Given the rising cost of renting office space in major cities, remote collaboration is a strategy that makes perfect sense. For example, a company like Youth Noise employs 100 workers with 85 of those working remotely can now afford to work normally while only renting floor space for 15 employees! On the part of employees, there are also several potential benefits to look forward to. For example, remote collaboration means less traveling and more time to complete the job. So, it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
If you’re a fan, below are some of the best tools you can currently use for online collaboration. You’ll realize that the list comprises only free or low-cost, but still very effective tools. This is because with so many options to pick from, remote collaboration shouldn’t be expensive.
So, here is the list;
- World clock ($4.99)
World Clock is a simple tool that allows you to add all the time zones you care about to a dashboard and then shows them on a map to help you better visualize time difference. This will make it easy to schedule meetings across time zones without inconveniencing other team members.
- Slack ($5/month)
Slack isn’t really new in the market but there is no denying that it’s one of the best out there. With this app, you don’t need to send emails to each other. Simply add everyone in the team to a group and share everything within the app. You can also integrate Slack with other apps such as Hangouts.
- Squiggle ($9/user/month)
It’s a funny name for an app, yes, but the idea behind Squiggle can’t be questioned. This online tool automatically takes a snap via each member’s webcam at a preset interval. This way, it’s easy to know who is online and what they are doing. One member can quickly initiate a video chat by clicking on another member’s face.
- Trello ($5/user/month)
A very classy app, Trello is designed to help with organizing team milestones. The app allows you to assign each team member a task card. When they are through with the assigned tasks, members need to return their cards. As the cards are returned, Trello will organize them so that you can know how the entire project is progressing.
- Cloud9 ($19/month)
If you have programmers in your team, then Cloud9 is a must. The way it is designed, Cloud9 allows members to code collaboratively on the same project. But it doesn’t end there. With Cloud9, members don’t have to work from a single, physical workstation. As long as they have the app, they can work from any machine, anywhere around the world.
- Dropbox (Free)
There are few online tools that can beat Dropbox when it comes to sharing photos, documents, and most other digital files. Simply create a shared folder and ask your team members to drop everything in there so that everyone else in the team can access it.
- Meldium ($24/month)
Finally, as with every organization, you may want to control access to critical data by password-protecting some files. Meldium is designed just for this. Using this online tool, members don’t even need a password. Instead, the team manager will assign each member a sign-on so they can log into their accounts with a single click.
Other than these seven apps, a remote team manager is also advised to obtain employee tracking software to help them better manage employee time. An online tool such as ClockSpot, for example, will allow you to monitor nearly every step the employee makes. You can later on generate customized reports to determine the productivity of each employee.