With the increasing number of remote teams in organizations, the need for remote collaboration tools and good communication is an essential part of the day. Choosing the right apps for your team can be overwhelming with all the options available and there’s never a one-size-fits-all solution.
Here are a few features remote teams find useful in remote collaboration tools:
- Having one-touch access to communicate via chat or video.
- Allowing multiple team members to work on the same file at the same time.
- Apps that seamlessly allow team members to access files and share with each other or with their customers.
- Lastly, the app that has features for your team’s core business function, e.g. project management and sales.
Not every app will have the same features as others. With that being said, the list below is a round-up of the most widely used apps for remote teams.
G Suite for Business
G Suite remains to be the best option for business email, video conferencing, online storage and file sharing. Your team will have email on mobile devices, even without a connection. The conversations can go beyond email with chat and video in Hangouts. Your team will meet face-to-face with HD video conferencing and built-in screen sharing.
G Suite’s productivity apps include shareable calendars that integrate seamlessly with Gmail, Drive, and Hangouts. You can view and edit your schedule from your phone or tablet, share special events with customers or let people know when you’re available with easy calendar publishing.
Google+ makes it fast and easy to share ideas and collaborate with your coworkers and customers. With this app, you can easily discuss and share ideas.
With G Suite, your team will be able to create and edit text documents, handle everything from simple task lists to data analysis with charts, filters, and pivot tables, present polished presentation and much more.
Microsoft Office 365
Office 365 has all the calendar, office apps and cloud storage like G Suite, but Skype and Yammer are the two apps that set it apart.
Team members can conduct Skype to Skype video or voice calls to anyone in the world, for free. You can manage your online meetings with advanced calling options, like muting one or all participants and transferring presenter control. Record meetings, share your screen and annotate PowerPoint for real-time collaboration with up to 250 people.
What makes Yammer so unique is it’s ability to seamlessly enables connections to people and information from across your organization that you never knew existed, making it easier to move your work forward.
Here is a short list of ways your team can collaborate with Yammer:
- Start a Group for a project, your team, or anything at all
- Share ideas, questions, and updates with your coworkers
- Public Groups for working in the open; Private Groups for sensitive ideas
- Safely collaborate with partners and customers with External Groups
- Upload files, photos, and videos and have conversations around them
- Stay connected with Yammer apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone
With G Suite and Office 365 being the most widely used app, there are a few notable apps that work well integrated or even on their own.
Slack takes the email out of your work day by providing a new kind of messaging for teams. The conversations are nicely organized into channels.
Your team can make channels for a project, a topic, a team, or anything—everyone has a transparent view of all that’s going on.
Another great feature from Slack is Direct Messages. Team members can send messages directly to another person or to a small group of people for more focused conversations.
Lastly, Slack’s Call feature makes collaboration easy. Take a conversation from typing to face-to-face by starting a Slack voice or video call in any Channel or Direct Message. You can also share your screen with everyone you invite to the call.
Over 20,000 businesses use Dropbox Business to securely share, sync and collaborate with their team. These four features make Dropbox Business a perfect choice for remote teams:
- Groups: Create groups to easily manage team member access to specific folders.
- Team folder manager: Get visibility and control over team folders, including sync management.
- Link permissions: Password-protect your links or set expiration dates to grant temporary access.
- Third-party app integrations: Extend the power of Dropbox with over 300,000 connected apps.
This app allows users to create a “note” which can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten “ink” note. Notes can be sorted into a notebook, tagged, annotated, edited, given comments, searched. Share big ideas by collaborating seamlessly with co-workers in a group notebook.
HipChat is a web service for an internal private online chat and instant messaging. It also features cloud-based file storage, video calling, searchable message history and inline image viewing. HipChat is also good for remote development teams, especially those who already use Atlassian’s such as Jira Software and Confluence. With these apps, you can track team activity, give feedback, and stay in sync between mobile and desktop.