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Tools to Empower your Remote Working Teams

Tools to Empower your Remote Working Teams

While work from home was considered a luxury a few months backs, now it has become a necessity. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a massive shift in the way we work. Companies have asked their employees to work from home. The small businesses are definitely facing trouble in keeping up with the required technology to empower their remote teams, whereas the big companies are starting to consider shifting their working patterns permanently as they are forced to embrace remote working.

Working from home offers employees a higher degree of autonomy. Therefore, engaging and managing remote employees can be a challenge for employers, as they struggle to find the right leadership style, the best tools and a reasonable return on investment. At the same time, autonomy is a strong engagement driver for employees. It is extremely important to empower them to manage themselves efficiently so that they feel confident in their abilities and performance.

A big challenge that employers are facing is finding the right software that enables efficient remote work, allowing their employees to fine-tune their work schedule to their most productive hours of the day, and use the rest of the time to tackle their personal issues.

In this article, we will look at a list of remote working tools that will help your employees ace their work from home job under 4 categories – Product Management, Video Calling, Messenger and Employee Engagement.

Ø Product Management

1.   Github

At the heart of GitHub is Git, an open-source project started by Linux creator Linus Torvalds. Git manages and stores revisions of projects. Although it’s mostly used for code, Git could be used to manage any other type of file, such as Word documents or Final Cut projects.

GitHub is a web-based version-control and collaboration platform for software developers. Microsoft had initiated an acquisition of GitHub for US$ 7.5 billion in June 2018. Due to the easy user interface and its version-control tools useful for collaboration, non programmers have also begun to use GitHub to work on document-based and multimedia projects. 

Some of its products include:

·   Github Gist: Allows GitHub users to share pieces of code or other notes.

·   GitHub Flow: A lightweight, branch-based workflow for regularly updated deployments.

·   GitHub Pages: Static web pages to host a project, pulling information directly from an individual’s or organization’s GitHub repository.

·   GitHub Desktop: Enables users to access GitHub from Windows or Mac desktops, rather than going to GitHub’s website.

2.       Jira


Jira is a great project management tool for teams needing to guide a product from wireframe to hard launch and beyond. Jira’s software features like scrum boards, roadmaps, agile reporting and customizable workflow provide support to the Product Development teams.

Jira has over 3000 third and first-party apps that integrate with the main platform to add further functionality like Google Drive, Slack, Draw.io, Microsoft Teams, GitHub and Balsamiq to name a few. It also offers training and certificate options for further learning on its website.

Jira costs from US$ 7/user/month and has a free version of the software for up to 10 users. Its premium version costs US$ 14/user/month. Jira Software has invested in GDPR and Privacy Shield to ensure all data is handled with care. The software safeguards your data with controls like permissions and encryption in transit and at rest.

3.       Monday.com


monday.com is an online product management platform that enables teams of all sizes to plan, track, and manage their daily work. The platform helps teams define clear ownership, analyze and track their work and collaborate together. The platform is easy-to-use making it simple for teams to work together from anywhere. 

monday.com has a simple and intuitive UI, leading to quick and efficient onboarding. monday.com offers 24/7 support, recorded webinars and tutorials. Its Knowledge Base articles ensure that the teams get the answers to their questions.

monday.com provides customizable templates for any team or stage of product management. monday.com can support teams with anywhere from 5 to 5,000 members.

The platform has integrations with 40+ tools that allow 2-way sync of data. Within monday.com, sales teams can import their lead data from Salesforce, marketing teams can update campaign information in Hubspot, and R&D teams can manage anything through GitHub. 

Its basic package costs US$ 8/user/month and pro package costs US$ 16/user/month.

Ø Video Calling

1.       Zoom


Zoom helps businesses and organizations bring their remote teams together to get work done. Their easy, reliable cloud platform for video, voice, content sharing and chat runs across mobile devices, desktops, telephones, and room systems. Zoom is publicly traded on Nasdaq (ZM) and headquartered in San Jose, California. The COVID-19 pandemic has made Zoom one of the leading video conferencing software apps. Over half of Fortune 500 companies reportedly used Zoom in 2019. The company claims over 300 million Zoom meeting participants daily.

Some of the features of Zoom are:

  •   One-on-one meetings: Host unlimited one-on-one meetings with the free plan.
  •  Group video conferences: Host up to 500 participants. The free plan, however, allows you to host video conferences of up to 40 minutes and up to 100 participants.
  •  Screen sharing: Meet one-on-one or with large groups and share your screen with them so they can see what you see. 

The Zoom Pro pack costs US$ 14.99 per month. Zoom Business pack costs US$ 19.99 per month. Zoom Enterprise pack costs US$ 19.99/£15.99 per month. It offers unlimited cloud storage for recordings, a customer success manager, and discounts on webinars and Zoom Rooms.

2.       Google Meet

Google Meet

Google Meet is making enterprise-grade video conferencing available to everyone. Anyone with a Google Account can create an online meeting with up to 100 participants and meet for up to 60 minutes per meeting.

Google Meet is already included in Google Workspace and G Suite for Education.

You can start a meeting or join a meeting from any modern browser on your desktop or laptop. There’s no additional software to install.

Some of the features of Google Meet are:

·       Unlimited number of meetings

·       Live captioning during meetings

·       Compatible across devices

·       Video and audio preview screen

·       Adjustable layouts and screen settings

·       Controls for meeting host

·       Screen Sharing

·       Messaging with participants

·       Integration with Google and Microsoft Office Apps

Ø Messenger

1.       Slack


Slack is a popular workplace chat app. It is a communication tool – “a single place for messaging, tools and files.” Slack is an instant messaging system with lots of add-ins for other workplace tools. There are two methods of chat in Slack: channels (group chat), and direct message or DM (person-to-person chat).

Slack allows users to integrate almost any app they want, like GitHub, Jenkins, StackOverflow, Google Analytics, ServiceNow, MailChimp or SalesForce. There are over 1500 apps Slack can integrate with. This makes Slack a powerful application that a user can have open on one screen while working on another. Slack has become a one-stop-shop for a lot of users. In 2017, it was also recognized as the best startup of the year at the Crunchies Awards, organized by TechCrunch.

2.       Troop Messenger

Troop Messenger

Troop Messenger is a comprehensive instant messaging app for businesses-small to giant. Its user-friendly office chat app is compact with contemporary features addressing your business needs and necessities. It allows teams to collaborate on a single screen.

Troop Messenger’s free plan comes with access to up to five group chats, file sharing, global search, user panels, and one-on-one messaging, for free. The Premium services start at US$ 1 per user per month, with access to live tracking, audio messaging, video calling, screen sharing, and countless other features for between 1-100 users. The most expensive version of the Troop Messenger app is only US$ 5 per user per month, with access to support for unlimited storage, and unlimited users.

Some of the key features of Troop Messenger are:

  • Up to 1TB of storage: Store as much information as you need within your chat app, with 50Gb for free and up to 1TB available.
  • Contact Search: Find any user you need within your enterprise.
  • Unlimited Groups: Make collaborative interaction more enjoyable with as many groups as you need.
  • Free chat and email support: Ensure you always have access to professional assistance with a 24/7 team dedicated to addressing your requests.
  • Unlimited message history: All of your messages are saved for as long as you want them.
  • Video calling: Give your team a chance to get together face-to-face, without expensive travel. Video calling is built-in for projects and presentations.

3.  Workplace


Workplace by Facebook is a great tool for brainstorming, mining information, and amplifying the overall reach of the content you create.  It is a collaboration and communication tool connecting employees to one another via an internal social network. Workplace allows companies to manage how groups are created and they can create a network that is tailored to their specific needs.

Workplace is available at two levels: Premium and Standard. Premium provides access to integrations and other enterprise-level features including single sign-on, APIs, and IT monitoring tools. The free Standard level doesn’t have many of those customization features but comes with productivity features like a mobile app, video chat, instant messaging, unlimited file storage space, desktop notifications (Windows only), and integration with file storage services like Google Drive lacks.

Workplace looks and functions like Facebook. Therefore, it is easy to navigate. Like Facebook, Workplace offers attractive features like Live Video, News Feed, Groups, Messenger, Reactions, Search, and Trending Posts. In addition to the regular Facebook, Workplace has a dashboard with analytics, integration, single sign-on, and identity providers that companies can use to integrate Workplace with their existing IT systems.

Ø Employee Engagement

1.       Donut


Donut was created to encourage regular communication between people in different departments who possess different backgrounds and expertise. Donut is a Slack app that randomly pairs co-workers and reminds them to meet up, whether it’s for coffee or just a 15-minute Slack call.

Donut organizes pairings and keeps pairs from repeating until all other pair options have been used. It will start up a group chat between two co-workers and the Donut bot, which will help facilitate a meeting by reminding you and your pair to schedule a meeting also called ‘Donut Date’. Donut has a simple mission, that is to help people “be happy and engaged at work”.

The Standard pack starts at US$ 49/month, while the Premium pack starts at US$ 99/month.

2.       ChatFox


ChatFox is a Slack chatbot that builds a remote team culture. It helps build a strong remote team culture, improve remote team productivity, and eliminate team member isolation, as remote teams only engage through projects, tasks and deadlines.

ChatFox delivers the data needed to improve employee engagement, rewards, skills assessments, and communication. It helps to – increase employee mobility, improve employee engagement, reinforce company values and define employee technical and soft skills. ChatFox also helps remote teams get to know each other in the most engaging way possible by building one on one relationships, getting team feedback and getting rewarded for employee engagement.

The above-mentioned tools are some of the best tools for remote working. If you want to empower your employees, boost productivity, and ensure a smooth transition to remote work, these are the software you need to consider.

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Komal writes about the startup ecosystem on VCBay. She is an Economics Hons. graduate from Miranda House, Delhi University, and is passionate about the world of entrepreneurship and finance.


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