4 Essential Tools and Tips for Managing Remote Teams

Last Updated: 

December 14, 2023

As the Coronavirus pandemic wears on, many global companies are encouraging their employees to keep working remotely. When adopting a work-from-home policy, focus on your remote team management and communication. The goal is to streamline virtual onboarding processes, boost your remote team’s collaboration, promote team building, and grow unique company culture. Above all, you want to maximise employees’ satisfaction and retain them.

Here are four tools to help you manage a remote team.

Key Takeaways on Tools for Managing Remote Teams:

  1. Use Project Management Tools: To streamline communications and enhance transparency in remote teams, consider using project management tools like Basecamp, Trello, or Wrike. These tools offer features such as task assignment, deadline setting, and real-time communication, facilitating smoother project management.
  2. Leverage Cloud Technology: Cloud computing allows for centralised data storage, enabling team members to access necessary data in real-time, irrespective of their location. It also offers robust security features, including end-to-end encryption and advanced firewalls, ensuring data protection.
  3. Invest in Team Collaboration Tools: Enhance team bonding and collaboration through tools facilitating instant messaging, video conferencing, and VoIP software. These tools can be used creatively to foster a collaborative environment, including hosting Q&A sessions, running live polls, and encouraging virtual coffee breaks.
  4. Video Conferencing Tools: Tools like Microsoft Teams offer a range of communication features, including video meetings, screen sharing, and real-time file sharing, making remote working more pleasant and efficient.
  5. Instant Messaging Tools: Platforms like Slack allow for organised and real-time communication among team members, facilitating file transfers, screen sharing, and integration with other business tools, thereby streamlining conversations.
  6. Employee Recognition Tools: Foster a positive work environment by setting clear rules and expectations for remote team members. Use employee recognition tools like HeyTaco to show appreciation and praise, enhancing morale and building stronger relationships.

By adopting these tools and strategies, businesses can effectively manage remote teams, improving communication and nurturing a recognisable company culture, which has become increasingly important in the "new normal" post the COVID-19 pandemic.

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1. Manage Employees Effectively with Project Management Tools

When your employees are working remotely, it may be difficult to assign tasks via email and keep track of projects via spreadsheets. To grow the transparency of your projects and streamline employee communications, consider investing in a project management tool, such as Basecamp, Trello, or Wrike. With these tools, you can smoothly shift from chaotic email inboxes to visually appealing and decluttered dashboards.

Basecamp, for example, allows you to split your work into projects. You can add people to each project, where they will be able to create new to-do lists, assign tasks, set deadlines, and share ideas on the message board. There is also a shared calendar that lets your remote team stay on top of important events and tasks. Most importantly, Basecamp allows your remote employees to share files and communicate in real-time.

2. Boost Employee Performance with Cloud Technology

Cloud computing has become the nerve center of the modern business ecosystem. According to recent statistics, 59% of respondents said their organisations would migrate fully to the cloud within 18 months. Today, 32% of these companies’ budgets are already being spent on cloud computing.

Cloud technologies are particularly important to remote teams. They increase the mobility of your organisation. Namely, you will keep your business data in a central location, allowing your employees to access the desired data in real-time. All departments and team members can collaborate and work on key business processes from a single location, irrespective of their time zone.

Most importantly, cloud storage is safe. Reliable enterprise cloud vendors provide sophisticated data security features, such as end-to-end encryption, regular backups, and advanced firewalls to keep your data protected and inaccessible to cybercriminals.

3. Ensure Timely Collaboration with Team Collaboration Tools

One of the major problems remote teams face is the lack of adequate employee bonding. To increase your remote staff’s communication and collaboration, you need to invest in the right team collaboration tools, such as instant messaging tools, video conference tools, VoIP software, and so forth. These tools allow you to communicate more effectively, schedule 1-on-1 meetings, and host quality video conferences.

Use team collaboration tools creatively. For example, you could make ideating remote-friendly. Run live polls, host Q&A sessions, and organise live whiteboarding to provide remote employees with immersive workplace experiences. You could also promote stronger team-building events. For example, encourage remote staff to take virtual coffee breaks together or discuss various non-work topics after business hours.

Video Conferencing Tools

Many remote teams use Skype for Business to communicate. However, keep in mind that Microsoft decided to kill off Skype for Business on July 31, 2021. For many organisations, making a shift from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams is a logical option.

This amazing tool provides a wide range of team communication features, including instant messaging, voice calls, video meetings, screen sharing, and real-time file sharing. It also uses AI to make video conferencing more pleasant for employees working from the comfort of their homes. For example, they can blur or change backgrounds while talking.

Instant Messaging Tools

Instant messaging tools eliminate geographical gaps by allowing your teams to communicate in real-time. For example, with Slack, you can organise employee communication per team, project, or client. Remote employees can create new channels or join existing ones. They can use the tool to securely transfer files in real-time, share screens, and even make calls. Slack integrates with other business tools you use, allowing you to boost communication transparency and streamline employees’ conversations.

4. Employee Recognition Tools

When managing a remote team, it is important to set clear rules for everyone. They should know when you want them to check in, when they should be available, which types of tasks to prioritise, when to ask for days off, and so forth. Set clear expectations to help them perform as expected. Above all, send regular performance feedback and reward your employees to enhance their morale.

That is why you should equip your HR team with an employee recognition tool. Instead of traditional time trackers and employee monitoring tools that are perceived as intrusive, employee recognition tools deliver value to employees and enhance their satisfaction. For example, HeyTaco helps you build stronger relationships by showing praise and appreciation. It is a great way for employees to have fun, recognise each other, and celebrate success.

Ready to Give your Remote Team a Boost?

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work is no longer optional. It is a necessity for companies and our “new normal.” Before you start building a remote team, you need to invest in the right tools that will help you manage your employees easier, improve communication, and nurture recognisable company culture.

How do you manage a remote team? Let us know!

Image provided by Pexels via Canva

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