Within the span of several months, remote working has shifted from being an option to becoming a necessity. Any business that wanted to survive the pandemic quickly implemented work from home setups, often with minimal planning.
While many remote workers have been able to do their jobs thus far, workflows are still far from perfect. Collaborating with peers, in particular, has been quite a challenge for multilocational workforces. Thankfully, teams can turn to various technologies to support their remote collaboration needs. Even if different teams have varying needs, any remote team should have the following core collaboration apps in their arsenal.
1. Team communication app
Examples: Slack, Microsoft Teams
Team communication apps allow squads to communicate with each other in real-time via chat or call. Replies also tend to be quicker when sent via these apps than by email, so use these platforms to discuss more urgent matters or to maintain a solid flow of conversation with your peers.
You can also use team communication apps to broadcast announcements, follow up on tasks, or have a virtual water-cooler chat. You can even create channels for specific projects, teams, or topics for easy organization and documentation.
2. Video conferencing app
Examples: Zoom, Google Meet, Skype
Video conferencing is the next best thing to face-to-face communication in a remote work setup. Teams need this tool for meetings where it’s necessary to see another person’s screen, or for when it’s important to be able to see the nuances of another person’s body language, such as during coaching sessions. Seeing your colleagues’ faces also alleviates feelings of isolation and detachment, and helps maintain company culture.
3. Cloud storage app
Examples: Google Drive, Dropbox, private clouds
Remote teams need a single place where they can store, access, and manage data, and the cloud provides just that. You can choose among private, public, or hybrid cloud solutions: each option has its own pros and cons, and what cloud model you choose will ultimately depend on your needs and resources.
At Midwest Data Center, for instance, we offer easy-to-implement private cloud solutions. We store your data on our top-class servers, and we even create multiple backups of every file so you can retrieve specific versions if needed. And because it is a private cloud, you can customize your package and tailor fit our services to meet your exact needs. Our cloud services are also easily scalable, so you can expand your technology as necessary.
Whatever you choose, having a cloud storage app will not only facilitate better collaboration, but will also reduce costs related to hardware, IT maintenance manpower, and electricity.
4. File collaboration app
Examples: Microsoft Office Online, Google Workspace, Confluence
There are may be situations requiring team members to access and work on a file simultaneously, such as when entering separate data into one spreadsheet. File collaboration apps let colleagues do so.
Without apps like Microsoft Office Online and Google Suite that allow simultaneous access, workflows will be a lot less efficient. There will be bottlenecks and longer waiting times, as employees will not be able to access a file if another person is using it.
5. Time tracking app
Examples: Clockify, HiveDesk, Toggl
Being able to monitor your team's daily tasks is essential to ensuring that deadlines are met. However, it can be a challenge when teammates don’t work in the same space. Time tracking apps can solve monitoring concerns by letting you track work hours, productivity, and attendance.
With just a simple timer, users can time the hours they worked, categorize the time they spent on each project, or mark their time as billable. This allows project managers to see who worked on which projects and for how long, and helps them in deciding whether they should adjust timelines or not. What’s more, time tracking apps present time breakdowns in easily understandable visual graphs that can be exported as PDF, CSV, and Excel files.
There are a lot of challenges to remote working, but with the right technology partner, your team can overcome them. Midwest Data Center offers customizable and scalable IT solutions for your business — all for a flat monthly fee. Enjoy a more secure, more efficient remote work setup. Contact us today.