As businesses expand and become more global, many employees are transitioning to working from remote locations. Some businesses don’t even have a main office because all their workers login from home or a coffee shop. Even businesses that typically require you to show up are now allowing some people to punch the clock at home due to vacation plans. How do people who never see their boss or other coworkers get anything done? The key to a remote business is online collaboration. As long as you have an internet connection you can communicate with people on the other side of the world. Here are 5 easy online programs to help you collaborate with your team and increase productivity.
1. Slack (Communication)
Slack is an app that allows people to chat on their computer or on a smart phone or tablet. Slack stands for Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge. It is similar to a group text but it provides various channels to discuss different issues or categories. It reduces the need for email because you can add files for others to all see at once. You can send one message to your entire team or link a file for everyone to view at once.
2. Zoom (Video Conference)
There are a lot of apps that allow people to talk through a video chat. Unfortunately many programs have issues with screens freezing or buffering or screen shares not working properly. Zoom is a highly rated video conference program that accommodates a large number of people. Some companies even have 65 different people all in the same video conference across the globe. There is also a gallery view so you can see all the users at the same time similar to the view of the TV show The Brady Bunch.
3. Google Drive (Remote File Storage)
Every business needs to store documents, spreadsheets, photos, etc. Some companies use share drives on their own network, but Google Drive is a nice option for remote workers. Everyone can view the same files at once and make edits without having to log out or open “read only” files when they are already in use. Google drive offers its own versions of Google Docs for a word processing program and Google Sheets as a form of spreadsheets. It also has a Google Slides program which is similar to PowerPoint. These files can be easily pulled up anywhere you have internet access.
4. InVision (Design Share)
InVision is like a digital whiteboard that you can share with your team. It allows you to create prototypes, animate, design, and collaborate. You can sketch wire frames, sitemaps, photos, and even change navigation. It is used by large companies like Uber, MailChimp, Netflix, Twitter, and Evernote. This program serves many technology companies with a strong digital presence.
5. Trello (Project Management)
All businesses usually need a manager or someone who will call the shots. Trello is a highly rated project management program that can keep all your tasks organized. When organizations have a lot of projects to maintain over a long period of time, many can be forgotten about, so this program keeps everyone up to date and on the same page about each project’s status. Trello is a simple and flexible program. It doesn’t require tons of data so it doesn’t take up a lot of your time to enter new tasks.