This year, many businesses have adopted a remote-first approach to work. In fact, according to recent reports, 80 percent of businesses have employed “expanded or universal work from home policies.” Now more than ever, business owners and managers must establish best practices and secure technological investments to promote increased productivity, communication, and collaboration across the remote workforce.
“Enterprise collaboration tools like Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams have inundated the news as many companies shift toward mandated work from home policies due to COVID-19,” reports Simpplr’s Jamie Yan in Essential Remote Work Tools for WFH Communications Tech Stack. “It’s natural that these types of remote technologies take center stage as organizations scramble to normalize the world’s unprecedented remote workforce shift.”
While traditional tools—video conferencing, file sharing—are still applicable and valuable to most remote teams, a new breed of technology has the potential to change the way remote teams conduct business now and well into the future.
In this article, we’ll cover the best new tools for remote teams. Of course, “best” is subjective, so we’ve included additional context and third-party data (when applicable) to give you an unbiased look at why we believe that these tools are best for you and your business.
Today, remote work and video conferencing go hand-in-hand. And there’s nothing more synonymous with remote work than Zoom. A great video conference tool allows teams to conduct video and audio sharing from mobile or desktop devices.
Zoom Platform Overview
Zoom provides a reliable and secure meeting platform for remote teams. Special features include cloud recording, screen sharing, chat, and file sharing, all within one easy-to-use, compliant system. Today, thousands of business owners and managers leverage Zoom to facilitate digital meetings, workshops, feedback sessions, and more. Additionally, Zoom integrates with a variety of other software and systems.
Capterra Rating: 4.6/5 (6,192 Reviews)
Grain is a meeting management software that allows you to record, organize, and share video meetings with your team seamlessly. You can transcribe your meetings in real-time, annotate, clip, and share key moments, create video summaries. Every meeting recorded via Grain will be automatically transcribed and indexed in a shared workspace—accessible to your team by default.
Grain Platform Overview
Grain offers an all-in-one transcription service designed to help teams highlight the most important and actionable parts of a Zoom meeting. In seconds, you users can create an account, launch a meeting, hit record, and the call will be transcribed automatically. While other transcription tools are bulky and difficult to manage, Grain is a lightweight and simple solution.
Grain was born out of the insight that while the way we work is fundamentally changing, the way we communicate, listen, and share hasn’t kept pace. For this reason, Grain was created to make knowledge sharing and collaboration easy and painless.
Here are the major benefits of our proven audio transcription service:
- Conduct less meetings
- Help team members to stay on the space page
- Make sure your or your customer’s points are heard
- Conduct efficient communication with audio and video
- Fast and intuitive sharing
- Take better meeting notes.
G2 Crowd rating: 4.6 out of 5.
ProductHunt rating: 5 out of 5.
Hear it from a user:
“My favorite thing about Grain is that it solved the problem of the old game of telephone,” says Scott Michaels, Chief Strategist at APPLY. I now share client feedback directly with my team.”
The right asynchronous collaboration tool enables remote teams to conduct high-value conversations with other team members. In most cases, these new tools come with intuitive and easy-to-use features, including channel-based threads, one-to-one chat, customized notifications, integrations, and more. Today, many remote teams leverage messaging and communications tools to replace email and other legacy systems.
Twist Platform Overview
Twist was developed to support true asynchronous remote collaboration. This tool allows remote team members to communicate when it fits their schedule. Additionally, Twist allows for more productive communication. For example, a conversation can be organized by a single topic instead of a stream of consciousness thread like Slack. Moreover, a personal inbox allows remote teams to focus on deep work without worrying about missing important discussions.
Capterra Rating: 4.3/5 Stars (26 Reviews)
Threads Platform Overview
Threads supports distributed teams through the creation of digital spaces or “threads.” Easily communicate with team members, collaborate on big projects, and stay in the loop with Thread’s easy-to-use platform. Additionally, integration with Slack enables teams to distribute work and communicate more effectively. Threads’ website states:
“Slack and Threads both help our team distribute our work. Slack is great for urgent or high-speed work, like notifications from integrations, and Thread is great for important and longer-lasting work, like aligning on our goals and priorities.”
Capterra Rating: Not Available
While businesses continue to make a shift from physical to digital spaces, new technology helps to marry the benefits of visual thinking with digital collaboration. A digital whiteboard is the best way to move from ideation to creation.
Miro Platform Overview
Miro is a collaborative whiteboard that offers a shared, open design space where team members can share content and make edits in real-time. It presents an entire toolkit for user story or customer journey maps, wireframing, roadmap or sprint planning, and more.
A shared whiteboard and sticky wall helps team members connect the dots and collect insights. Additionally, Miro’s marketplace offers dozens of powerful integrations. With access to a robust template library, users can quickly find a whiteboard design for their unique use case.
Capterra Rating: 4.7/5 Stars (600 Reviews)
Most teams know that remote work comes with greater flexibility, and as a result, greater productivity. However, working alone can get a bit lonely, right? When you’re in the office, getting an answer to a work question is as simple as tapping your neighbor on the shoulder. A remote office solution like Tandem or Remotion turns your computer into a virtual office.
Additionally, there’s an important distinction that needs to be made here between internal and external communications and remote office tools. Tandem and Remotion are ideal for dialog between internal stakeholders. These kinds of internal controls promote increased collaboration and communication. There are other tools available to remote teams that encourage and enhance external or outbound communications with prospects, customers, and others. For this reason, remote teams must carefully consider the practicality and usefulness of an internal communication tool and determine if an external communication tool is needed instead.
Tandem Platform Overview
Tandem allows for quick collaboration and seamless conversations. Talk directly with any member of your or open up your digital office for company-wide standups. Users can also join in on spontaneous conversations. In this way, even if team members are miles apart, they can feel as if they’re working across the table from one another or gathering around the “water cooler.”
Capterra Rating: Not Available
Remotion Platform Overview
As a remote team, there’s nothing worse than trying to schedule an internal meeting. What if there was a way to activate a spontaneous conversation, giving you and your team the power to work faster and more efficiently? Remotion allows team members to meet face-to-face instead of coordinating inside long email threads. In this way, employees can collect instant feedback, conduct quick and painless meetings, and feel more connected with the rest of the team.
Capterra Rating: Not Available
How much internal documentation – processes, checklists, goals, office manuals – does your business have? Depending on the size and complexity of your organization, internal documentation can quickly become disorganized or worse, lost. In this scenario, a documentation/wiki tool will help to deliver increased organization, and as a result, increased efficiency. There are a few market leaders in the space, including Notion and others.
Notion Platform Overview
Notion is a project management tool purpose-built to pair projects and documentation management. Today, thousands of business owners and managers use Notion to power their businesses. With access to powerful knowledge management, task management, workflow management, and collaboration tools, Notion helps teams to consolidate their tech stacks. By focusing on transparency and organization, Notion promotes increased productivity.
Capterra Rating: 4.7/5 (258 Reviews)
Most remote teams are backed by powerful project management tools. A great project management tool like ClickUp or Hive gives teams a necessary bird’s-eye view over daily tasks and projects. Moreover, most modern project management tools enable teams to set deadlines, track time, delegate tasks, leave comments, set access priorities, and more.
ClickUp Platform Overview
ClickUp is the largest and most recognizable project management platform among remote teams. With access to features like documents, reminders, calendars, chat, custom views, and more, ClickUp offers an all-in-one project management system for teams of all sizes.
Capterra Rating: 4.7/5 (2,112 Reviews)
Hive is a leading project management tool that helps thousands of teams work faster, whether they are working remotely or in the office. Hive brings all of your workplace tools to one single dashboard, so you can manage projects, chat with coworkers, send emails, and even start Zoom calls without ever leaving the window. Hive is more than just your classic project management software -- it's the future of work productivity.
ProofHub is project management and team communication software that enables organizations of all sizes to maximize their process productivity. From a diligent task management system to online Gantt Charts and team chat, ProofHub is a complete solution for remote and in-house teams.
Capterra Rating: 4.4/5 (51 Reviews)