For business owners whose employees work remotely or are considering introducing remote working policies, there are countless tools and apps to help you manage your remote teams and their workloads, and enable continued collaboration no matter where they are based.
With over half of UK employers currently offering remote work to their staff, this trend has prevailed since the pandemic. Even those businesses that don’t work fully remotely have 1 in 4 employees working a hybrid model where they spend some days at home and some in the office, according to ONS.
In this article, company formation agent, 1st Formations, lists the top 8 apps (in no particular order) to help you manage your remote team effectively and stay connected and productive.
Ideal for professional service businesses, Scoro is an all-in-one management software that helps you manage your remote teams while standardising operations.
Scoro offers the following features:
- Project management: If your project manager works remotely, they can control each project from start to finish. Also, other team members can easily view each project’s status and pipeline, keeping everyone informed and on the same page.
- Quoting and budgeting: Stay connected with your finance team who can use Scoro to complete budgets and forecasting with complete visibility.
- Sales & CRM: Manage your customer accounts easily and seamlessly no matter where your employees are based.
- Resource planning: Integrate your employees’ projects to gain full visibility over your resources. Easily spot gaps in people’s workloads, address staffing shortages in advance and keep everyone occupied when your team works remotely.
- Retainer projects: Manage recurring projects with real-time insights into available budgets, project progress, and resource planning. Whether half or all of the team works remotely, simply add all relevant users to each project for maximum visibility whatever their location.
- Time tracking: Stay efficient and optimise your internal processes with remote teams with clarity over completed, ongoing, and planned tasks.
- Invoicing: Streamline your invoicing processes with automated billing to avoid late payments
- Cost management: Whether you want to budget for your employees’ home working equipment, travel expenses, or other outgoings, you can track your remote (and office) staff’s expenses easily and stay in control of internal spending.
- Reporting: A comprehensive and clear dashboard gives you detailed insights into your remote team’s progress, productivity, project results, and forecasts.
Scoro also enables vital tool integration, so if you already use Xero, Sage, or HubSpot, simply connect them to your Scoro account to have everything in one place.
Not only does Scoro allow you to stay in control of every part of your business, but it also enforces easy team collaboration. So, if you want to manage your remote team effectively, Scoro could be the right choice to stay in touch and maintain productivity visibility over your operations.
Fleep is a collaborative messenger app that allows you to communicate with your remote teams while scheduling tasks. Set up different chat channels to stay on track, manage individual conversations, and plan and execute tasks, all with instant messaging features. Simply tick tasks off as you go along to see what is outstanding, what is ongoing, and what is yet to be completed.
You can also make audio and video calls with Fleep as well as share your screen and see your employee’s availability status. Finally, integrate your existing tools like Trello, DropBox, and emails with Fleep to follow notifications and progress in a single app easily.
Fleep’s key features for managing remote teams are:
- Create and track tasks
- Highlight important announcements with the pinboard feature
- File sharing
- Direct messaging
- Video calls
- Screen sharing
- Compatible with all devices
- Integrate existing programmes
With Fleep, you can easily stay in touch with your remote team no matter where they are and what device they are using, keep everyone connected, and foster effective communication.
WhosOff is a simple-to-use instant leave management tool, which is especially useful for managing remote teams. As you take on more staff, it starts to get difficult to keep track of who is working, who is on annual leave, who has a doctor’s appointment, and who is working from home.
With WhosOff, you can centralise all this information to make sure that all your employees have visibility over who is working, who isn’t, and when they’ll be returning to work. One of its best features is that you can create your own custom leave types, their management requirements, and who has access to see them – build your Whos Off calendar to match exactly what your staff needs.
The key WhosOff features for managing your remote teams are:
- Create custom leave types, who approves them, and who can see them
- Block out any days that employees are not able to book off work, such as public holidays
- Enter staff leave in bulk
- Set up your own restrictions and policies
- Log annual leave, pending holidays, overtime, appointments, and onboarding days
- Compatible with iOS and Android phones so your remote team can access their WhosOff calendar from anywhere and any device#
WhosOff is an excellent for managing your remote staff. Those who are not in the office can easily submit leave requests, get notified when their requests are approved or denied, and see a simple calendar view of when their team members are away.
Jira is an agile software that lets you plan, track, release, and manage tasks with your remote team. Especially if you have larger, more complex projects to activate, Jira helps your remote employees stay focused and have clear visibility over each task’s status and where any backlogs are.
You can also split workflows and sprint easily with Kanban boards to maximise efficiency and create your own templates to get future projects started quickly.
Jira is excellent for managing your remote team and everyone’s tasks efficiently. It lets you arrange and customise sprints so that your staff know which projects are coming up, what’s in progress, what is being reviewed, and what is complete.
As you travel through each workflow, users can post comments on each page to maintain good communication and change the assignee to move tasks along.
Jira’s key features to help manage remote teams are:
- Activate customisable sprints
- Plan project roadmaps in advance
- Assign priority levels and deadlines to each task
- Post comments on tasks
- Create Kanban boards to centralise your sprints and projects for a comprehensive overview
- Enable a calendar view to see the progress of each task
- Receive email notifications when changes are made to a task
Jira makes collaboration, productive, and efficient teamwork possible when your staff works remotely.
Freshdesk is a great app for customer-facing businesses, allowing you to optimise and improve your customer support. Your remote team can use Freshdesk from anywhere in the world to track and manage incoming tickets from multiple channels, assign tickets to agents based on availability and workload, and set formatted replies to answer recurring queries quickly.
With Freshdesk, you can:
- Create a central inbox that all relevant employees can access to track and manage customer queries
- Allocate tickets to staff, ensuring an even workload and avoiding multiple people picking up the same ticket
- Set deadlines based on your business needs and operational hours
- Assign shared ownership to tickets that require escalation or the input of multiple team members
- Link tickets together to keep team members in the loop
- Group queries into parent/child tickets for maximum visibility over complex tickets
- Collaborate with team members no matter where they are, including third-party experts
Finally, Freshdesk collates email, phone, chat, social media, website, and WhatsApp tickets into one accessible place so that your remote team can easily carry out their roles when they’re not in the office.
Ranked #1 work management software on G2, monday.com allows you to tailor the software to your team’s needs. You can set goals, view ongoing projects and their progress, allocate resources, collaborate and communicate, manage client requests, and more – all in one place for optimal efficiency and connectivity.
Your remote team can benefit from Monday.com with the following features:
- Arrange and customise your remote team’s workflows however you wish, making it easy for everyone to see and understand
- Access real-time dashboards with workload statuses and performance breakdowns to make better decisions
- Get more done with pre-built automations that can auto-assign tasks and change statuses
- Connect your existing tools and apps to your Monday.com account to centralise your team’s work
You can easily and efficiently manage your remote team with Monday.com. Not only does it give you show you what people are working on and how busy they are, but it also gives you a comprehensive overview of your business goals, client projects, and procurement to see which areas are performing well and which need improving.
Similar to Fleep, Slack is a top-rated messaging platform, trusted by companies all over the world. Built for productivity, Slack allows you to automate routine tasks and use its integrated AI to simply your remote team’s workflow.
This flexible platform lets you choose how you want to work and engage with your remote staff by easily sending instant messages, hosting ‘huddles’ (live phone calls) and video calls, and creating separate channels to easily manage individual conversations and projects.
Bring your remote team together with these key Slack features:
- Organise channels
- Invite the right/relevant people to each channel
- Host huddles and live video calls
- Instant messaging
- File sharing
Slack is simple yet effective. In fact, over 80% of its users say that Slack has improved communication in their business, their ability to work remotely has improved, and they feel more connected to their teams.
8. Microsoft Teams
Last but not least is Microsoft Teams. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Microsoft Teams has become a trusted and widely used tools by businesses of all sizes all over the world. This professional meeting solution software is designed to help you connect with and manage your remote team in an easy, secure, and reliable way.
The Essentials plan is ideal for small businesses and its features include:
- Unlimited meetings with recording and transcript abilities
- Include up to 300 participants per meeting
- 10GB of cloud storage per user
- Unlimited chats
- Instant calls
- In-meeting chat function allows all participants to communicate
- Invite external guests to participate in chats
- Integrate your Outlook or Google calendar to keep track of meetings
- File sharing
Host virtual meetings, chats, and catch-ups with your remote team with Microsoft Teams and improve productivity and communication in your small business no matter where your employees are based.
For many companies, remote working policies are here to stay, but it can be tricky for remote staff to stay connected with your business. Our list of some of the best tools and apps offers a range of useful features that can help your employees stay in touch when working from home, boost and maintain productivity, visualise workloads and project progress, and collaborate efficiently.
1st Formations is a top-rated company formation agent in the UK. They are experts in guiding your business from concept to reality with a wide selection of packages to suit your budget and needs. Start your company today from just £12.99 and access quality post-incorporation services to keep your new business growing.