In a world where remote working and hybrid work models have become the norm, you’ll want to use the best remote collaboration software to support your team, ensure systems and processes are robust, and avoid important work or documents disappearing down cracks or into email purgatory. There are a number of remote collaboration tools on the market – ranging from all-in-one project management tools, to virtual whiteboards, to simple task tracking systems. In this article, I’ll highlight some of the best remote collaboration software on the market that you can use to make remote working easier.
The Growth of Remote Work
With the exponential advances in technology throughout the 2000s, alongside a growing body of research that suggested working from home would benefit employee wellbeing and performance as well as organisational outcomes such as productivity, retention and business continuity, the dream of being able to work anywhere and at any time seemed within reach. However, for a number of reasons, including lack of preparedness and managerial reluctance, remote working didn’t have a big take-up. Until it did.
Enter Covid-19 and companies that could, rushed to adopt the technologies of virtual work. By October 2020, an estimated 29 per cent of the New Zealand workforce had moved from centralised work locations to full-time working from home.
For many, it was a revelation – productivity didn’t just remain the same, in some companies it went up. While not everybody enjoyed remote working (particularly younger staff), many embraced it for a work/life balance that the 9-5 office model couldn’t compete with. Since then, leaders have recognised the possibilities of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reset work using remote or hybrid models.
Remote v Working from Home v Hybrid Work Model
Remote work is often used interchangeably with working from home (WFH), but the terms don’t mean the same thing. The key distinction is that remote work can be performed from anywhere: travelling, beachside – anywhere with access to the internet.
Working from home is exactly what it says on the box but with the understanding you may still be required to attend the occasional in-person meeting, keeping you somewhat tethered to the city your company is in.
Hybrid working refers to a mix of both remote and in-person working and has become an umbrella term for flexible working arrangements. This is a popular choice for companies who believe it allows employees the best of both worlds: a level of freedom and autonomy to work remotely some days and the chance to collaborate face-to-face and attend important meetings on other days. This is what a lot of companies have shifted back to in these post(?)-Covid days. Employees may have a set number of days they need to be in the office, and the choice on other days.
Three Critical Tech Tools
Regardless of what model a company adopts, with workers able to work anywhere and at any time, leaders need to conceptualise new work arrangements and successfully implement new technologies that respond to employee preferences, enable easy coordination and collaboration, and manage tasks, projects and workflows seamlessly. Get this right, and the result will be work lives that are more purposeful and productive.
Here are three tech tools that may help your team successfully respond to whichever flexible working arrangement your company adopts.
Slack is a productivity platform built around connecting people, having everything at your fingertips and automation. Central to Slack is the use of channels: organised spaces that bring ‘everyone and everything you need together’. Using channels allows you to organise your work to enhance clarity and productivity. You can create channels for any project, topic or team, enabling flexible collaboration to plan, organise, create tasks, share information, and make decisions. Each channel also becomes an archive, centralising information in a way that is easy to find and retrieve, and allowing new members to play a quick catch-up on what they may have missed.
Slack is highly customisable with an easy-to-use interface. There is an option for anyone in a group direct message or channel to quickly invite others to join an audio or video call (a Huddle). You can schedule time to send messages, and if you have a paid account you can invite people who aren’t part of your Slack group to a direct message conversation with you.
Tallyfy is a workflow and process management platform tool that automates tasks between co-workers and with clients. Workflows, forms, tasks, processes, approvals and documents – Tallyfly lets you capture and automate even complex processes into simple, actionable, repeatable steps with ease – no coding, no flowcharts, no complexity. Assigning steps of the process to different people is quick and easy.
Approval workflows, procedures and forms can be turned into real-time trackable processes, and the ability for anyone to check workflow status at any time saves time with less emails and meetings required. The platform eliminates outdated documentation, keeping everybody on the latest version, and makes onboarding and training a breeze with streamlined blueprints.
A business process management tool that has excellent power and functionality, simplicity and transparent pricing, and the ability to integrate with existing apps, make Tallyfy a great tool for remote or hybrid workplaces.
Miro is a visual presentation platform aimed at enabling teams to connect, collaborate and co-create in one space, regardless of where they are. With a vast canvas of tools such as sticky notes and collaborative whiteboards and process mapping templates, teams can create engaging workshops, hold meetings, design products, brainstorm ideas, and organise complex projects. Boards can be shared with customers, enabling real-time collaboration and closer connections.
Miro is easy to use and intuitive. With the ability to connect with over 100 apps, Miro can help you unite workflow, increase alignment and efficiency, enable strategic planning, and communicate and collaborate with ease inside and outside of your team.
In conclusion, remote and hybrid working have become the new normal for many businesses, and it’s important to have the right tech tools to facilitate this transition. In this blog, we have explored three essential tech tools that can help make remote and hybrid working easier and more efficient. These tools can help teams stay connected, collaborate effectively, and manage projects seamlessly, regardless of their physical location. By leveraging these tech tools, businesses can ensure that their remote and hybrid workforce remains productive and engaged, and that they can continue to operate effectively in the new normal of remote and hybrid working.