Distributed Work

A guide to the remote work tools that cuts out the crap!

Samantha Hulls
March 18, 2023
 min read

Remote work is only as successful as the digital tools your team has at hand. Work environments, especially remote work environments, can get frustrating when you're not using the right tool for the task. What tools do leading remote teams use? Everyone loves a good tool but with so SO many out there it can get overwhelming.  Here's our guide to becoming the jack-off all (remote) trades, step by step! We start by clustering our software recommendations into five main categories:

  1. Instant Communication
  2. Virtual Meeting Software
  3. Project Management & Goal Setting
  4. Creativity
  5. Collaboration & File Sharing
  6. Other Specialised Software

Instant Communication

Since remote work means that physical contact points will be reduced, you need to find another way to stay in touch with your team.

People no longer meet at the water cooler to chat. They can neither go out for lunch together nor can they pop up at each other’s desk with a quick question or come by the office next door to speed up productivity. You will need others way to stay in touch.

Why not just email? Well, email can get clunky, especially if you’re having a conversation with more than one person. Just a few back-and-forths and mistaken reply-alls and the whole thread has become a mess. An app designed specifically for ongoing conversations with multiple people is absolutely necessary if you’re working from home.

Our carefully curated Top 5 instant communication tools with descriptions - on the next page!

1. Slack

Our number one tool of choice is Slack. It is kind of the gold standard of instant communication. It is easy to use, integrates with a lot of services and is independent from huge cloud software suppliers like Google or Microsoft and thus provides more interoperability with other services.

2. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a hub for teamwork, bringing together everything a team needs: a chat and threaded conversations, meetings & video conferencing, calling, content collaboration with the power of Microsoft 365 applications, and the ability to create and integrate apps and workflows that a business relies on.

3. Chanty

Chanty is an all-in-one team collaboration tool with unlimited message history, powerful features and apps to make your team super productive. Chanty enables users to communicate, collaborate, organise, focus while ensuring data safety with

invite-only team access, data encryption & data export.

4. Flock

Flock empowers enterprises to securely manage their workforce and collaborative workstream. Flock is stacked with features and tools that make communication effortless and collaboration seamless from top to bottom, throughout the whole company. From communicating in channels over connecting with video conferencing to engaging with productivity tools, Flock has it all!

5. Google Hangout

From direct messages to group conversations, Google Hangout helps teams and businesses collaborate fluidly and efficiently from anywhere. Securely connect with anyone you work with, and take group work to the next level with shared chat, files and tasks.

👉 More alternatives over here.

Virtual Meeting Software

Photo: Pexels

When you think about remote work, you probably think video calls, virtual meetings, and remote presentations. And you’re right! These are a big part of working online, especially with teams and customers. So, having a reliable and robust tool for video calls is a sure way to make teleworking simpler and your “face time” as effective as possible.

Recommended meeting and presentation tools:

  1. Zoom (voted the easiest to use video-conferencing tool out there; holds up to 1000 participants)
  2. Google Meet (part of the well familiar Google Suite)
  3. join.me (simple and easy to use)
  4. Skype (instead of sharing a meeting link, you can call up your colleagues directly; instant file sharing)

Project Management

Staying on top of your own to-dos is challenging enough! Managing your team’s tasks and coordinating responsibilities remotely can be even more complicated. But it is totally doable. Remote work tools for productivity will keep you and your team on track no matter where you’re working from. And there are all kinds of options for different industries, working styles, and team sizes.

Tools we recommend:

  1. Asana (a project management software that takes a task-oriented approach and offers a broad set of features)
  2. Trello (a kanban-based task management tool)
  3. Jira (designed to plan, track, and release great software; fulfills the advanced needs of software teams)
  4. AirTable (a solution for the restrictions of spreadsheets)
  5. Pivotal Tracker (their velocity measurement feature is able to show your productivity and estimate your productivity in the future)
  6. Wrike (a premium tool that offers custom workflows, advanced security, and many integration opportunities)

Your Creativity Toolbox

Design, product and creative teams would undoubtedly hardly survive without virtual tools that allow wireframing, collaboration on designs and idea generation. While some creativity tools are great for collaborating on designs, tools like virtual whiteboards are great for virtual brainstorming, be it ideas for a new blog post, an app feature or a brand new campaign.

Virtual collaboration tools recommended by One Coworking:

  1. Miro (virtual whiteboard)
  2. MURAL (virtual whiteboard)
  3. Productboard (customer-driven product management system)
  4. Lucidchart (collaborate on diagrams)
  5. Creately (collaborate on diagrams)
  6. Figma (the Google Docs for design; all-in-one design, prototyping and real-time collaboration tool)
  7. InVision (import wireframes you already have and create interactive clickable prototypes)

Collaboration & File-sharing Tools

Photo: Pexels

One way to make sure your remote team is always in sync is to use convenient and reliable file-sharing tools, which help keep everyone on the same page. Without a doubt, file sharing for teams is one of the most important collaborative tools for remote, traditional and hybrid teams alike. Prevent your teammates wasting time re-doing work that’s already been done!

File sharing tools recommended by One Coworking:

  1. Google Drive (part of the well familiar Google Suite)
  2. Nextcloud (file-sharing and collaboration platform)
  3. Dropbox (cloud-based document management system; one of the largest file-sharing platforms in the world)
  4. Box (cloud-based DMS with advanced security features)
  5. OneDrive (perfect for those already using Microsoft Office 365)

Other Specialised Software

Tools for Space Management

Workspace management platforms help transform offices into flexible, safe and connected spaces. They are indispensable for companies with a hybrid work model: space management software will ensure effective use of desks which belong to colleagues working remotely.

Software for flexible and safe workspaces:

  1. Officely (create a back-to-the-office schedule, ensure distancing)
  2. Robin Powered (easy to update floor plan and analytics about how to maximise space)
  3. teem (book rooms, analyse behaviour)
  4. Axxerion (plan moves, access interactive floor plans, implement hot-desking)
  5. spaceOS (operate workspace through a single system)
  6. Smarten Spaces (using AI to optimise your space in alignment with the hybrid needs of your workforce)
  7. One Coworking (easily book external workspaces for your team with one global membership)

Tools for Writing and Editing

With all the video footage and images out there, sometimes it feels like words aren’t relevant any more. But, when it comes to remote work, writing and editing are two of the most important skills. You can have video meetings and phone calls, but much of your communication will be by email or chat. And, if you’re not a developer, your work might involve writing and editing blog posts, marketing messages, or support docs.

Writing and editing tools recommended by One Coworking:

  1. Grammarly (corrects grammar errors and improves your writing style)
  2. Evernote (feature-rich note taking and organisation tool)
  3. TextExpander (saves keystrokes via predictable typing)
  4. WorkFlowy (outlining tool for organising ideas into large zoomable lists)

Tools for Time Management

Some people might think that working remotely means not having to watch the clock, but the opposite is true. Time management is actually even more important when you’re away from a traditional office setting. Whether you need a project timer to track hours for client projects or a tool to track your status updates, time management tools will keep you productive and on task both on your own and as a team.

Time management  tools recommended by One Coworking:

  1. Google Calendar
  2. I Done This status update manager
  3. Pocket save-for-later-reading app
  4. RescueTime computer use tracker
  5. Toggl time tracker for projects

One Coworking is the app that inspires people to go remote, because with the right tools it's remote's not just funner than the traditional office, it can be a lot more efficient! What's your take-away on this? Do you agree or have we missed something? We'd love to hear from you!

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Maria Gomez
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