by Dr. R. Kay Green
Remote businesses and telecommuting options for employees are becoming more popular. A recent study has found that 3.9 million Americans work from home for at least half the week. This includes freelance workers and small businesses as well as large corporations.
On the surface, it is easy to understand why so many professionals find remote work appealing. Remote work is not necessarily confined to a nine-to-five schedule, and can be done in the comfort of one’s own private space. In addition, working from home removes hassles such as commute and car trouble entirely.
While some employers may be concerned about the productivity of a remote employee, studies seem to indicate that remote workers can actually be more productive than workers in an office, assuming that the job is one that can be done from home effectively.
However, when building a remote workforce, there is one hurdle that needs to be addressed: team management.
Traditional business spaces offer the opportunity for quick, face-to-face interactions for questions that need immediate answers. Remote businesses, on the other hand, are reliant on emails that may go unanswered or phones that may not be picked up. These methods also aren’t great for team-wide communication, as people can easily be left off of conference calls or email chains.
In addition, remote businesses with many clients may also struggle to manage tasks where multiple people are working on the same project. It can be difficult to tell who is on what part of the task when employees are not necessarily working together at the same time.
That said, the rise in popularity for remote businesses means that more tools are being developed to serve the needs of coworkers that are not necessarily working in the same room. Here are just five of the tools that many virtual businesses use:
Asana is a popular, versatile project management program. It is often even used in traditional workspaces to manage projects across large teams, and its features make it uniquely suited to remote teams. Projects are sorted, assigned to employees. Comments can be added and files can be uploaded directly to the tasks to mark the progress.
Slack is a favorite for many remote workers when it comes to communications. Message logs are separated into channels, making it easy to focus on one conversation at a time. Files can be uploaded and discussed in real time, and there is a private message feature for when co-workers want to talk one-on-one.
Proofhub is another project management site, but with a slightly more compartmentalized layout than Asana. There are overarching “projects,” which can then be separated into lists. Tasks can be put into lists, and can be further separated into subtasks. This platform can be very effective for businesses with many clients.
Join.me is a free screen sharing and online conferencing platform. A voice chat function allows for communication when demonstrating whatever is on your screen. This can be a powerful tool for discussing projects with coworkers or presenting ideas to clients.
Zoom is a video conferencing tool that allows remote workers to meet “face to face.” Boasting quality audio and video, Zoom is a favorite among many remote workers. It allows for a more authentic team meeting feel, without having to find an in-person location that is central to where everyone is located.
These are just five of the tools that are popular among remote workers. There are several more available, and more will continue to be created. When picking the right tools for your business, it is important to consider your own unique culture and needs.
By picking the right remote teamwork tools for you, you will ensure a more productive and happy workforce.
Dr. R. Kay Green is the CEO/President of RKG Marketing Solutions Inc. With over 190,000+ Twitter followers, 35,000+ Facebook Likes, and the Top 1% LinkedIn profile designation, Dr. Kay, a self-motivated trailblazer, is the Quintessential “New-Age” Professional Woman, and PhD Marketing Pro. She earned a Doctorate of Business Administration in Marketing, and has completed PhD coursework in Leadership and Organization Change. She also holds a Master of Business Administration in Marketing and Management, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, and an Associate of Arts in Marketing Management.
She is affiliated with several prestigious universities and has instructed over 350 courses online. A popular speaker on Marketing and Business topics, Dr. Green is currently featured on Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, Black News, The Network Journal, Business Review USA, Digital Journal, College View, Business New Hampshire Magazine, Bay State Banner, Reader’s Circle, North Dallas Gazette, Harlem News, Top News Today, One News Page, NE Informer, Women in Business PR News, Consumer News Today, Women PR News, San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Daily Herald, The Miami Herald, and Book News Articles.