wished you could be notified directly of any important changes in your document? Well, by integrating Slack to PandaDoc, you won't have to frantically pull up your file or email every day. Get pinged the moment a status change occurs–whether that's a signed contract or something else.
Working with remote teams guarantees you need an extra layer of protection. Sharing sensitive information requires a remote tool that can keep up with your business, regardless of the size of your team.
Keep log-in details, credit card info, and other information secure–all with one click. With 1Password, you can generate, store, and access everything in an easy-to-read dashboard. Go on; feel free to forget.
Safety breaches can happen to anyone. Turn on Watchtower notifications in the 1Password app, which will ping you every time it finds a password that might be compromised, duplicated, or simply too weak.
Alt text: The three pricing tiers for 1Password.
Remote work may prove to be trickier for managers, now that they don't get to see their team in person. But there are plenty of ways to adapt.
When it comes to remote management tools, Hubstaff is our top pick for several reasons. In summary, it's an app that lets your team stay productive by assisting you in tracking admin work, project updates, time sheets, deadlines, budgets, and more.
Alt text: A sample dashboard for Hubstaff, indicating time worked today, this week, projects worked, active status, and money spent this week.
Get a bird's eye view of how your team is doing. Check their productivity stats, what sites they're using, and even glimpse screenshots of their work, so you know the situation.
If you're transitioning to remote work for the first time, you might be wondering: "How does time tracking even work?" Look no further and check this example among the many others on Hubstaff's site, so you never have to start from scratch.
Who doesn't love gifts? Nothing sparks a positive connection like a personalized gift card. Filipinos are big on gift-giving (especially around Christmas time). It's a good thing don't need to wait 'til December to say "thank you!"
Gifted PH is an app that allows you to choose over 150 beloved brands to send your team electronic gift certificates. There are brands for everything, from food to leisure. Wrap it up with a sweet thoughtful message, pay online, and you're good to go.
Your recipient receives your gift via email. All they need to do is print and shop for the gift they want!
No idea what to buy? We have two suggestions:
For more suggestions, check out the full list of gift recommendations on Gifted PH's website.
Price ranges depending on your selected gift.
With the right team, you build the right foundation for a thriving, sustainable business. This starts as early as writing the job description. Be clear with what help you need and how their work fits into the greater purpose of your business.
Finding good remote workers is no easy task. This is where Shepherd comes in; our headhunter agency specializes in finding the best remote staff to meet your business goals, so you can start on the right foot. Let us know what you're looking for, and we'll do the rest.
Build up a business so self-sufficient that it can run with or without you. After all, being the only one in the know about these remote collaboration apps defeats the purpose of having them.
If you've never thought about your own delegation process before, it's never too late to start. Check out our free course, The Delegation Leap here to learn more.
Set your team up for success by directing them towards the same North star. You can have the best tools, but a fragmented vision will have your ship sinking fast.
Discuss, document, and display your goals clearly where anyone can be reminded of them.
Because clarity is kindness. As they say, it's better to over-communicate than make a misstep because someone didn't speak up.
"With the loss of physical interactions, companies will need to find innovative ways to institutionalize trust that go beyond virtual happy hours," Jocelyn Kung writes in Entrepreneur. "It will require a commitment to the kind of relationship building and ongoing communication that invites the whole person to work, wherever they may be."
As you venture into the world of remote work, know that this will be an ongoing journey for most of us. As long as you stay committed to the process — and with the right tools, right team, and the right mindset — we're confident you'll be working remotely like a pro in no time.