The remote work era is well and truly here, and given the advantages that several companies have reaped as a result of it, remote work seems to be here to stay and motivates you to learn to manage your teams remotely.
When the first lockdowns were announced, and all industries were forced inside, few platforms allowed companies to manage their remote workforce.
Over the past year, several platforms and software have been developed that aid to manage your teams remotely as you would at the office.
6 Tools That Help you to Manage Your Teams Remotely
Here are the six main types of project management tools that you require to manage your teams remotely.
1. Online Professional Platforms
Online Professional Platforms primarily allow you to gain access to third-party companies that can carry out a part of the business process for you. Companies such as Supersourcing provide you access to software development partners. They are host to experienced and competent professionals who can save you the cost and time of hiring a complete development team.
Additionally, you do not have to hire third-party developers and bring them on to the company payroll or manage these developers as your employees. All you need to do is communicate the required tasks and assess their output.
The main challenge that companies faced when remote work started was that of communication. Since employees would generally meet up at the office, setting up an online communications system was generally not bothered with several industries.
During remote work, employees need to communicate with each other through text and voice calls. Additionally, they need to transfer files, images, and other media forms to each other in the same conversation thread. More, they might need to create groups at a project level, functional level, and team level.
One of the most efficient tools to manage your teams remotely is Slack. Microsoft Teams is also an efficient option. Around 65% of all organizations use Slack while 59% use Teams.
The primary advantage of these tools is that you can create multiple groups and channels. You can have groups for the entire company, your team, or merely a set of people. Hence, you can effectively converse with fellow employees seamlessly.
3. Project Management
In a corporate setup, project management software is required to track employees’ progress toward their individual goals. Additionally, the project’s goals also need to be tracked by project managers and that of the firm as a whole by the senior management.
Several commercial and open-source project management software allows all employees of a firm to access their immediate and long-term goals. These tools work hierarchically, in which a project manager will have access to all team members’ goals and activities, and managers will be able to track the progress of their direct reports.
Employees will also be able to track the goals they have set for themselves and the goals that managers have set for them.
The main platforms that provide such services are Asana and Trello. These platforms have a dashboard-based system which makes the visualization of goal progress intuitive and simple. Additionally, you can also converse with your employees and add events to your calendar through these tools.
4. File Storage
In any organization with a workforce over a certain threshold, file storage and data management can become tedious. With every employee generating significant amounts of data, organizations generally need to subscribe to enterprise-level storage plans so that employees do not have to store data locally.
However, multiple considerations need to be made when you are choosing a cloud storage provider. Depending on the industry you are working in, security might be a major factor in your choice. You might want to consider storing your data in local servers with security in mind.
Another major consideration could be the synchronization and automatic update of files. The servers of your cloud storage service must also be robust enough to handle multiple connections concurrently.
Dropbox has been one of the market leaders in the cloud storage domain for more than a decade. While Dropbox is also a part of the Microsoft portfolio, Microsoft also offers unlimited OneDrive storage with all of its enterprise plans.
5. Video Conferencing
The primary sector that underwent a boom as a result of remote work was video conferencing software. This software is used not just at the organizational level but also at the personal and domestic level. It is hence important that accounts for domestic and personal use be separate.
Another requirement that many companies have of video conferencing software is that the conferences must be end-to-end encrypted. Many software also places a cap on the number of attendees present concurrently, which can be a challenge when hosting large conferences. Teams might also want the capability to send text messages and media on the video conferencing software itself.
The two main software that has been used during the pandemic are Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Zoom is a standalone video conferencing software that does not have any other capabilities. On the other hand, Microsoft Teams is a comprehensive suite that includes video conferencing capabilities and storing files via SharePoint and communicating with other team members.
6. Time Tracking Software
While most companies chose to let their employees work freely from home during the pandemic and are not required to monitor their work time as long as goals are achieved. However, several industries need to report each of their employees’ exact work times. It is especially true in the case of industries where a third party is involved.
For companies that work in these industries, time tracking software can be of immense use. By utilizing this software, companies can monitor the exact amount of time that their employees work while at home.
Different software uses different methods to track the work time of employees. While some software use computer vision to track the employee’s presence through the laptop camera, others use the cursor’s movement as a metric. Among the most popular time tracking software is Time Doctor, which also equips employees with the ability to edit their tasks.
7. Password Management
While at the office, your laptop would probably connect to the office Wi-Fi network. This means that passwords are not needed to gain access to company data. However, while at home, multiple passwords have become a necessity.
Password management software encrypts user passwords and adds a new layer of security to this data. Tools such as LastPass are in use worldwide to improve the security infrastructure of companies.
Several industries have seen remote work improve their bottom line. Due to reduced office management costs, maintenance, relocations, and allied activities. As a result, these industries are likely to continue with some form of remote work even after the pandemic.
It is inevitable that the above categories of tools will only increase in usage over the coming years and will make it easier for you to manage your teams remotely. As more competitors in these domains arise, the costs associated with these tools will also see a drop, decreasing companies’ costs further.