9 of the Best Digital Tools for Remote Collaboration
Many digital tools exist that can improve your company’s productivity and streamline its information gathering. From automating daily tasks and generating leads to facilitating team bonding, if your distributed business has a problem, there’s a digital tool that will solve it.
While this list is by no means exhaustive, here are some of the best internal communication tools we know of:
Collaboration and Productivity Tools
Your company’s productivity is only as good as the tools in its toolbox. Fortunately, many of these tools are plugins that integrate with ubiquitous platforms like Slack, and others are online workspaces of their own. Our favorites include:
One of the caveats of working remotely is that collaboration can be challenging. It’s difficult to bounce ideas around when people aren’t in the same room or don’t know when to speak during a conference call. Thankfully, Conceptboard provides a workspace for visual collaboration. Map, draw, plan, and outline anything you need — Conceptboard can help your entire team keep track of its ideas and build upon them.
Is Slack not the best fit for you? Then Sococo, an online workplace built for distributed teams, is worth considering.
Sococo is more visual than Slack. You can see a cartoon representation of your online office, complete with a conference room, breakout rooms, a kitchen, and more. Each of your employees’ or colleagues’ avatars appear in the workspace, so if someone is in the kitchen, you know they’re at lunch; if someone’s in the conference room, you know they’re on a call.
Coding is an ideal job for working remotely — which isn’t news to coders! Coders can get their work done anytime, anywhere, but that doesn’t mean collaborating remotely with others is always easy.
CodeStream is a collaboration tool built for teams of remote developers. Users can share pieces of code, resolve issues swiftly, and take advantage of asynchronous communication to make their projects better.
You might think digital signage is unique to office spaces, but you can bring it to remote work environments as well through Enplug’s ScreenSaver feature.
In traditional settings, digital signage (such as on TV screens) is used to communicate information en masse in a way that doesn’t overwhelm employee’s email inboxes. The Enplug ScreenSaver enables you to do something similar even when your employees are remote. If your employees’ devices are connected to the Internet, you can customize their screensavers and show them important notices, updates, and data, so you don’t have to worry about messaging everyone directly.
Team Bonding and Employee Management
Businesses are made of people. Their success is not only dependent on their talent, but on how well everyone works together. Fostering workplace friendships is a hurdle many distributed organizations face, but there are digital tools to help with this as well.
If you and your coworkers are missing office banter, then Icebreaker can help everyone connect on a personal level. Plan a gathering, select topics of conversation, send invites, play games, and engage in other activities that encourage team building. You and your colleagues are a stronger team when you all know how the others think.
Are you looking for a way to disrupt the loneliness of remote work on a daily basis? Then Hallway is a Slack plugin that can hold your team accountable for socializing. Hallway schedules breaks for you and your coworkers so you can chat for a few minutes at a time, just like you would in a break room. Social interaction is essential for mental health, so don’t let too long go by without speaking to someone else!
Polly is another digital tool for remote teams that enables conversation and gaming.
It does much more, though: Polly integrates into your work processes and gathers insights on internal communications and procedures. Are you worried that your organisation’s environment is not engaging enough? Polly is an excellent tool for building a company culture that people actually want to be a part of because you can learn what works and what doesn’t.
Other Helpful Digital Tools
Some other useful digital tools that optimize remote work include:
If you’ve ever been afraid to ask a higher-up a question, or you are an executive and want your employees to feel they can approach you freely, then Jellyfish can help you streamline that kind of communication. Jellyfish enables users to ask executives questions (anonymously, too) and vice versa, so no one is left confused or in the dark.
One of the best things about remote teams is that anyone around the world can participate. This dramatically widens the talent pool and opens the door to all sorts of new ideas. However, it’s also one of the most frustrating because of all those time zones! If you have a coworker in Japan and you live in the U.S., or you’re consistently traveling, then is the meeting you have scheduled for your 3 p.m., or theirs? What does GTC + 6 even mean? World Time Buddy is a widget that can help you convert time zones, so no one misses a thing (or wakes anyone up).