5 Free Apps That Can Boost Productivity In Remote Teams

remote teams

How do you imagine remote work nowadays? At a conference? In a room? Gathering your team together on a round table is just a common remote work myth, as collaboration went far beyond scheduling occasional meetings, and odds are solid it won’t return there. Obviously, face-to-face communication pulls the strings however you look at the issue, but round tables and rooms are long gone off the scene.

So, how do you remain competitive in such a variable environment? Following remote work trends may not be the brick and mortar of boosting productivity, but it is certainly an appreciated practice to get there. A well-connected team is the company’s best bet to grow and close deals, and that’s more than possible when providing services from various locations, as The Guardian explains in their detailed Remote Working business discussion.

But what does ‘following remote work trends’ actually mean, and how can you be absolutely positive you’re on the right track? For what is worth, there is no unified game of chasing productivity, but a good course of action is to sneak peak on the market, and see what’s in there for you:

  1. Wrike’s Sharing of Project Data

For those who are not familiar with it, Wrike has gone the extra mile to become one of the best project management software services, but what pushed it to the front in this category were its collaboration features, rather than its agile task management. Despite of it, Wrike is still first and foremost titled as project management software, which is why it may occur that you don’t consider it on the hunt for a useful collaboration update.

Why is Wrike a smart idea for remote and decentralized teams? Simply because it provides a whole new level of project data sharing, categorizing communication in crunch time, and reducing the burden of skipping miscommunication errors. To be more precise, Wrike tags and folders project data, and allows agents to share it on an interactive timeline where they can all contribute to it. Task by task, they will be able to discuss the process on spot, manage the workload, and even customize reports with joined forces. To make matters even better, small teams up to 5 users can use Wrike at no cost, while a painless transition to a paid plan (with a free trial!) is also available.

  1. Slack’s Snippets for Capturing Log Files and Raw Text Blocks

The rationale of every decision to transfer corporate communication to a centralized system is to benefit from cross-team transparency, and that’s an art Slack mastered long ago. There will hardly be a more competitive app on the market to grab hands around raw codes, especially if you consider that the current one allows for both internal and external sharing.

Slack is before anything else a communication platform, but one that can solve many expected challenges in a sales or a marketing team. In fact, Slack was developed working with teams in desperate need of growth acceleration, and knows very well how organized collaboration is supposed to look like. The reason why we’re bringing it to your attention is the suite of advanced features that can help you capture log files and store communication, as for instance insight in technical operations, a centralized database, searchable communication history, powerful archiving, and read-state synchronization. The same as Wrike, Slack offers a free lifetime package for small teams, and few modestly priced business packages for the bigger ones.

You can try Slack here. This link gives you $100 credit with Slack if you purchase the paid version.

  1. Trello’s Progress Meter

Up-to-date teams can’t afford the luxury to skip Trello, and there is a series of reasons for that. What is of particular interest to remote team pursuing progress is that Trello offers a unique method for measuring progress, both on card and board level. After the statistical data concerning each separate card/board has been inserted, Trello’s progress meter will calculate its individual weight based on the number of to-do items and tasks, which count as story points. Being able to measure the individual contribution of each task will make the company’s statistics far more accurate and transparent, helping to remove practices which are not efficient and to focus on ones that are genuinely useful for the progress of the company. More than calculating scores, managers will be able to focus on opportunities, and pay attention to performance and potential in correlation to their development strategy, and that’s exactly what Red Hat’s CEO Jim Whitehurst highlights in the ‘Managing performance when it is hard to measure’ article.

In addition, Trello offers Kanban charts for color coding, deadline notifications for desktop and mobile versions, storage and SSL encryption, and information revival. The basic plan remains free, but you can easily upgrade to the Trello Gold Plan ($5 per month) or to Trello Business Class one for enterprises and organizations (also $5 per month).

  1. Zoho People’s Employee Self-Service

Zoho People doesn’t only hold the name of a powerful productivity suite, but its proven capacity as well. Designed on the pillars of significant market experience, Zoho People revolutionized the term HR software, and synched together everything a remote team needs to be productive.

The essential feature Zoho People brings on the table is employee self-service, developed in a way which allows businesses to save time without risking missing some of the benefits their talent pool has to offer. With Zoho People in the toolkit, employees can access and modify their personal data by simply clicking a button, and they can do it from literally every device. Instead of spending hours managing and updating employee information, HR managers can now relax and let automated notifications invite employees to do it for themselves. To make matters even better, Zoho People allows the admin to draw accurate attendance reports, follow log times, balance leaves and manage reimburses, and export the personal data to external apps and services. As expected, Zoho People is available in a free 5-users version, and has a couple of modestly priced enterprise plans which include more users.

  1. TeamViewer’s Remote Support

TeamViewer is among the most popular remote support programs to be found on the market, as it allows IT teams from all around the world to solve queries on dot, and thousands of users to hold online meetings without necessarily switching locations. Thanks to TeamViewer, it is no longer necessary for IT agents to have physical access to their clients’ systems in order to fix bugs – all they need is a stable internet connection, and access approval by the user.

The productivity benefits TeamViewer can deliver are pretty self-explanatory: you can install it for free, and continue saving thanks to the opportunity to interact and exchange information from any location using different types of technology. As complex or onerous the issues may be, satisfied users around the world confirm that TeamViewer has the power to solve them. On top of that, the tool is secure, and keeps data and conversations private, and companies don’t have to worry that their corporate data will fall in the wrong hands. In fact, many prominent brands such as Microsoft, Philips, and iRobot entrusted their information to this free remote support platform, and recommended it both to individual and business users who wish to take remote work on a more sophisticated level.

About the Author:


Alex Hillsberg

Chief editor of review team at FinancesOnline Alex Hillsberg is an expert in the area of B2B and SaaS related products. He has worked for several B2B startups in the past and gathered a lot of first hand knowledge about the industry during that time.

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