A recent report from Upwork found that 63% of companies have someone on their team who works remotely a significant portion of the time, yet, that same report found that 57% of companies don’t have a remote work policy in place.
You read that right!
Less than half of companies working with remote workers have set processes or tools in place to communicate and collaborate effectively with their offsite workers.
Not only does this leave departments at risk of inefficiency, it could also cause remote workers to feel ostracized from the team.
To follow-up on our recent post that highlights 9 ways to collaborate with global teams, we’re sharing 8 tools that leading organizations are using to effectively engage and collaborate with their remote workers and teams.
Trello is a project management solution recommended by Kim Smith, Content Marketing Manager at GoodFirms. It allows you to prioritize and manage projects across users and teams using boards, lists and cards. Based on the idea of using a whiteboard and sticky notes for a brainstorm session, this tool was created with the Kanban approach in mind, showing how a project is moving from left to right.
“Since the beginning, we have been employing a web-based project management tool - Trello. Trello offers a wide range of features and applications for customizing a work environment for your project. Boards, Titles, and Cards make easy for team members to list down targets, operations, and milestones into several categories. Also, team members can keep updating their individual work so as to keep the team co-ordinated.”
- Kim Smith, Content Marketing Manager at GoodFirms
Asana, another project management tool, was suggested by Mike Khorev, Digital Marketing Strategist and SEO Expert at Nine Peaks Media. This team collaboration tool is primarily focused around projects, with users assigned to manage specific tasks and subtasks. While its specialized in list-style management, it has recently added Kanban-style task management as an option.
“Recent technologies and SaaS software allow us to effectively communicate and work on tasks through team collaboration tools. Our company and some of our clients use Asana for this purpose, which is a task management tool that allows everyone to see who’s working on what.
Everyone on the team has a list of their tasks with the due dates, so it's easy for everyone else to check on the workload and plan accordingly. This helps provide some clarity no matter where you are, and so these tools even eliminate the need of emails, making operations more efficient so you can work remotely and don't need to be present in the office.”
- Mike Khorev, Digital Marketing Strategist and SEO Expert at Nine Peaks Media
MediaValet is a digital asset management system recommended by Sebastian Svärdebrandt, CIO at Nord-Lock Group. It allows global teams to access their important digital assets (photos, videos, documents and other media), from anywhere in the world, using a central and secure digital library. With an easy-to-use interface, advanced search capabilities and popular integrations, teams can easily collaborate on and share content with remote teams.
“Due to the global nature and footprint of our organization, we needed a solution that could be quickly and reliably accessed from any country in the world, could be easily used by all levels of users, and would ensure the right assets were accessed by the right people – at all times.
Thanks to MediaValet, we achieved each of these objectives with a single solution and were able to roll it out globally in less than a month. Today, our entire organization – including our extended distribution network - can quickly, easily and securely access the corporate assets they require, when they need them, from any device, anywhere in the world.”
- Sebastian Svärdebrandt, CIO at Nord-Lock Group
Fiona Adler, CEO at Actioned, recommended her own product as a simpler solution for remote teams looking to plan out their day. It allows users to list out which tasks they plan on completing that day, creating transparency and accountability for teams working across various offices. Using a clean and simple interface, teams can organize their week, collaborate on activities and reprioritize based on what other team members are working on.
“We have a dedicated tool that helps us plan our work - as individuals and as a team. The tool is called Actioned and it simply asks us to enter what we have planned for the day, and what we've completed during the day.
We've found that be being deliberate about what we're planning to do in a day, we're much more focused. We also know that the rest of our team can see our plan - so there's an element of healthy accountability there too! We each have a greater appreciation for what our team members are doing - which is very useful in cross-functional teams. It's also helped us identify times when someone might be prioritizing something differently than expected - and we can help get us all on the same page.”
- Fiona Adler, CEO at Actioned
Zoom is a video communication tool recommended by Jennifer McDermott, Head of Communications at finder. It uses the cloud to provide remote conferencing rooms for global teams to host online meetings, perform training and collaborate efficiently. Zoom is also a good option for teams looking to host webinars.
“When building a collaborative team, we’ve found face-to-face contact crucial. While time and cost prohibits us from physically getting together regularly, video calls are a great substitute. All of our meeting rooms and computer are enabled with Zoom video conferencing. Zoom also allows our conference calls to be recorded and shared with any team members unable to make them."
- Jennifer McDermott, Head of Communications at finder
Jing is a free screencasting tool from TechSmith, that came recommended by Syed Irfan Ajmal, Growth Marketing Manager at Ridester. Using Jing, users can take pictures or video clips of their computer screen and share it with others. It adds clarity to conversations by allowing teams to see visuals associated with certain tasks.
“We use Jing to record quick videos or take screenshots when we are unable to speak to a team member due to different time zones or internet connection issues. This tool automatically uploads them to the cloud which means we can share them very quickly with our team.”
- Syed Irfan Ajmal, Growth Marketing Manager at Ridester
Skype is a telecommunications application used by Tatiana Bonneau, CEO at AMAfeed, that allows for video chat and voice calling between remote teams. This solution also allows users to screen sharing, call recording and instant messaging, making it a well-rounded solution for working with remote teams.
“We communicate all the time on Skype, it is very convenient and most of us are always online. Apart from the means of communication, we compensate for the lack of in person time with activities that makes us get to know each other better, our chats on Skype often circle around personal topics, so we get to share more about our lives outside of work.”
- Tatiana Bonneau, CEO at AMAfeed
Wrike is a collaborative work management platform recommended by Hoon Kim, Creative Production Manager at Airbnb. The platform is packed with powerful integrations, tools, and features - including the ability to automate tasks and custom workflows - to create a unified digital workplace for managing programs, projects, and tasks. It provides teams with a single resource for information, real-time visibility into workflows, and invaluable analytics. With Wrike, collaboration becomes seamless, making it ideal for in-office, remote, and distributed teams.
“Dashboards and Reporting have eliminated a lot of the constant ‘what’s the status’ emails and meetings. People are now able to just check their Dashboard and know what the health is, and then utilize their time more efficiently.”
The main advantage of Wrike has been less frivolous communication. Whereas before a lot of time was spent trying to find information, with Wrike, people are more self-sufficient in finding that information on their own. That saves us a lot of time.”
- Hoon Kim, Creative Production Manager at Airbnb
Finding the right tools is just one step towards building a strong, cohesive remote team. To discover how leading organizations are better collaborating with global workers, be sure to check out 9 Marketing Leaders Share How They Collaborate with Global Teams.
MediaValet recently announced a new partnership with Wrike to provide digital asset management (DAM) through Wrike Publish within Wrike for Marketers, the company’s flagship vertical solution specifically designed for Marketing and Creative teams. This integration will unify marketing departments and help teams save time, protect brand identity, and maximize impact.