The events of 2020 have forced a lot of business owners to rethink their business model. Some have made the challenging decision to shift to a remote work environment rather than heading back to the office. This change requires adjustments to policies and procedures that affected both the day-to-day and long-term operations.
If your business is shifting to remote work, consider investing in these must-have tools.
The term “faxing” might sound outdated, but this technology has evolved to meet the changing times. Online faxing is a must-have for remote businesses that no longer have a central office to receive paperwork, such as important contracts.
According to MetroFax fax service, you can add multiple email addresses to one central fax number to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Using online faxing will cut back on email and ensure that important documents don’t get lost in the shuffle with employees working from different locations.
Another challenge that remote teams face is the inability to stop by someone’s desk and ask questions. Many traditional office settings have started using instant messaging to streamline communication. In a remote work situation, it’s a necessity.
Invest in a work-oriented instant messaging service like Troop Messenger or Slack. Both of these instant messaging tools offer streamlined integrations with other applications and keep your team connected wherever they may be.
Face-to-face meetings create a collaborative problem-solving environment for situations that can’t be handled over email. In the current climate, having video conferencing capabilities is a must for keeping employees connected and engaged. Hosting video meetings also helps manage expectations by monitoring attendance and maintaining structure in meetings.
Zoom is a scaleable video conferencing tool that allows users to share their screen, record meetings, and moderate interactions. The pro version is affordable and convenient for small businesses with limited resources.
Cloud-Based Project Management
Having a cloud-based project management tool in place keeps everyone moving forward on the tasks that matter. These tools allow live updates, reminders, progress tracking, and accountability for all involved.
Trello is one of the simplest, most intuitive cloud-based project management systems available. The free version allows users to have shared and private project boards that are reminiscent of Post-It notes on a wall. The app lets users color-code and label tasks and projects, add checklists and due dates, and assign users to tasks.
If your business needed a push toward going paperless, there’s no time like the present. Cloud storage creates a central database of files for sharing from anywhere in the world. Dropbox and Google Drive are industry leaders in cloud storage, prioritizing safety, and convenience.
Use cloud storage to share files with your team and collaborate on live document editing. These tools ensure that everyone is working on the same version of a document without having to scroll back through seemingly endless email attachments.
Time and Productivity Trackers
Adjusting to a remote work environment is challenging for all involved. Some people struggle with staying focused while others have challenges with setting reasonable boundaries. It can also be difficult to track project timelines for billing purposes when the team is scattered.
Hubstaff is premium productivity and time management tool that empowers users to manage their own time. It has both scheduling and timesheet functionalities, as well as project budgeting, invoicing, and payroll. Hubstaff also allows advanced employee monitoring that shows the team leader when employees are actively working on the computer.
2020 has presented some unique challenges for businesses of all shapes and sizes. With the right tools in place, you can create a better work environment as you shift to a remote business model.