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6 Apps and Tools to Aid Remote Working and Team Collaboration
by Startacus Admin
Often, an entrepreneur or team member in a startup will find themselves having to work away from the office. Many startups and digital businesses won’t even have an office. If you find yourself on the move, working from home, or collaborating with colleagues or freelancers around the world, you are probably going to need more than just email to keep in touch.
As well as its own internal public and private messaging and sharing systems, Slack takes various communication and file sharing channels and bundles them up into one easy to use product, connecting all of the tools you already use and allowing you to work without having a dozen browser tabs sitting open. Creating ‘channels’ allows you to have multiple conversations going on at once on various topics without it getting confusing or bothering team members that aren’t involved.
Naturally, Slack is available on iOS and Android devices as well as a desktop version, allowing you to continue your conversations even if you’re halfway to the shop to get milk.
Security is a big concern of any company that does business online. Combine that fact with the need for multiple employees or team members to access the same apps and websites and you have a security breach waiting to happen. And, unfortunately, a high percentage of security breaches are internal.
Meldium takes care of this worry by allowing team members access to the necessary apps and websites without ever needing to know passwords or even user names. You simply connect your accounts to Meldium and then choose what employees are able to access them. This has the added benefit of always being able to see who is using what, and when. So not only do you not have to worry about that angry employee you just fired going off and changing all your passwords, but you won’t need to send that sensitive information through potentially insecure channels.
Working remotely can be a lonely endeavour. Even your cat ignores you. Sqwiggle is a simple communication tool that allows you to feel some connection to the rest of your team, no matter where you are. At set intervals (orsimply when you choose), Sqwiggle will take a picture of you, allowing team members to see you hard at work, absent from your chair, or struggling with a burglar.
With a single click on someone’s face you can invite them to video chat, and if you don’t feel like speaking there is a team text chat too. Also worth mentioning is the file transfer function, which means you don’t have to switch back and forth between apps.
Trello is just as useful if you work alone as it is for team collaboration. It is an online pin board allowing you to create lists and ‘cards’ that you can drag and drop into them. If you are creating a to-do list, for example, you can simply drag members you have added to your Trello board to the specific card to show them what you need them to work on.
These cards and lists are just the tip of the iceberg, though, as members can post comments, add checklists, upload files from various sharing tools, and sync it all across your devices. It is as simple or in-depth as you need, with many functions added when you want them added.
15Five is a handy tool to keep up to date with your team and their needs. The idea is that you can send out a handful of simple questions to every team member and they will take 15 minutes to answer them. You then take 5 minutes to review the answers (yes, we know it will take longer, but it’s a catchy name) and offer direct feedback to specific answers.
This is a useful way of ensuring that all team members are happy and on the same page without spending too much time speaking to each and every one of them. That said, we do recommend that personal touch every now and then!
Okay, it might sound a bit stupid to add a clock to a list of remote working tools, but if you have team members (or clients) in another time zone, you’ll be driven mad every time you want to contact them but have to stop and remember how many hours ahead or behind they are and then work out what time it is for them (wasn’t it tiring enough just reading that sentence?). You don’t want to end up calling in the middle of the night and making yourself unpopular or sending an email that you need an urgent reply to only to realise it’s 3am where they are.
World Time Buddy allows you to add whatever city you want so that you can quickly and easily convert any time you mouse over. You can even use it as a scheduler.
Although too obvious to include in the main list, Google Docs, Dropbox and Skype are three invaluable tools for the remote worker. If you have been living under a rock then you probably don’t know about these, but each one is a powerful tool for different aspects of remote work and collaboration.
Do you have any favourite remote working or team collaboration apps and tools?
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