Remote working comes with its benefits, and it also comes with a host of challenges. Depending on factors such as childcare, office space, and other logistical considerations, remote working can become a lot more complicated than it might initially sound in fun articles on future generations.
Whether you've never done remote work before and are now working from home or if you're a seasoned pro who's looking to spice things up for themselves, this list of remote working tools should provide at least one new idea for your team to try out.
1. Digital Whiteboard: Miro
If you're on a team who loves sticky notes and whiteboard brainstorming sessions, this is the tool for you. With Miro, you don't have to give up that kind of free flowing visual collaboration with teammates while working remotely. Choose from a variety of board templates such as a mind map or customer journey map, or start from scratch and add stickies, comments, drawings, etc. Hop on a video conferencing tool like Zoom at the same time and collaborate in the moment, or use Presentation mode to share takeaways from the whiteboard session.
Team collaboration is important regardless of distance between contributors, and tools like these are a good reminder of why remote work is becoming increasingly accessible and effective.
2. Creative Collaboration: Adobe Creative Cloud for Teams
This one is largely dependent on your job and how relevant Adobe's products are to you and your team. However, with their PDF reader, Adobe Acrobat, the Creative Cloud can be useful for employees throughout the company. With a business subscription, Adobe Acrobat lets you view, share, and sign documents from anywhere, which is definitely helpful while working remotely or on the move.
Other creative apps like Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, and InDesign can be used with Creative Cloud for Teams, allowing team members to work on projects together and share assets seamlessly. Integrations with Slack, Microsoft Teams, and other apps make it even easier to share and collaborate. If your company or team uses Abode applications, consider a team Creative Cloud subscription to enhance efficiency of creative projects while working remotely.
3. Anti-Distraction Application: Self Control
This is a tool I have personally been using since high school. When you're trying to get work done but that one addictive website seems to keep opening itself on your browser, sometimes external forces are necessary.
That's the beauty of website-blocking applications like Self Control. Download the free app onto your computer and start adding sites to the "blacklist." Once you're in need of some serious focus time, turn on the app for a set amount of time to block out key distractions.
Certain sites like YouTube aren't always good choices because there's a significant amount of professional and academic content on YouTube. Others, like Reddit, are a safer bet for many. Overall, be careful with the amount of time you set Self Control to remain on. Once it's on, there's no going back until the timer ends. Even by restarting your computer or uninstalling the app.
4. Integrated Communication: Microsoft Teams
For a while, Slack seemed to be the default tool when it came to the workplace communication category. In the past year, however, Microsoft Teams has come from behind to overtake Slack in their total number of active daily users. While Slack maintains its reputation in the younger crowd, there's no doubt MSTeams has carved a place for itself in the market as well.
Some of the reasons to use Microsoft Teams include its vast library of integrations that consolidate your work tasks and its seamless integration with Office 365. If your company uses Office 365 but hasn't started using MSTeams yet, definitely do some exploring and see if it's the right fit!
5. Employee Recognition: Preciate
Research has shown that approximately 34% of employees are engaged at their jobs, while the rest report feeling disengaged or actively disengaged. For remote employees or teams that travel frequently, it can be even harder for employee engagement to thrive.
At the same time, we know that employee recognition has been shown to build stronger workplace relationships, which in turn helps with retention, engagement, performance, and more. While nothing can entirely replace gratitude expressed in person, the modern world often calls for digital solutions to keep the flow of recognition going.
That's where employee recognition software like Preciate comes in. As a Certified B Corporation, we make sure that our core purpose of building strong relationships with recognition is a reality for our users and customers. Preciate makes it easy to track recognitions given and received within your company, and reports give insight into employee engagement, team dynamics, and more.
Everyone has different challenges associated with remote work. With more and more employees working from home for periods of time, you can expect to see even more software and products come out that attend to the needs of remote employees.
As you continue to explore the world of remote working tools, think outside the box to stay ahead of the game when it comes to keeping remote workers productive and engaged.