Since almost the entire world is coerced into lock-down on account of the perilous coronavirus, many companies have resorted to working from homes. While many companies are struggling with this change, there are almost fifty million freelance workers who are not facing any glitch in their working schedule, because they’ve been working remotely since inception.
This explains that remote work has been in existence and flourishing for quite a long time in the industry, even before the pandemic. But, the problem at hand, is for companies who need that one-to-one interaction, as and when needed. For instance, if you are a digital marketing agency, your marketing team and your sales team ought to be on the same page.
So, through this guide, I’m going to elaborate on the nitty-gritty of remote working principles and introduce you to 70+ tools that you’d need to manage your remotely working team members.
Managing Remote Workforce – The 3C Flywheel Model
Every leadership must consider three ‘C’s while managing their remote workforce.
Let’s gather insights from these vitalities.
Whether you’ve suddenly gone remote due to COVID-19, or wondering how to enhance the work performance of your already existing remote team, you need to concentrate on Commission, a key element that outlines your employees’ performance.
Most studies claim that many workers resort to a remote job primarily to escape the stress and pressure they face in their real office cabins. But, in the virtual workspace, employees are only bothered about turning over the deliverables in due time, while not having to seem busy, which stresses them in the physical workspace. Thus, working remote necessitates a goal-based commission rather than an activity-based commission.
I would advise you to probe on how timely and adeptly your team members turn over the deliverables rather than monitoring the time they spend on working in their assigned tasks.
The next requisite for a better remote workforce is better communication. Vexation would wriggle its tail when your team lacks clear and timely conversations. This can disrupt the rapport among employers and employees. To prevent this discord, I would ask you to state clearly what is expected of your team in a deliverable and set the standards based on which the deliverables would be judged.
Allocate timelines and keep a progress worksheet to ensure that the whole workforce is on the same page.
Since the company culture plays a significant role in nurturing work performance and ethics, don’t let your virtual workspace exterminate your company culture. This calls for a time of relaxation where you could celebrate the success of a completed project or a team member’s birthday or observe a special occasion like Thanksgiving.
Through collaboration tools, come together as one community and build relationships. By knowing one another as a person than a colleague or an employee, communication would automatically flow steadily and clearly. This would, in turn, navigate the desired commission results.
This 3C flywheel model, when adhered by best practices, would yield pleasing results. And this leads us to the next section of our guide, the do’s and don’ts of managing a remote workforce.
“In an attempt to stop the spread of COVID -19, Organizations across the globe need to adapt the complete remote culture and create new security policies across teams to maintain healthy security for your critical infrastructure. “
Do’s and Don’ts – Remote Workforce Management Best Practices
- Prioritize the means of communication, whether telephonic or Skype or E-mail or Google Hangouts
- Formulate goals and express expectations
- Work on a reliable and secured remote software
- Keep tabs on the work progress
- Empower your workforce with the right remote work tools
Don’tsDon’t be too trusting to prevent lax, despite the talented brains onboard
- Don’t overdo the intimation of updates for this can irritate your workforce
- Don’t set unattainable targets and timelines
- Don’t demand workers to do overtime
- Don’t expect your workers to be up round the clock
Following these best practices would protect you from hurting your business and profits.
Nevertheless, I’m pretty sure that you might be wondering from the above Don’ts point five ‘Don’t expect your workers to be up round the clock’ that remote work might require of you to fabricate a flexible work methodology. But some businesses can’t afford that due to the nature of their serving industry. This is why I’m now going to introduce you to the different stages of remote work.
Stages of Remote Work | Choosing What’s Best for Your Business
Medical and journalism industries and regulatory forces such as the police and armed forces definitely can’t go virtual, which is why they are the only ones with curfew passes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Keeping aside this epidemic, when we discuss businesses willing to start with remote working, there are four stages to be considered.
Depending on your business functionality you can adopt what works best or even follow up with the stages in the sliding fashion to go all-remote.
Appknox team meeting
Traditional Office Cum Remote Allowed
This stage of remote working calls for the workers to collaborate and contribute from their physical cabins. So, they must be available in-office and would have to follow the 9 to 5 work hours. But if the need arises, they would be allowed to work from home. Certain companies call for remote working on specific days, they would promote culture called Remote Fridays.
Companies operating partially remote have a headquarter with employees doing their regular 9 to 5 shifts. But these also house certain employees who work remote cent percent. An ideal example of a partial remote industry would be the digital marketing industry. While the sales and marketing team must be in-house, the content generation and graphic design teams shall be allowed to work remotely.
Time Contingent Remote
In this set-up, the company does not have a physical location and everyone works from their desired location. But time contingent remote requires the team to work during fixed office timing like the 9 to 5 routine. The only difference is that employees needn’t commute to work rather their desk jobs take place in their place of choice.
A business that works all-remote does not have even a headquarter. Right from the founding body to the team heads and team members, everyone works either from home or from any comfortable place. All you need is the required skill set, a system, and a good WiFi connection. You have no specified nine-hour desk job, rather even being a digital nomad, you can carry out your delegations while turning over deliverables within the time frame.
Now that you’ve been enlightened on what type of remote stage works well for your company, let me walk you through the steps of transitioning and adjusting your team to remote work.
How to Transition and Adjust Your Team to Remote Work
Since the Corona pandemic is what is promoting remote work at the moment, I’m going to unfold how to bring about this remote emergency work plan into force.
Remote Emergency Work Plan
Here’s the outline of what I’ll be discussing in the subsequent texts:
- Forming remote leaders
- Revealing the working process
- Establishing good communication
- Supplying required remote tools
Begin with remote leadership. Your employees are frenzied and know not what to do, they are clueless. So, you need to establish thought leaders who’d manage their teams proficiently during this pandemic. These leaders can relate with their team members to resolve in a real-time fashion, the problems and glitches they face during this transition.
Follow this up with a circulating process worksheet or a handbook in the form of a web-page. This resource would be the one point of the rightful knowledge base that unfolds the remote company process to prevent confusion among the workers.
Concentrate on feasible communication through effective collaboration tools. Ensure that your employees have access to all the minimum requisite tools. To begin with, endorse Zoom for virtual conferences, Slack for chat, and Google Products for submissions and assignment trackers.
For an emergency crisis, the aforementioned remote transition outline would work well to keep your business stable. But if you are planning on remote work as company culture, building upon the mentioned framework along with empowering the company with all the necessary tools, right from hiring workforce to team collaboration, and project management to customer support, which forms our subsequent discussion, would help you fabricate a virtual workspace that’s as efficient as your physical workspace. Embrace the following tools to cut your expenses on infrastructure and utilities.
70+ Essential Tools for Managing A Remote Team
The following curated compilation serves to readily shift your workforce to the remote space. The best and workable tools are classified under fifteen logical categories to prevent you from spending much time and effort in researching suitable software support for deployment.
When your company operates all-remote, the lack of an office mustn’t hinder the recruitment of fresh talent. The following are five hubs for recruitment that are reliable.1) Crewscale
This is a global community of freelancing web developers, app developers, technical architects, project/product managers, and data scientists and analysts who could be hired as per proficiency in the specified project.2) Talscale
Talscale is yet another offering by Crewscale wherein you can test your ideal candidates and also conduct efficient campus placements, hackathons, and remote interviews to hire the best talent.3) HRPartner
HR Partner is every small and medium business’ best friend. Besides facilitating the hiring process, it also allows you to manage employee records, stabilize reminder systems, and process leave requests, accruals, and approvals.4) Manatal
Manatal’s cloud-based recruitment software is designed to make candidate sourcing feasible through its AI-powered application tracking system, reports, and analytics.
Team Collaboration and Management
While working remotely, communication and collaboration among team members must be competent. The following tools offer the best value in terms of team management.5) Apploye
Offers online time sheets, employee scheduling, and monitoring, and productivity trackers to enhance work proficiency.
As a Support for COVID-19 Apploye is offering 20% OFF Forever6) Workiom
Workiom’s tool offers a secure environment to manage your team’s data and work process, from anywhere, on any device.7) 15Five
This tool facilitates continuous employee feedback to promote a better-performing remote work culture.8) Focus
Instead of lengthy e-mails and meetings, you can use Focus to focus on what’s important through its OKRs and check-ins toolkit.9) TroopMessenger
TroopMessenger is a hub that hosts all the essentials to connect via messaging, video calls and conferencing, file and desktop sharing, and aligning projects and work schedules.10) KanbanZone
This is a simple yet comprehensive tool designed for achieving the target goals across an organization.11) Stackby
It gives a database platform for team management, one which you can manage without any coding or technical skills.
Stack by is offering free lifetime access for NGOs and Indian registered startups for 3 months. Click here to signup.12) Gmelius
With Gmelius you can help your team get the maximum collaboration out of their Gmail, Slack, and Trello accounts across functions across your organizations (Marketing, Sales & Customer support )
Gmelius is currently offering 6 months free subscription. Grab it by clicking on this link.13) Filestage
Enables content reviews and proofing easier for Remote teams for your startups.14) Drag
Translates your teams’ Gmail accounts into a competent workspace.
With Drag you will see everything and your teams can manage customers, close sales and plan projects from one place with a click.
ProofHub is packed with all the features your teams need to plan, collaborate, organize, and deliver projects on time. It helps your teams to work together in the easiest, fastest, and smartest way with all the right tools put under one roof.
Kissflow is a digital workplace software that enables companies to improve their productivity and streamline their processes. It
offers businesses an intuitive platform to collaborate, manage their work, and track business outcomes in one place. The platform combines the power of project management, process automation, and team collaboration to streamline business workflows and enterprise productivity.
As much as monitoring your workforce is important, so is keeping tabs on your consumer base through these following tools.17) Across
Allows your sales force and your consumer base to connect seamlessly on Slack and facilitates consumer follow-up tasks.18) CallHippo
This is an intelligent phone system that helps with workflow automation.19) Aircall
A phone telephony system for large teams that helps your marketing, sales, customer support, and business teams communicate well with your consumer base with features like time-based routing, queue callback, CRM integrations ..etc to enable better kinds of conversations for your remote teams.
For teams working virtually, a suite that offers time, tasks, and a project with facile CRM software is vital. The following tools would help organize everything in one central location to improve your remote team’s project efficacy.20) Nifty
To outline deliverables, their timelines, and workloads clearly, Nifty would be your ideal hub for agile product teams
Nifty is offering 50 % off for 4 months using promo code “REMOTE50”.21) Creately
Creately is a modernized tool that helps you visualize concepts, plans, Infographics and ideas for effective design needs.
Creately is offering 50 % off on all team plans, Project Management, and Task Management grab the offer by clicking on this link.22) Infinity
For infinite work proficiency, Infinity helps by being the central place where data could be imported for collaboration, teams could communicate real time for tasking and sales.23) Asana
Help your team to focus on goals, tasks, and projects with automation in place.24) Notion
Instead of using multiple platforms for managing your projects, use Notion which replaces Google Docs, Confluence, Trello, and Airtable. This is the central hub that helps to define your road map for every project.25) Basecamp
With automated check-ins, message boards, to-dos, schedules, and document and file transfers, Basecamp redefines the way you work remotely.26) Confluence
Atlassian’s Confluence empowers your team with custom and customizable project management templates. With the feasibility to integrate other project management tools, Confluence gives your team the confidence to work remotely, and efficiently.
Delighting your customers with your products is the lifeblood of your company. Do so competently with a remote team through the following sales tool.27) Scoop
For business leaders and sales managers, Scoop acts as the platform wherein they can derive insights on analytics to augment conversions.28) Sales Handy
By cutting down the average client response time from five and a half days to less than five minutes, Sales Candy serves the financial, real estate, education, medical, and automotive industries.29) Ebsta
With Ebsta’s intelligent tool, forecast forwards, predict unqualified leads, and identify relationships that ought to be nurtured for closing the sales.30) SalesRight
Offer interactive quotes to help your prospects better understand your pricing to avail of your SaaS product.31) Sell Saas
Sell Saas empowers agencies, bloggers, solopreneurs, marketers, and employees by web hosting and connecting to Stripe accounts to facilitate sales.32) Gridle
Under a single roof, Gridle lets you manage your leads, prospects, and invoicing.33) LinkedIn Premium
Discover novel opportunities to engage with your prospects with premium insights on customer behavior.
Collecting valuable information from your prospects is essential to understand their roadblocks and thus offer customized solutions. Work this out with these notable tools.34) EmailMeForm
This tool allows you to collect consumer data through surveys and also helps you keep them secure.35) BlockSurvey
This surveying tool enables your consumers to unfold the valuable information you need while keeping their identity private.36) Enterprise Survey Software
Survey Sparrow’s Enterprise Survey Software helps you with easy survey creation on all digital devices besides equipping you with cross-tabulation and scheduled reports to draw better insights on the surveys.37) SurveyMonkey
Empower data-driven decisions based on the surveys you conduct on web links, emails, chats, and socials with Survey Monkey.
With businesses going digital, envious competitors are always awaiting to hack websites, steal valuable information, and most importantly clients. Prevent this from happening to your business through these advanced security tools.38) Appknox
Appknox is an on-demand mobile application security platform that helps businesses detect and fix security vulnerabilities using an Automated Security Testing suite. We have been successfully reducing delivery timelines, manpower costs & mitigating security threats for Global Banks and Enterprises in 10 + countries.
Request for 90 days free subscription39) Astra
With Astra, protect your business website from LFI, RFI, malware, hackers, bots, and spam.40) QSome Automated Software Testing Tool
If you ever wanted to automate your security processes, QSome would accomplish it for you through its features.41) Rublon
Rublon’s cloud-based cybersecurity tool helps organizations to protect their data through its unique feature, multi-factor authentication.
Rublon is offering 6 months free subscription on two-factor authentication to help your organization protect employee remote access to VPNs, Remote Desktop, cloud apps, Linux servers, and much more grab the offer using this link42) Havoc Shield
Guard your startups and small businesses against cyberattacks through Havoc Shield’s safety system.
Havocshield is offering 15% off on any plan for a lifetime account using promo code “APPKNOX”
As the name suggests, Virusdie scans, cleans, and protects your websites from virus attacks.
Since remote work is contingent upon deliverables within the stipulated timelines, it is advisable to use time trackers to enhance work productivity.44) Focus Booster
By offering a To-Do list and a Time Tracker sheet, Focus Booster helps you to carry out your work with nil procrastinations and spaces every work in a Pomodoro style.45) IMPower
With IMPower’s Text Group feature, keep track of your team of employees, vendors, and customers.
Creating a product is vital to starting any business, but delighting customers through these products is what helps to grow your business. That is why marketing shouldn’t be ignored but carried out proficiently. The following tools are designed to help your remote marketing team.46) SocialPilot
This is the best social marketing tool. SocialPilot’s package gives you access to fifty social media accounts, five Facebook Ad accounts, and more, to help you with social media marketing.
Socialpilot is offering flat 99% off on all plans grab the offer by clicking on this link47) SocialBu
SocialBu helps you to schedule and scale your social campaigns on exclusive platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.48) Anyleads
With Anyleads’ various products such as sales chatbots, social proof widgets, prospecting, and AI-powered content generator, capture leads and drive sales.49) Ampliz
Ampliz offers you B2B Intelligence that’ll build your pipeline and maximize conversions.50) Social Mako
Social Mako is an affordable platform that lets you track your promotions’ performance while also curatively scheduling your marketing campaigns.51) HumCommerce
HumCommerce is adept at scaling the marketing campaigns of e-commerce businesses.52) SendX
An Intuitive, Feature-Rich - Affordable Email Solution for Growth Teams- An Mailchimp Alternative for email marketing
Sendx is offering 25 % off all subscription plans use promo code - SENDX_APPKNOX_25
Start your email marketing free trial53) Hiver
This is yet another email marketing tool like SendX, but it collaborates with your Gmail Suite for better functionalities.54) Systeme
Instead of availing multiple platforms for your marketing, with Systeme, get your sales funnels, email marketing, blogging, webinars, affiliate programs, and business automation, all under the same roof.
Every startup needs a growth hacking system to compete against the whales in the industry. The following tools would surely give you a heads-up in polishing your growth strategy.55) Dux-Soup
Dux-Soup helps you maximize your growth opportunities on LinkedIn by automating conversations, follow-ups, and responses.56) Zapier
Zapier offers apps or Zaps as they are called, which integrate different products to give you a customized product to serve your growth needs.57) PhantomBuster
Phantoms, as they are called by the service provider, are automation that helps you extract data to perform smart decisions on growth for you.58) TexAu
This is a growth automation tool that could be used on all social platforms to generate new traffic and convert them into leads.59) Lemlist
Through advanced personalization, liquid syntaxes, and connection to any CRMs, you can integrate any tool of your choice to facilitate your growth process.60) Lempod
Much similar to Dux-Soup, Lempod scales your growth strategy by leveraging LinkedIn.61) Expandi
Expandi allows you to integrate it with any CRM tool of your choice such as HubSpot, Slack, or Zapier, to enhance your social selling outreach.62) Shield App
This is an intelligent tool that gives you real-time reports, content overviews, audience insights, performance insights, post-level analytics, and much more on your LinkedIn business profile.63) FindThatLead
This is an exclusive platform that offers lead search, email verifier, email sender, social search, and prospector features to feed our marketing and sales team with the data they need to make smart growth decisions.
Discussions in front of the whiteboard are a common necessity for expressing business thoughts and news and information. But when your team goes remote, you need to replace the boards with screens. To host these virtual meetings, check out the following products.65) Zoom
This is a rich software that facilitates video conferencing along with content sharing and real-time messaging.
Cisco WebEx Meeting Centre offers a workable virtual meeting room. Even when you’re on the move, with the Call Me feature you can hop in the meeting.67) GoToMeeting
With GoToMeeting, you can either schedule your meetings or host one unannounced as required.
Webinar Hosting Platforms
Webinars are great consumer education tools. But hosting one could be taxing. It needn’t be anymore, for you’ve got amazing tools to take them into a task.
Zoho’s Meeting software helps to deliver presentations and webinars efficiently by offering you real-time video, audio, screen sharing, and remote-control features69) Zoomwebinar
With easy setup and registration facilities, Zoom’s webinar platform helps you to engage with your consumers on a personal level to share your brand story and products and services.70) LiveWebinar
Host interactive webinars through LiveWebinar’s features like screen sharing, Prezi presentations, and cloud storage.71) EasyWebinar
Prevent delays in streaming and presenting high-quality graphics, allow multiple presenters, record, and archive, with the EasyWebinar platform.
Cloud Video Hosting
According to a study, videos can augment conversions by 80%. With the cloud video hosting platforms, you can now help your remote team capture that 80% of qualified conversions.72) Vimeo
Vimeo’s HTML 5 video player has been engineered to support live streaming, prevent ads, and ensure top-notch quality for all connection speeds.73) Vidyard
Vidyard’s online video platform helps marketers to host videos, offer interactive playback sessions, do video SEO, and perform video analytics.74) VideoKen
This is an AI-induced video player that offers your viewers indices and helps to organize the key phrases while streaming your videos to your potential consumer base.
Your remote team must be in sync with the upcoming events and conferences. To prevent anyone from forgetting or slipping out of a group discussion avail of the following calendar management tools.75) Calendly
This is an automated Calendar Management tool that’s highly beneficial for scheduling meetings.76) Meeting.gs
By fabricating the time and agenda, Meeting.gs makes your communications straight and timely.77) YouCanBookMe
This is a simple online scheduler that helps your remote team stay on track by offering solutions to a personalized booking page, varying time zones, and sending notifications.
Usefocus is an OKR’s platform that increases teams' performance through OKR’s and daily standups.
Online course creation
79) Lean worlds
Leanworlds is an online course creation platform and LMS that helps you to create your own course and launch it on the web
Podia offers everything you need to sell your online courses, downloads, and memberships without worrying about tech.
Lastly our friends at Springworks curated a list of remote work resources which would help your team to stay productive and efficient. Do check them out.
Inai offers you 300+ native payment methods across the globe simplifying payment gateways thus enabling you to launch faster, and optimize transaction costs all with seamless integration.
Working remotely might be difficult but not impossible. In this crisis, COVID-19, I hope the resource I’ve compiled would help you in a seamless transition to remote work. And for those businesses planning to go virtual, I assure you that you’d be able to scale your productivity with the 70+ tools mentioned above. For any security testing on mobile applications, feel free to reach out to me at Appknox, a leading mobile app security testing company.
Take a bold step and stabilize your remote team. Remember, remote work is not outlandish, it is the new trend.