We’ve all had a year to settle into remote working as the new normal. In fact, some major companies like Twitter and REI are now letting their employees work from home indefinitely. 

A study by Nicholas Bloom, a Professor in the Department of Economics at Stanford University, demonstrated higher job satisfaction, 50 percent decrease in employee attrition, a productivity boost, and fewer days off with remote work. 

While research tends to favor remote work as more productive than in person, a productive distributed team still needs solid communication, collaboration, and organization. 

Luckily, we’re in the golden age of SaaS and have access to more remote working tools than ever before.

What is remote work software?

Remote work software is software that makes everyday work operations possible for distributed teams. There are remote working tools for communication, time management, productivity, collaboration, and basically any need your remote team might encounter.

Many tools for remote teams integrate with each other so that your workflow is seamless from one tool to the next. The right work from home tools also makes for a seamless onboarding process. 

Remote work software is important for teams that need to stay productive and connected while working remotely. Here are 24 of the best remote working tools for 2021.

6 of the best remote collaboration tools

Working from home doesn’t have to mean isolation– collaborate on projects from a safe distance with these remote collaboration tools. 

  1. Vimeo

Vimeo Record is a screen recorder tool designed to help teams crush WFH. It’s a screen and webcam recorder meant to boost creativity and collaboration among distributed teams. Vimeo Record makes screen recording and sharing unlimited video messages super easy, straight from your browser. Download it as a free Chrome extension.

You can also enjoy seamless remote video editing with the collaborative video editing function. This feature allows you to make comments directly on the video (so you can kiss those never-ending email chains goodbye). Share your rough cut with as many reviewers as you want, and they can offer their feedback too. 

  1. Zoom

It’s safe to say Zoom was the backbone of remote collaboration tools in 2020. There’s a reason this tool got so popular so fast (and no, we aren’t talking about the memes). Zoom is an easy desktop app that lets you schedule, launch, and even record team meetings with ease. With screen sharing and accessibility from a variety of divides (even via a dial in phone), it’s an efficient way to keep your team meetings productive from afar.

  1. Google Workspace (formly G Suite)

Millions of businesses love Google Workspace for its budget-friendly nature and versatility. You can collaborate with Google’s other work from home tools like Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Teams can also share calendars, assign work emails, and use Google Meet and Chat for seamless communication.

  1. Microsoft Office Teams

Microsoft Office Teams allows you to download Excel, Outlook, Word, and Powerpoint to computers and mobile devices. It’s equipped with tools for managing, sharing, storing, and editing files within team folders. You can also use Teams for video calls, email, and internal discussions where teammates create posts and ask questions. 

  1. Workplace from Facebook

Workplace from Facebook takes all of Facebook’s useful communication and collaboration features and tailors them to the workplace. Groups are used for in depth discussions and sharing files. Live video is used to communicate team announcements. Workplace even has over 50 integrations, so you can connect with other essential work from home tools. 

  1. InVision 

InVision helps teams collaborate through a whiteboard in real-time. Their LiveShare features lets team members share a space and draw together, but team members also have the option to draw on their blank whiteboard then and present their creation to the team. 

6 of the best remote time management and productivity tools

These time management and productivity tools can keep you on task even if your office is now your couch. 

  1. Clockwise

Clockwise is the smart calendar assistant of choice here at Vimeo. It takes the hassle out of time management so your team can focus on what matters. With Clockwise, you can automatically reschedule conflicting meetings, save uninterrupted blocks of “focus time”, and sync (and color code) your personal and work calendars. The app also has special features for teams that forecast bandwidth and increase team focus. 

  1. Focus To-Do’s Pomodoro Timer 

Focus To-Do is a science-based productivity tool– and the key to keeping your team focused and on-task. Not only does it have the classic Pomodoro productivity timer, but it also comes with task management features, reminders, lists, calendar events, checklists, and more. 

  1. Todoist

Todoist’s work from home software combines productivity with task management to keep your remote teams organized and on task. It’s features include tasks, subtasks, projects, notes, file uploading, reminders, flags, and even a productivity chart. 

  1. Hubstaff

If you’re an employer wanting to keep tabs on employee productivity, Hubstaff is for you. This tool lets you track how employees are spending their work hours, showing you what tasks they complete (and at what time). With features like online timesheets, employee scheduling, screen recording, employee monitoring, payroll software, GPS tracking, online invoicing, and project budgeting, Hubstaff has everything you need to monitor your employees productivity and get them paid for their hard work.

  1. Harvest

Harvest is another tool great for tracking time. It’s simpler than Hub staff, making it ideal for teams who only need to create projects, create to-do list items, and monitor time spent on each task. Using Harvest is a great way to show team members how much time they spend on certain tasks and optimize.

  1. Toggl

Toggl might be the easiest time management tool on this list. Click a single button, and you’re already tracking your time. You can organize tasks by adding projects, clients, descriptions, and labels to certain stretches of tracked time. It’s a useful tool for remote team members who keep track of billable hours at varying rates.

5 of the best remote project management tools

With these remote project management tools, you can conquer your projects without searching lengthy email threads for hidden details.

  1. Wrike

Wrike boasts customizable tools that fit the needs of any team including custom dashboards, workflows, request forms, and more. Team members can see everything across departments, which makes this tool perfect for collaboration– especially combined with its file, task, and report sharing features. 

  1. ProofHub

With ProofHub, you can streamline interactions with both teammates and clients. It’s features emphasize feedback, allowing for online proofing, discussions, chat to share feedback, and remote project management. 

  1. Trello

Trello is a kanban style work from home software. Project management dashboards on Trello can be organized by projects or categories. Tasks appear on “cards” and can be color-coded and labeled with text. Deadlines can be attributed to certain cards, and you can assign cards to certain employees and track their progress in the “activity” section. 

  1. Asana

Asana is a project management platform that does it all. You can create projects, sections, tasks, subtasks, and more– the options are endless. Assign tasks to team members with deadlines to keep them on task. Every project can be visible to all team members, making Asana an ideal project management platform for seamless collaboration. 

  1. Monday.com

Monday.com is a web task management platform similar to Asana and Trello. It lets you track tasks on a dashboard and assign tasks to certain employees. The main distinction is Monday’s consideration of budget when planning tasks, making it especially useful for marketing teams.

5 of the best file & asset management tools

Use these file and asset management tools and never lose a file again.

1. Vimeo

Video library is a centralized place to create, host, share, and watch all your video content in one place. Too many cooks in the kitchen? Teams can stay organized by arranging videos in specific folders with designated permissions.

1. Dropbox

Nobody wants to share huge files over email. Dropbox is a tool for sharing and organizing files of any size. 

2. Skitch by Evernote

Evernote is a sophisticated note taking app. It’s features include written and audio notes, reminders, attachments, handwritten notes. You can even upload images you want to keep track of (think business cards, pics of documents, etc.). Skitch by Evernote takes these features to the next level with screen sharing and screen-shotting capabilities created especially for remote working teams.

3. Google Drive

Google Drive is another file storage platform that makes organizing and sharing files a piece of cake. It differs from Dropbox as files can easily be opened and edited in all of Google’s apps (think Docs, Sheets, and Slides). This makes Google Drive the perfect tool for organizing and collaborating in the cloud. 

4. Filestage

Filestage is the go-to proofing tool for teams producing high-quality content. Features like commenting, progress tracking, and approval requests make the reviewing/editing process fast and efficient. If you plan on using this tool, you can expect less miscommunication and faster turn-around times.

4 of the best remote communication tools

Long email threads get confusing and Zoom calls are hard to coordinate– luckily, these remote communication tools make quick chats with your team easy (and fun, too). 

  1. Slack

If you aren’t already aware of Slack, it’s a messaging tool designed for professionals. It streamlines communication so you don’t have to scroll through monstrous email chains to find what you’re looking for. You can create different channels based on conversation topics, projects, and departments. It integrates with plenty of other tools like (Google Drive, DropBox, and Zoom just to name a few). Slack streamlines communication so you don’t have to scroll through monstrous email chains to find what you’re looking for. 

  1. Troop messenger

Troop Messenger is another messaging tool, but this one offers instant messaging, audio and video calls, location and file sharing, and the ability to create groups. If you have contract workers or clients joining your conversations from time to time, you can add the on Troop Messenger as guests with limited access. 

  1. Chimp or Champ

Chimp or Champ is an app that lets your employees send in anonymous feedback. These weekly employee happiness check-ins help employers keep tabs on their employee satisfaction levels from afar.

  1. World time buddy – for converting time zones

Be honest– how many times have you missed a meeting this year because you got the wrong time zone? It happens to the best of us, which is why World Time Buddy offers a time converter especially for remote teams. The software lets you compare multiple time zones at a time, so you can plan meetings in 2+ time zones with ease.

Even as Covid-19 vaccines are finally being distributed, it seems that WFM is here to stay (in some capacity, at least). Thanks to these tools, you have everything you need to run a productive remote team.

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