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The options are truly endless when it comes to choosing tools for your remote team. And the pandemic highlighted the challenges companies faced associated with finding the right technology to support virtual teams. From water cooler chats to daily stand-ups to managing schedules, many aspects of the traditional office need to be recreated so your team can work together with ease.
And heck, all of these tools claim to be the best in the business. We’re sure that they’re all great, but what really matters is choosing the best fit for your team.
To help you out (and avoid analysis paralysis), we've mapped out recommended tools remote employees can use for everything like brainstorming, chat, video, task management, and meetings to keep your team's communication seamless. Many of these tools were recommended by the speakers and participants of the Suddenly Distributed: Effective Agility in the Age of Coronavirus webinar.
For teams looking for an effective way to brainstorm collaboratively in their remote environment, look no further than Groupmap. This virtual tool is especially helpful for teams who need some assistance making decisions and coming up with impactful ideas.
Teams are able to bring their documents to life easily with the help of Google Docs. With their smart editing and styling tools, built-in templates, and real-time collaboration features, teams are able to collectively work on a project simultaneously and track their edits along the way.
There’s nothing like an old fashioned whiteboard session to get the creative juices flowing. Since distributed teams aren’t able to do these exercises in-person, Miro provides an easy solution with their engaging, intuitive, in-person collaboration experience that includes multiple options for real-time or asynchronous teamwork on an online whiteboard.
For the visual learners out there, MURAL enables teams to collaborate visually to solve challenges. This virtual thinking canvas is perfect for remote teams who crave a visual brainstorming space.
Remote teams can use Stormboard’s shared workspace to generate and organize thoughtful ideas. Then, bring your most brilliant ideas into meetings and turn them into actions.
As their name simply puts, EasyRetro (formerly FunRetro) aims to make retrospectives not only effective, but easy. Their retrospective tool helps to keep team morale high and discover important insights into the team’s functionality and effectiveness.
Retrium uses industry best practices to walk your team through engaging retrospectives. The tool enables teams to organize retrospective documentation in one place. Teams are able to boost psychological safety and build trust with private rooms, and everyone can share feedback openly because the topics created during brainstorming are anonymous. Retrium makes it easy to explore previous meeting details, identify issues, prioritize the discussion, and follow-up on action items to improve your productivity.
Scatterspoke provides teams with the tools needed to format their retro boards in the way that works for them. Then, teams can view trends, analytics, and actually do something with all of that data.
Meet your remote team’s newest digital assistant: Standuply! This nifty tool automates agile management processes via Slack, and brings experienced mentors on board to challenge your team.
Transitioning to a remote setup suddenly is tough enough, so let Asana do the heavy lifting on the task management front. Simply follow their software's guided process to organize tasks, stay on track, and hit deadlines no matter where your team is located in the world.
Stay organized and collaborate on projects with the help of Trello. Remote teams can easily break down projects into manageable steps, assign task ownership, deadlines, and view it all at a birds-eye as well as a granular level. Their long list of integrations (also known as Power-Ups) helps people leverage other tools & apps already in use by their team and keeps everything connected in one place.
Every team needs a source of truth. Use Confluence to store and share knowledge, create action plans, distribute policies, document team goals, kickstart team participation, and share inspiration. They even have built-in project plan templates for almost every industry so you don’t have to start from scratch.
Face-to-face interactions are super important, and can still be had within remote teams thanks to Zoom. This user-friendly video conferencing and screen sharing tool allows teams to connect through meetings, video webinars, conference rooms, phone systems, and business instant messaging. Though many remote agile teams are small, they can have faith in Zoom by knowing its platform can handle up to 1,000 meeting participants and 10,000 webinar viewers.
Google Hangouts For Business
G Suite customers can easily set up video conference calls through Google Hangouts For Business to connect their remote team. It’s as simple as setting up a meeting and sharing a link! With a fast and lightweight interface and smart participant management, video meetings are a breeze.
Known to be a fast, reliable, free tool to connect people around the world, Whatsapp is a game changer when it comes to remote work. With instant messaging, voice calling, and video calling features, teams are able to stay in touch no matter which time zone they reside in. Team members can even share documents, images, videos, and voice memos, making staying connected easier than ever. This is a more casual app that teams can use outside of work channels or hours to stay connected.
Empower your team members with Join.me, a trusted remote meetings tool used by many successful distributed teams. Join.me offers simple video and audio conferencing, screen sharing, and meeting scheduling that can be done across many devices.
As the leading enterprise-level video call software, Webex has allowed distributed teams to stay connected for over 25 years. Their user friendly interface makes video conferencing the least of your agile teams’ worries. Plus, they play well with others! Webex can be integrated with other applications such as Google Drive, GitHub, Office365, and Salesforce.
Known as the video conferencing tool for the digital workplace, Blue Jeans keeps remote teams top of mind. Blue Jeans offers video, audio, and web conferencing tools to keep teams communicating, regardless of their location. With Blue Jeans Events, teams can host virtual events and webinars for large global audiences. They even provide meeting highlights and transcription, so important details are never missed.
Teams around the globe love Slack, and for good reason. Slack is an instant messaging tool that allows teams to organize their conversations into specific topics or team channels for more effective communication. Users can easily find information within the searchable archive, and file sharing allows teammates to actively collaborate in real-time to reduce response times. Top it off with emojis and customizable statuses for added delight to your workday.
Microsoft Teams is a great chat tool for teams who are already familiar with the Microsoft brand, especially given the multiple Office 365 integrations that it includes. Microsoft Teams allows team members to instant message and store files within the chat, making accessibility one of its greatest strong suits.
Teams looking to stay synced often choose Chanty — an easy-to-use text, voice, and video platform. Users agree that their favorite feature is Chanty’s Teambook, the single hub within the platform that stores and organizes tasks, conversations, and pinned messages.
Remote teams often struggle with finding a way to clearly explain processes and workflows to other team members. Luckily, Loom is a voice, screen, and video recording tool that allows users to capture information and share their explanations clearly.
Many teams use Dropbox to create, store, and share cloud content easily. When teams are distributed, the need for accessibility to shared resources is higher and Dropbox serves as a great solution.
Range helps teams know what’s happening, stay in sync, and actually feel like a team. It’s thoughtfully designed software that helps teams share daily check-ins, track goals, and run better meetings. So you can do your best work together. You can watch a video demo here.
If you’ve ever been overwhelmed, you need Headspace. Headspace is a mindfulness and meditation app that lets you recharge and stress less. Its guided meditation exercises have proven to reduce anxiety, insomnia, and stress among users.
Remember, a remote team is as strong as the tools they have access to and the processes it has in place to support everyone to do their best work. Since every team is so unique, leaders and managers are tasked with finding the best options for creating the custom toolkit. You can empower your team to help in the decision-making process, and watch how these applications soon become the new space for conference room brainstorms, Friday wrap-up meetings, answering impromptu questions, and watercooler banter.
Do you have any tools or apps that you love to use with your team? Let us know on Twitter at @RetriumHQ!