There is no doubt that after the outbreak of Covid-19, the ways we collaborate and communicate have changed. The future looks very different as companies shift toward remote or hybrid working models. Managing employees in these circumstances can be challenging, as finding the right tools to make workflow seamless is difficult. One tool that fits one business may not fit the other.
However, to help you decide, we have compiled some popular tools, can time management, project management, communication, and collaboration. These essential tools can help streamline and automate workflow for hybrid or remote employees.
Nine Useful Tools to Support Remote and Hybrid Work Models
Microsoft 365 (Productivity):
Microsoft 365 is a complete and dynamic solution that combines Office 365, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), and Cloud Security Suites (CSS) into one cohesive offering tailored to meet the requirements of individuals and organizations of all sizes. The apps in Microsoft 365 ensure productivity and are backed by cloud services and advanced security to protect data.
Organizations of all sizes can utilize Microsoft 365 to streamline their remote and hybrid work model. Individual and large enterprises with thousands of employees spread across the globe can leverage the tool to manage their work process, deadlines, and more.
Moreover, Office 365 facilitates integrated collaboration. Companies can leverage this feature for remote team collaboration using Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Teams, and SharePoint.
Office 365 comes with unlimited OneDrive storage and increased storage limits on the Enterprise and Business tiers of Microsoft 365.
Slack is one of the communication tools available in both Mobile and Desktop versions. The user-friendly interface enables easy communication over chats, sending files, and even making audio and video calls to team members. You can search specific discussions and set up custom channels for private communication within teams and departments. Using the custom channel feature, you can create separate groups of people who work on different projects.
Slack can be integrated with many apps, such as Dropbox, G-Suite, Adobe Creative Cloud, and others.
Zoom is one of the most commonly used tools for video conferencing that integrates with Google Calendar. With this tool, you can set up one-to-one and group meetings. It also has a chat, file sharing, screen sharing, and video recording option. Once sessions are recorded, you can share them with others if required.
With a free plan, you can conduct a 40-minute meeting in one go. But once you upgrade to its premium version, you get access to various other features, for instance, Zoom Webinar and more.
Google Meet (Communication):
Google Meet makes meetings smooth and simple between remote employees and companies. It is easy to use and is integrated with third-party apps such as Microsoft Office. You can schedule appointments by the calendar; join and share meetings using Google Chat and Gmail. Some benefits of using Google Meet are:
- Simple and user-friendly interface
- Join with only one click from any device
- Connect and share whatever you want
- Excellent video and audio quality
- Secure and private
With a Google account, anyone can initiate a video meeting and invite 100 participants for 60 minutes at no cost.
Dropbox (Online Storage):
Dropbox is a commonly used tool for organizing and saving photos, documents, and other file types. It is a cloud-based tool that allows users to share files with others if required. Dropbox is compatible with all handheld devices as well as desktops.
It also saves you time searching for specific documents, pictures, or other files. Another great feature of Dropbox is that it has 2-step verification to ensure your data is safe.
You get 2GB cloud storage in the free version, but if you need more storage space for free, referring the tool to others can help. Besides, the paid version of Dropbox offers 3TB of secure storage, which can be increased per your paid plan.
Basecamp (Project Management):
Basecamp is one of the easy-to-use tools for managing projects. The tool enables managing multiple projects simultaneously while keeping track of deadlines, to-do lists, and priority tasks. Basecamp features group chats, automated check-ins, and message boards to keep the team connected and updated.
Asana (Project/Task Management):
Asana is another project management tool that can prove effective for remote and hybrid work models. It can be integrated with 200+ apps and software, including Google Drive, Slack, Miro, Loom, Toggle, and Twist. With Asana, you can easily track all the to-do tasks and streamline work processes. It also helps keep track of everyone’s tasks, enabling managers to assess each team member’s workload.
You can use the free version of Asana for up to 15 team members.
Unito (Workflow Optimization):
Unito is another helpful tool that can support remote and hybrid work models. It’s a workflow automation tool featuring real-time two-way syncing for calendar events, tasks, contact information, spreadsheets, and many other apps and project management tools you use.
The free version of Unito is available for 14 days; after that, you can choose a paid plan to continue using it.
Benefits of Remote and Hybrid Work
The benefits of remote and hybrid work are numerous. First and foremost, both work models are cost-effective. Businesses can save on office space rent and utility costs.
A study by Gallup found that “a majority of full-time remote workers are highly satisfied with their work-life balance.”
Companies implementing remote and hybrid models can attract top talent from across the globe since many people prefer working remotely.
There are many tools available that can help companies accelerate productivity and communication in remote and hybrid working models. Some tools may take time to sync with your company’s remote or hybrid work model, as employees will have to get familiar with its functions and features. Still, each tool has unique benefits that facilitate communication, collaboration, time management, and task handling.