Top Products for Remote Companies
For all of it’s benefits, remote work does come with it’s challenges. Communication, isolation, online distractions and work/life balance are some of the more prominent issues that we see facing distributed teams.Thankfully, the rise of remote work has come with the development of a variety of tools and apps that are catered directly to the remote worker. If you’re facing an issue as a remote worker, there’s probably an app out there that can help.
Here are some of our favourites:
The obvious one for remote teams. Although there are plenty of competitors now, our friends at Slack are the true champions of the communication app space. With over 8 million daily active users (as of May 2018), most of us remote workers currently use or have used Slack. They keep coming up with new integrations and functions that we didn’t even know we needed. They’ve also done some pretty cool strategic partnership in the space, including this one with Atlassian, and many more.
Workplace by Facebook
Workplace is more than just a communication tool, which makes it great for larger companies that want everything in one place, including video conferencing and private chat and project management. At 3 bucks USD per user per month, it’s pretty affordable also.
Flock’s interface is simple and easy to use. Some smaller teams prefer it to Slack for its ease of integrations. Flock will continue to fight an uphill battle when competing with the behemoth that is Slack. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.
Mattermost is an open source, developer focused communication tool. The real appeal here is that users can host data themselves.
Another good option for teams that want to host their communication on their own servers. Super fast and easy to use.
Zoom really differentiated themselves in the video conferencing world by focusing on ease of use for medium to large teams. Video conferencing needed a reliable provider, and Zoom seems to have filled the void.
Easy integration, intuitive interface and reliable, Zoom is the our favourite app in the video conferencing world. It’s nice that they allow larger groups and the audio quality is good enough that you can actually hear people when they talk.
Appear.in is a good option for smaller companies who need one on one conferencing. It’s super easy to join, you just copy the link and send it. No elaborate sign ups needed. Quality is usually pretty good, but if you’re conferencing with more than three people, there are better options available.
Google hangouts is the easiest option for video conferencing for those are firmly embedded in the Google universe and want to keep everything in one place. The video quality is good, and sending invites is super straightforward.
Join.me is a good Zoom alternative, as they also offer packages for medium to larger businesses. Audio quality is usually good, and their packages also include cloud storage options.
Trello is one of our favourite apps around for managing workflows and measuring/tracking productivity. The interface is intuitive, they offer integrations that make it easy to link to your favourite communication apps, and their free plan allows individuals and small businesses to benefit from their main functionality without having to pay. Simple, functional and affordable for a bare bones productivity app. All things we like.
Asana is a favourite among productivity app geeks, for good reason. The simplicity and flexibility of Asana allows users to manage tasks and organize their workflows in a way the works best for them. Not on the full scale project management side of things, but is a great one to try if you’d like some more flexibility than Trello, but don’t want to pay for a larger project management product.
Asana and Trello are our favourites for simple productivity and task tracking services.
Basecamp is the standard for functionality when it comes to project communication. Built specifically for remote work collaboration (the folks at basecamp are fully remote), Basecamp has been used and loved for over a decade. Incredibly simple product that is everything you need and nothing you don’t. You can also try it out for free.
For when simple task management apps are not enough, Flow offers a more all encompassing experience for managing projects and teams. Especially great for the creative types, Flow is beautiful, functional and makes tracking and completing multiple projects easy (which really makes it a winner). Allows people to spend less time organizing and more time working.
For when a simple list is enough to be productive. Which is actually most of the time.
The easiest option for those of us trapped in the google sphere and want everything to be easy and already integrated.
In the fight for secure cloud storage alternatives, Box and Dropbox seem to be the winners. Box is intuitive and attractive price wise, but comes with little collaboration functionality. Cloud service options are very attractive for small and medium businesses though, and it’s nice that they don’t have contract requirements. Box is going after the enterprise section of the market. The competition with Amazon will be an interesting one to watch.
Like Box, Dropbox is very intuitive to use and is accessible through all of your devices. Dropbox markets itself more to the consumer side of the market, as it is easier to sync across devices.
As amazon prime subscribers grow, the Amazon Drive component of the business will continue to become more popular. Free unlimited storage for prime subscribers, Amazon’s storage platform is a great alternative for people looking for storage. Although not as accessible for the individual, it’s hard to argue with free unlimited anything.
Microsoft One Drive
This is a great option for those who are running their productivity/collaboration through Microsoft platforms already
Our favourite, it’s easy to install and relatively inexpensive. All you need, really.
Other password storage options:
Other stuff we love
Even if you think you have self control and won’t check Facebook (or some other time suck) every 20 minutes, you probably still will. Self control allows you to shut it all off for a set amount of time, and won’t even allow you back out of it if you restart your computer or delete the app. It’s free, and I use it all the time.
Another option that gives you a bit more freedom to manage your lack of self control and need for distractions. Freedom should be everything you need. Cons are that it costs money, but it is cheaper than being distracted all the time.
And there you have it! Some of our favourite tools for the remote workers and distributed teams. Are we missing something you love? Let us know firstname.lastname@example.org
- The We Work Remotely Team.