Wednesday, October 14, 2015

12 Productivity Tools for Remote Teams & Mobile Workers

One effective way tech companies are using to boost work productivity and reduce cost is to allow employees to work remotely. This makes a lot of sense with the proliferation of high-speed internet, mobile technology, and remote tools that allow companies and employees to communicate and work together effectively. CyberCoders, Dell and WordPress are just examples of high-tech companies that have embraced remote workers and freelancers. And they all believe it gives them distinct advantages over competitors who require employees to report to their office each day. But working remotely requires extra effort in terms of communication, project management and real-time collaboration.

Image by: Founders Grid
I list the top tools for working with remote teams. These are the top tools that you can rely on to be efficient, effective and to exceed expectations during any given workday:

1. Basecamp is a web-based project management tool developed by 37Signals and launched in 2004. It offers to-do lists, wiki-style web-based text documents, milestone management, file sharing, messaging system and time tracking. Basecamp is a place to share everything, have discussions, collaborate on works, assign tasks, stores everything securely and makes it easy for people with different roles and different responsibilities to collaborate online.

2. Campfire is a web-based chat tool that lets remote teams share files and code in real time, make a video conference calls, create chat rooms and even integrate their Basecamp data. Campfire is an instant messaging platform, exclusively designed for group communication. It's easy, simple and web-based, all you need is a web browser and internet connection.

3. Pivotal Tracker is a simple, collaborative and powerful story-based project management tool that allows software development teams to collaborate and react to feedback in real time. Its an award winning, agile project management tool that brings focused, real-time collaboration to your remote development teams. It also takes project management one step further with customer feedback and intelligent estimation features. Pivotal Tracker let's product owners know in intimate details where things are (without having to ask), and enables developers spend more time on work rather than on reporting and other stuffs.

4. Trello is a free web-based project management application launched by Fog Creek Software in 2011, it lets you see everything about your project in a single glance and make sure you're organized. Whether you're managing a remote teams or a team of freelancers, or just making a short list of work to get done, Trello makes sure you get it all.

5. iDoneThis (IDT) is an email-based productivity log that allows users to tracks productivity with daily email reminder. A daily email lands in your inbox each morning, telling you what your team got done, and allowing you to record accomplishments. With iDoneThis, you can ensure transparency on everything that's getting done in the company. The achievement tracking is great for staying in touch with your remote teams. Some of the tech world's best companies like Reddit, Heroku and Uber use iDoneThis to keep everyone in sync in progress.

6. Buffer is a software application designed to manage social networks, it helps you manage multiple social media accounts at once. Buffer is the easiest way to manage social media on-the-go, by providing the means for a user to schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. With Buffer, we can plan our social media posts in advance so they always publish at just the right time no matter where we are. Buffer lets you schedule your updates to post at optimal times, whether you're around or not.

7. Yammer is a private enterprise social networking service that was launched in 2008 and sold to Microsoft in 2012. Think of its as a cross between Facebook and Twitter that's specifically designed for private communication within business or organization. Yammer is a great example of enterprise social software that can helps you and your remote team collaborate openly and stay on top of it all. With Yammer, you can connect to the right people in your company, share and collaborate with your team, and connect with customers and business partners.

8. Google Docs, Sheets and Slides are a free, web-based word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation application.The web-based app allows users to easily create, edit and share documents and collaboratively work on them in real-time. Google Docs are compatible with Microsoft Office file formats. Google Docs, Sheets and Slides are available as web applications, as Chrome apps that work offline, and as mobile apps for Android and iOS mobile platforms.

9. Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service provided by Google, it enables user cloud storage, file sharing and collaborative editing. It also the home of Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, a web-based office suite of productivity applications, that offer collaborative editing on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, forms, tables and many more. Google Drive is one of the tech world's most popular ways to manage your files, whether you want to keep your files, photos and documents in one place or share files with your remote team, this is the ultimate file storage solution.

10. Calliflower is an online conference calling and sharing service that allows multiple users to dial into conference bridge, and to conduct online meetings, upload, share files from remote locations. Developed by Lotum Inc. and launched in early 2008, Calliflower is an audio conferencing service that provides text chat, document sharing, white-boarding and dashboard features to deliver a collaboration space on mobile and web. It schedules conferences based on user's availability, when it's time for the conference call, Calliflower sends SMS and email to tell all participants to dial into the call bridge.

11. Skype is a telecommunication application software that specializes in providing video chat and voice calls from computers, tablets and smartphones. It supports conference calls, video chats and screen sharing between 25 people at a time for free, and keeps you connected with the entire remote teams for free. Skype is available to download onto computers/laptops running Windows, Mac or Linux OS, as well as Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Windows powered tablets and smartphones. The service is free but users require Skype Credit or subscription to call landline numbers or mobile phone numbers.

12. TeamViewer is an intuitive, fast and secure application for remote control and meeting functions. TeamViewer offers one of the world's leading solutions for desktop sharing and online collaboration tools, it uses state-of-the-art high performance global server network that routes connections based on geolocalization technology. TeamViewer can be used to organize online training sessions, and conduct online meetings and presentations. You can also use TeamViewer to remotely control unattended computers or servers, and even access computers behind firewalls and proxy servers.