123 Reg logo Blog

Five tools for your remote team to stay productive and connected

By Will Stevens - April 1, 2020

On average, how many emails do you exchange with your remote team a week? And how much does it usually take you to brief everyone on new projects or goals you want to achieve, or to get status updates?

If the average is more than a few minutes, then you should consider using some collaboration tools to help keep your team connected and maximise progress, regardless of where you choose to live or work from.

Don’t know which tools to use? We’ve got you covered with five collaboration and productivity tools that can transform the way your remote team get things done together.

1. Office 365 for increased productivity

If you use just one productivity tool for your remote team, make sure it’s Office 365. Why? Because it offers so much in one product to help your team members achieve more together, no matter how much time or distance might separate you.

Office 365 provides you and your team members with all the tools you need to get things done – from the usual office tools such as Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint to Skype for messaging and video conferencing, and OneDrive for storing all your important documents digitally. In other words, Office 365 has pretty much everything you’ll need to make your business and team more productive.

Find out more about Office 365 and how it can help to simplify otherwise mundane and intricate tasks. Also read expert tips on how to get the most out of Office 365 and learn how it can help make your small business more productive.

2. Calendly for scheduling meetings

How many emails do you exchange on average just to decide on the best time to have a single meeting? Checking calendars and availability, emailing back and forth – that all takes time, precious time you could be spending on providing support to customers or writing a valuable blog post for your target audience.

Calendly is a tool you can use to easily schedule meetings and calls with your team, without having to sends lots of emails and waste time deciding on the best time for everyone to get together.

All you need to do is to email your custom scheduling link to your team members. They’ll be able to see your availability and simply select a time and date that works best for them. Once they confirm, the meeting is then added to your calendar and theirs. Since the tool connects with up to six calendars, including Google, Outlook, Office 365 or iCloud calendars, you’ll never double booked.

Calendly also automatically detects the person’s time zone so you’ll no longer need to use time zone converters or other tools to figure out what time is PST or EST.

Here’s how it looks:

Doodle and worldtimebuddy are two alternative tools you can use for scheduling meetings with your team.

3. Slack for communication

Slack is a communication tool described as “a single place for messaging, tools and files”. There are two ways to chat on Slack: channels (group chat) and direct message or DM (person-to-person chat).

When you chat with your team members, you can do lots of things in the chat window, from replying to messages to sharing files, scheduling meetings, setting reminders, and various other bells and whistles.

Here’s how it looks:

If Slack seems too complicated, you can always go with simpler, more popular communication tools like Skype or Zoom.

4. Trello for managing your projects

We’ve recommended Trello for project management lots of times on our blog, and there’s a good reason for that – because it’s a fantastic tool.

We’re using it at 123 Reg as well and it’s one of our go-to tools to make sure we’re organised and can easily keep track of everything we need to do to deliver awesome, in-depth content and knowledge to our readers who are looking to get started or to grow their business online.

So, what is Trello? It’s a project management and collaboration tool that uses boards, lists and cards to help you organise and prioritise tasks, projects and goals.

This is an example of how it looks:

It’s no wonder that it’s so popular considering it makes it so easy to get organised and be productive. Thanks to its visually appealing and simple user interface, you can quickly see what needs to get done, who’s in charge of what, which tasks take priority and which have been completed.

Here’s how it works: each card you create on a Trello board represents a task or an assignment. You can add team members, comments, attachments, checklists, due dates and labels. Whenever you make a change to a card, Trello notifies the members who are part of it via email and on mobile devices, provided they have the app installed.

Here’s where you can see Trello in action and get tips and advice on how to make the most of it.

Other project management apps you can try are Asana, Basecamp and Monday.

5. TeamViewer for remote support

Imagine you’ve just hired a new team member and you want to show them how your product works. While there’s the option to create a video tutorial for them, that takes time. A better, less time-consuming option is to use TeamViewer.

This is a remote desktop app that lets you connect to another user’s desktop. The tool supports video conferencing, group calls and desktop sharing, making it a great tool for remote teams.

TeamViewer is easy to use. All you need to do is to install it and share your ID and password with one or multiple team members. A window will then open where you’ll be able to see the person’s system and control it as if it were your own. That’s called remote connection and it can come in handy in many situations.

Check out this complete guide to using TeamViewer to learn more about how you can use it with your remote team.

Wrapping up

Working on a remote team can be challenging. Fortunately, with the right productivity and collaboration tools, you can make it easier for your team to stay connected, work better and achieve more together.