Before COVID-19, an estimated 20 million Americans worked remotely from home. By 2025, experts expect that number to increase to 36.2 million. As that number grows, the more vital collaboration tools become.
If you work remotely as part of a team, you’re probably using some sort of collaboration tool already.
But are you using the best one?
Whether you’re a team leader, a project manager, or a business owner, here are the top remote collaboration tools to help you run your team from a distance.
Sometimes, you have to see your team face to face. And there’s no question that Zoom is one of the easiest (and most popular) ways to do so.
Zoom is essentially the go-to platform for video conferencing, in part because it’s so easy to use. With a simple click of a link, you can join up to 1,000 people in a call.
You also don’t need an account to join a meeting. In fact, you only need an account if you plan to create events and invite others to join you.
The basic Zoom package is free to use but limits group meetings to 100 participants for 40 minutes. Companies that want to invite more clients, host more extended events, or enjoy more options can buy a membership plan for $19.99 per month.
The bigger your team or the more individual tasks you need to track, the more useful Asana is. This collaboration tool is a complete management platform.
With Asana, you can assign individual tasks, set deadlines, and maintain a chat thread for each task. Regardless of the project, it allows different team members to access all relevant information at any given time.
Asana also lets you create to-do lists, set reminders, and track all aspects of your work. It also offers a video call feature and integrates with other apps, including MailChimp, Zendesk, and Microsoft Teams.
A basic Asana subscription is free and allows you to collaborate with up to 15 teammates. Larger groups can subscribe to the Premium package for $10.99 per month or the Business package for $24.99 per month.
If you have some team members that aren’t that tech-savvy, Basecamp is one of the most accessible collaboration tools to learn and use.
Basecamp is a complete project management system. You can create and assign tasks, invite specific people to work on specific projects, create to-do lists, and schedule events. You can also share documents and files.
It’s ideal for both managers leading multiple projects and individual workers focusing on specific tasks.
The Basecamp Business package costs $99 per month and lets you add unlimited users and unlimited projects. Unlike most other collaboration tools, you don't have to pay per member.
If your team members work remotely, Trello is a valuable project management tool that most users can quickly learn.
Each task gets a different “card,” and when you finish your task, you simply pass your “card” onto the next team member who has to do the next step of the project. It’s as simple as can be.
One of the reasons why Trello continues to be a top remote collaboration tool is that it’s one of the most affordable to use. The highest membership level, called the Enterprise plan, costs just $17.50 per month per user.
Monday.com is one of the newer remote collaboration tools on the market, but it’s proving to be one of the best.
It’s a complete project management solution with existing templates that you can use to create and set up all aspects of your workload. This easy set-up feature makes it a favorite for project managers handling remote teams, big or small.
Monday.com integrates with Google Drive, Gmail, Dropbox, and other apps. It also allows you to manage HR, new hires, marketing, and business operations all in one platform.
Their $48 per month Pro plan gives you unlimited users, documents, board administrators, time tracking, and more.
For teams that share lots of files, Dropbox is a must. With Dropbox, you can save all types of files, videos, and images to the cloud and share them with anyone simply by granting access to files and folders.
As soon as you save or upload a file to Dropbox, it’s instantly visible to anyone and everyone you’ve given sharing permission. This makes it ideal for large teams, including those that work in different time zones.
A basic Dropbox account is free but only offers 2GB of space. Upgrade to a personal plan for $9.99 per month to enjoy 2TB of storage or upgrade to a business plan with unlimited cloud storage for $20 per month.
With file sharing and real-time chat options, Chanty makes it easy to work from a distance yet talk to co-workers as if they were sitting beside you.
But that’s not even the best part.
The best part about Chanty is that it’s intuitive. You won’t even have to conduct a webinar to teach your team how to use it — the program walks new users through it, so you learn it as you go.
Chanty allows you to organize tasks, share screens, and have real-time conversations. Developers love it for the fact that you can share code snippets directly in a team chat.
The Chanty business plan starts at just $3 per user per month. But you might not even need that. If you have a small team with less than ten people, the free plan offers almost all the features as a paid subscription.
There are lots of remote collaboration tools on the market, many of which offer similar features.
Not sure which one to choose? Start with a free trial initially so you can get a feel for the platform before subscribing.
Testing out multiple platforms at the same time will only make it easier to decide which one is right for you, for your business, and your remote team.
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with The Kiley to help them with their online marketing.