Remote Work Guide

Remote Collaboration Tools & Software

Remote Collaboration Tools & Software

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work tools and technology were necessary for teams collaborating across multiple office locations and time zones. In 2019, roughly 4.7 million U.S. employees worked from home for at least half the week, while 62% of them worked remotely sometimes. 

However, with more organizations moving to work from home (WFH) arrangements for the foreseeable future, managers need as many remote work tools as possible to help streamline operations and stay up-to-date on fast-moving projects, campaigns, and initiatives. 

Fortunately, you'll find plenty of remote work collaboration tools and apps designed to help geographically distributed teams make the most of their teleworking situations. Some of these tools are free, while others require a monthly or annual subscription to unlock more robust features and multiple user accounts.  

Below, we're breaking down some of the best remote work tools for managers navigating the new normal of teleworking in a post-pandemic world and outlining remote collaboration tools perfect for project management

Why remote work tools are important for your distributed workforce

Work from home projects require teams to be agile, focused on team building, and available for real-time collaboration. As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce points out, equipping your team with tech and productivity tools will go a long way towards improving communication. 

Communication is not just about nailing down the details for active projects (although that is very important). It's also about celebrating achievements, providing useful feedback, and engaging with one another.

Strong evidence exists to support the use of remote team tools. For instance, GitLab has 1200 employees working remotely across 27 different countries. It's been a remote-only company since its inception in 2011 with no physical office space. They utilize team collaboration and work from home software to create a virtual workplace.

Remote work tools can be a great way to address your team's productivity needs. To successfully manage a virtual team, you'll need to make sure their remote work collaboration tools have features that can help them carry out their project management requirements. Choose multi-faceted options serving all or most of these functions to enhance productivity and work from home software adoption rates.

What are remote collaboration tools?

Remote collaboration tools are software, mobile, or online applications that let dispersed team members work together to achieve business goals.

These remote work tools help teams seamlessly communicate and collaborate wherever they are located. In a post-pandemic world, remote collaboration tools are no longer a nice-to-have. They are a critical resource for business success and continuity.

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Remote work software features to look for

If your teams are situated across offices, countries, or continents, implementing remote work tools is essential.

However, finding one that fits your company’s needs can be difficult. Check out these three tips that can help you identify a tool that works for you:

  • Research the tools your competitors are using
  • Read online user reviews of different tools
  • Ask your peers or ex-colleagues for referrals

Start with identifying the exact features your team needs and see if they match with the remote tool’s offerings. We’ve compiled a list of common remote work software features that you should look for:

  • Enable working from any place or device. Remote work software should allow team members to work from anywhere and on any device. By staying connected to the internet, teams can work together using any device.
  • Allow for managing multiple projects and programs. Most companies have multiple projects, programs, campaigns, and initiatives going on at the same time. Teams using a remote work tool will be able to manage their workloads, assign tasks to team members, and set estimated deadlines for different marketing and promotional activities.
  • Messaging for teams. Scanning multiple emails, phone calls, or text messages to piece together team responses on a topic can be time-consuming. Remote work tools with real-time messaging for internal teams are the way forward. Team members will be able to chat with their colleagues, as well as cross-functional departments, external vendors, and clients. All conversations will stay in a central location that can be easily retrieved and referred to when required.
  • Permit time tracking. Tracking remote work can be challenging. Having a time tracker built into your remote collaboration software can be helpful to monitor the time spent by an employee on a task. Apart from tracking employee productivity, this is a great feature for companies that bill clients for hours worked.
  • Cloud storage. Geographically distant teams require a reliable place to store all official documents and online files safely. Doing this helps avoid unnecessary confusion and saves time. Remote work tools with secure, cloud-based document storage allow team members to work together on the latest file versions. They can also store all files, documents, and folders in a central space.
  • Keep company data secure. Data security is the number one priority for all companies. When company data is stored in the cloud, it may be accessible to unauthorized persons. Remote work software should be robust enough to keep all company data 100% secure and safe from prying eyes.

What are virtual collaboration tools used for?

Coordinating teams can get stressful. Teams that use remote collaboration software can plan their workload, organize their tasks, and deliver projects effectively.

Virtual collaboration tools can be used to:

  • Communicate with team members in real time by chat, screen sharing, messaging, or video call
  • Manage project tasks and track time spent on work — daily, weekly, and quarterly
  • Work together on specific projects and programs
  • Access common files, folders, and documents in a central cloud location
  • Collaborate with internal teams, customers, partners, vendors, and other external stakeholders with virtual meetings and video conferencing
  • Increase business continuity by allowing team members to utilize laptops, desktop computers, smartphones, or tablets to work from anywhere

Remote tools for CRM

Satisfy your customers by implementing a highly focused customer relationship management software solution with a simple and easy-to-use customer interface. Achieve business success when you align marketing, sales, and customer service functions in a single tool.

Salesforce

Get a targeted view into client work by creating an effective cross-departmental system for customer-related projects. Integrate your Salesforce account with Wrike and seamlessly manage your clients' work.

Remote work tools for software/IT design and development

Use the following tools as remote collaboration software to maintain version control and allow teams to collaborate flawlessly.

Github

Bring remote teams together, solve problems, manage projects, and build custom software with Github's development platform. Get better collaboration and higher visibility when you integrate Wrike's tasks with Github repository issues.

Jira

Juggling multiple projects at the same time is a reality for many managers. Get a clear picture of progress and gain overall project visibility by mapping JIRA issues to Wrike tasks, sub-tasks, and projects.

Remote tools for an email service provider

Want to minimize time spent writing and responding to emails? Pick a remote collaboration tool that helps your virtual team communicate more efficiently. Share up-to-date information with a chosen email client and integrate it seamlessly with Wrike to keep your distributed teams connected.

Gmail

Increase productivity and save time when you choose Gmail. With the Wrike Gmail integration, you can effortlessly manage tasks in your inbox and capture work-related data from your inbox.

Outlook

Help your team get more done when you align your emails with project management using the Wrike integration for Outlook.

Remote work tools for messaging/chat

Communication is key for a physically distributed team. Staying in touch every day is essential, and email can quickly get clunky if you need to speak to multiple people at the same time.

Slack

The ubiquitous work chat platform helps keep teams connected. Stay on topic or catch up with teammates about the latest binge-worthy Netflix series. Slack is a must-have in your arsenal of remote work collaboration tools. The best part? Slack integrates seamlessly with Wrike, allowing you to share tasks and work collaboratively without breaking a sweat. 

Microsoft Teams

Use video calls, chat, or emails to communicate with your team the way you want to. With Microsoft Teams, you can keep your team together and translate conversations into structured work using Wrike's integration.

Remote tools for file storage

Having a cloud-based file storage application at your fingertips is invaluable for remote teams. Cloud-based remote work tools keep all the latest versions of your assets in a centralized place. No more hunting for the newest file version! Whether it's one team member working on a file or many, having a remote tool for file storage makes everyone's life easier.

MediaValet

MediaValet is another tool that integrates with Wrike. Store digital brand assets such as videos, GIFs, social media banners, and more with this easy-to-use remote work technology.

Google Drive

Google Drive is a must-have for dispersed teams. With Google docs and sheets, teams can work securely and collaboratively on files at any time and place. Wrike also integrates with Google Drive so that you can easily attach tasks and project files.

OneDrive

Looking for smooth team collaboration? Simply attach Wrike tasks to Microsoft OneDrive files, and you're done. Now everyone on the team will have access to the latest file version and can see previous changes.

Box

Use the easy file uploader integration and keep all your tasks and files together with Box and Wrike. Enjoy secure collaboration with your team on any device when you automate your workflows and increase seamless working with Box.

Wrike’s online document editing

Using online document editing, you don't need to download your files when editing them online. Once you are done, Wrike automatically auto versions the file when you save it.

Dropbox

Dropbox’s modern, cloud-based infrastructure lets you share files with your geographically distributed team members. By integrating Wrike with Dropbox, you can seamlessly sync, collaborate, and share files of any size with your remote team members.

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Remote work tools for mobile/desktop apps

As many of us are adjusting to long-term remote working, it is important to continue optimizing our processes, tools, and remote work software. What can you consolidate or add on to make life easier for everyone?

Wrike for Mac/Windows

Enhance your focus on work by removing the distraction of multiple other tabs and make goal achievement a habit with Wrike for Mac.

Wrike iOS and Android app

With Wrike’s native iOS and Android apps, you can remain productive on the go, check project status from wherever, and collaborate efficiently — even when you’re away from your desktop device.

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Remote tools for business intelligence

Data on its own doesn't mean anything. Convert it into actionable insights. Try intelligent remote work tools that allow you to visualize data in a simple and understandable format that makes decision-making more effective.

Tableau

Use the world's most popular analytics platform to analyze and interpret data for your business. When you integrate Tableau with Wrike, you get better insights into project performance and empower your team to make better, data-driven decisions for your business.

Remote work tools for information security and single sign-on

Even though information security may not be fascinating for everyone, it is essential. Since remote teams store crucial business information on phones and laptops, having powerful information security and single sign-on tools is vital.

Microsoft integrations

Use Office 365 or Azure Active Directory to log in to all your apps securely with a single account.

SAML

With SAML, you can use a single sign-on for Wrike that lets you save time and needs you to remember fewer passwords!

Google SSO

Hate remembering so many passwords? Use the Google Wrike SSO integration to sign into your account with your corporate credentials.

Okta integration

Make your cloud application logins secure by using the helpful Okta integration with Wrike. Save passwords and time with this useful identity management service.

PingFederate

Make remote team collaboration easier by integrating the federation server from PingFederate with Wrike. With PingFederate, you can use web single sign-on provisioning for employees, partners, and enterprise customers and API security for your remote teams.

Shibboleth

Use Shibboleth's open-source software and federated identity solution for web single sign-on seamlessly when you combine it with Wrike's native integration.

Create work from home success with Wrike

Virtual collaboration tools don't just get the job done. They can often be the difference between project success and failure. Use the remote work tools mentioned above to manage teams virtually and improve productivity, communication, collaboration, and work culture.

With Wrike, your teams are set up for project success. Time tracking, resource planning, shared dashboards, and reporting make it easy to hit targets and stay on track. Break down projects into smaller tasks and create workflows that optimize remote team collaboration.

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