In today’s work environment, remote work heavily relies on technology. Throughout history, this has been evident in various ways, from the use of roads and messengers during the Roman Empire to the modern-day instant-messaging and videoconferencing apps that allow remote coworkers to feel like they are in the same room.
Although these tools are now more accessible and affordable than ever before, it is important to note that not all of them are equally effective. This blog post will focus on identifying the most useful technology for remote work and providing guidance on how to use it effectively. Whether you are assuming leadership of a remote team or seeking to standardize collaboration, the tools discussed here will help you lead your team successfully.
To effectively collaborate with your team, it’s important to establish a dedicated home base for communication and project management, rather than relying on your email inbox. A reliable project management tool should enable you to assign and track tasks, establish schedules and timelines, share files, facilitate discussions, and make decisions seamlessly.
Ideally, the tool you choose should be easily accessible on both desktop and mobile devices, catering to the varied preferences of your team members. If you’re in search of such a tool, consider checking out project management services such as Basecamp, Monday, and Trello, which can help streamline your team’s collaboration efforts and enhance productivity.
Most project management tools offer the functionality to share files, but not all of them allow for real-time collaboration. So it may be necessary to use a separate tool to centralize company and team files, ensuring that everyone has access to the most updated versions.
This tool should also maintain a revision history of the files, as accidental deletion of important files is not uncommon. Consider leveraging cloud-based file-sharing services such as Dropbox and Google Drive, which not only provide an easy way to store and share files but also offer collaborative features like commenting and simultaneous editing. With these services, your team can work together seamlessly on shared files, while ensuring that all revisions are tracked and recoverable.
Collaboration is easy with Google Drive
Google Drive is a cloud-based file storage and sharing platform that offers several benefits. One advantage is the ease and security of file sharing. Different levels of access can be set for various users, making it easy to collaborate or share files with others.
It also offers a large storage capacity, including 15GB of free storage for individual users, with paid plans available for additional space. Google Drive integrates well with other Google services like Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides, making it easy to create and edit documents within the platform.
Effective time management is crucial, especially when working with a remote team. It’s essential to have a shared calendar to not only schedule meetings but also to safeguard your time and communicate your availability to your teammates.
Although some older calendar tools offer sharing features, they may also allow others to schedule events on your behalf, which can be inconvenient and counterproductive. Instead, it’s recommended to use a shared calendar tool that defaults to sending invitations, or even allows you to find a time that works for all team members from a set of predetermined open hours.
Consider using Google Calendar, which not only enables you to create and share events easily but also offers features like automatic time zone adjustment and integration with other Google services like Gmail and Meet. With Google Calendar, you can optimize your team’s time management and ensure everyone is on the same page.
When it comes to conference calls, it’s recommended to switch from audio to video when there are more than one or two people involved. Video calls provide added visual cues, making it easier to communicate and minimizing interruptions. For consistency, it’s best to use the same tool for both small group video calls and larger all-hands meetings.
Google Meet is a great option for this, as it allows for hosting breakout rooms where smaller discussions can take place during team meetings or brainstorming sessions. This feature eliminates the need for people to jump on and off different calls, improving productivity and collaboration.
Signing documents remotely
Gone are the days of sending out uneditable PDF documents and asking for signatures via scanning, emailing, or even faxing. This cumbersome process can be avoided with the help of electronic signature services that offer secure and efficient document management.
One such service is DocuSign, which allows for the electronic signing of documents and offers features like automatic reminders and real-time tracking. With DocuSign, documents can be signed and sent back in a matter of minutes, simplifying the entire process and saving time and resources.