Zoom and Google Hangouts have registered double-digit growth in downloads since lockdown was imposed in many parts of the world. There is greater awareness about remote collaboration tools among office workers, thanks to online courses, and businesses are tweaking their workflows to allow greater flexibility in their employees’ work schedules. This trend of remote collaboration is clearly here to stay. A study by Flexjobs and Global Workplace Analytics showed a 91% growth in remote work opportunities in the last 10 years.
For e-commerce businesses, work from home is a great way to cut down on fixed costs like rent and boost employee retention. Employees, on the other hand, value the ability to work from home as they have greater control over their professional and personal lives. As the name suggests, remote collaboration tools are web-based platforms that allow team members working from their homes or other locations to seamlessly communicate and collaborate with each other on a near real-time basis.
An ideal remote collaboration tool must enable managers/owners to monitor performance, delegate tasks, and manage workflows across time zones. It must be a good fit for your existing process structure and be easy to use in order to enhance team productivity. They are designed to be flexible to suit processes and workflows across a range of domains.
Top 5 Remote Collaboration Tools for a Smooth Workflow
The latest remote collaboration tools offer a wide array of customizable features that are scalable to meet the needs of small and large teams. These features include messaging and chat, video conferencing, documentation and training, project management, performance tracking, and team analytics, etc. The best part is that these tools can be used across a wide variety of devices including smartphones and laptops. Cloud-based and secure, remote collaboration tools can turn a home or a park bench into your office in a matter of minutes!
Here are our top 5 picks of the most popular remote collaboration tools and review of their best features to help you choose the right one for your business:
Slack is ideal for large teams that need continued access to shared files and data and across multiple functions. One of its greatest advantages is that it is compatible with a variety of CRM and project management tools, allowing you to build a flexible end-to-end network that covers practically every conceivable communication need. Moreover, it comes with a variety of apps and bots that streamline reporting and improve employee engagement.
Slack’s best feature by far is its ability to integrate notifications from all its linked apps so that users do not have to switch between windows.
Asana is a user-friendly task management tool that is well known for its visual interface. It comes with a broad range of task management features that enable teams to stay on top of their to-do’s. Asana lets you convert emails and memos into to-do items at the click of a mouse which saves time and effort. What’s more, you can easily switch between different windows that you may have open at any given time, tag team members to projects and add notes. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that Asana comes in both free and paid versions.
Asana may have fewer features than most other remote collaboration tools but it more than makes up for it with its simplicity.
Basecamp’s USP is that it is an easy-to-use tool even if you have complex workflows or need to schedule and track tasks from start to finish. It comes with both desktop and mobile apps along with the ability to integrate a variety of third-party software. Basecamp has powerful project management features including the ability to add clients to projects so that they are always in the know about project timelines and can share feedback in real-time.
It lets employees chat with each other using private messages or ‘pings’. However, when you do need to brainstorm ideas or pitches, Basecamp’s message board feature is perfectly capable of allowing seamless communication between multiple individuals.
If you are looking for an alternative to Zoom, GoToMeeting may be just for you. Its user-friendly interface makes it easy to schedule impromptu meetings through its Meet Now option. It is compatible with both VOIP and telephone-based conference calls and helps ensure that client meetings and team conference sessions are productive, thanks to a host of features including call recording, screen sharing, and high video quality. It enables the host to highlight important points of a presentation or other training material through the use of interactive tools.
GoToMeeting allows you to live-stream meetings or webinars via social media like YouTube or Facebook to larger audiences when required.
Airtable comes with a range of templates that make organizing projects, assigning tasks, and collaborating with multiple team members effortlessly. It is quite simple in design despite having a database and spread-sheet functions. When creating projects in Airtable, you can customize spreadsheets, build reports, and tag different team members as required. For e-commerce customer service teams, Airtable provides easy visibility of key deliverables and helps them become more productive.
This is because Airtable lets you link data between different tables so that your agents can manage multiple support tickets with ease, for example. Airtable also has good responsiveness even when working with a lot of data.
Lockdown or not, remote teams can help you stay connected with your customers around the world. From the point of view of business continuity, a standby remote customer support team is almost indispensable today. On-demand outsourced customer service providers like Helplama can help you stay prepared for unexpected disruptions and maintain service levels consistently.
Helplama’s zero-risk guarantee means that our agents closely match your brand voice and domain knowledge expectations. You have full control over the selection of agents who will eventually service your customers. The cost advantage of hiring an outsourced customer support provider is undeniable. Helplama’s in-house team would be able to manage your customers remotely and provide you with a distinct edge over the competition, both qualitatively and quantitatively.
Also, try the Helplama Helpdesk – the customer service software that can help you automate and scale your customer support.