The pandemic has changed the way we all work in profound ways, with one of the biggest and enduring changes being remote working. But it’s not all working from the beach in Bali (although this does sound lovely!)
Leaders and employees both have had to make adjustments and invest in dealing with the challenges that come with remote teams.
Using a variety of software tools to build, grow, and manage remote teams, companies can effectively mitigate these challenges.
At Velocity, we work with teams around the globe and have gotten to see how teams have adapted to the new world. This certainty isn’t an exhaustive list, but here’s a few software tools to help remote organizations thrive:
Notion – simplify your tools
Effective remote teams use a number of tools to foster better communication and make sure expectations are clear and transparent. Notion gives your team the tool it needs to combine work documents and collaboration in one place for quick and easy reference.
For users of Evernote and other similar note-taking apps, you might find Notion somewhat familiar. However, comparing the two is like comparing an amateur athlete and an Olympic medal winner.
The beauty of Notion is that it can be used as a simple note-taking app, but also lets teams create databases, manage projects, and build knowledge portals — for internal teams and external use. The best part — everyone on the team can work on Notion collaboratively.
Teams can leverage Notion’s library of templates to get inspiration on specific projects or workflows, saving time and effort and increasing efficiency.
Company-wide information flow is also improved through Notion. Rather than relying on status meetings or endless Slack updates, teams can set up pages that provide key project updates that roll up to organization-level goals and objectives.
Successful organizations use Notion to create “Wikis” for each functional department that serves as the first place others within the organization go when they have a question. For instance, the marketing team can have a page that covers all the information about making requests to post on the social media account, or a place that has all the updated company logos.
Notion provides some limited project management capabilities, but it doesn’t really match what’s available to organizations within a tool like Asana or Trello. Fortunately, as Notion offers an API, making it easy to leverage Notion in parallel to a Project Management tool.
Check out Notion’s dedicated page to learn more about using Notion for remote work.
Asana – for managing projects
We’re a bit biased, but of course we couldn’t leave Asana off this list!
Project Management has become an even more important tool as companies have shifted to remote work and Asana has consistently ranked as the leader in the market. Those that already used Project Management have continued to expand usage across new teams and use cases.
Asana’s easy-to-use interface makes it simple to communicate with your team about what they are doing and allows teams to comment and collaborate on each task directly in Asana. This enables companies to work asynchronously and lets global companies be constantly productive.
When the whole company buys into Asana (or any other Project Management tool), there’s no need to wait for your colleague to wake up or send them an urgent Slack late at night. All the information is available in Asana for the entire team to see.
Asana doesn’t offer a direct competitor to Slack or MS Teams —it won’t replace your messaging software. However, certain third-party integrations available to Asana help increase the effectiveness of both solutions. For instance, by integrating Asana and Slack, you can create notifications based on tasks in Asana or open a task directly from Slack.
Asana does take some investment and time for an organization to fully translate its workflows to a new program. However, with Asana’s templates and resources and a company-wide commitment, these efforts typically pay off in a big way.
Deel – for compliance and payroll
With more companies considering remote work for the long-term, companies have expanded their talent search. Deel helps businesses keep pace with local taxes and changing local laws to make sure that they remain in compliance.
Deel is a compliance app for distributed teams. It makes sure that timesheets and invoices are tracked per country, as well as ensuring that sales tax, payroll, expenses, and legal compliances are met.
Deel has integrations with many major apps (like Bamboo and Quickbooks) which make it easy to report time off or on the clock. Also, companies that use Deel can not only hire talent around the world, but also pay them in their preferred currency.
A great example of Deel in operation is the benefits that it provided to Slite. Slite is a growing software company that was initially launched in Paris, France in 2017. They’ve used Deel to create a globally distributed team working in 7 different countries and 6 different time zones.
While Asana and Deel don’t currently directly integrate, they do complement each other quite well. While Deel focuses on enabling companies with the legal and financial aspects of hiring a distributed workforce, Asana helps to make sure the remote teams are working effectively.
Time Management – more essential than ever
Ok – we know, this is a fourth, but we thought we’d give Time Management tools an honorable mention.
With remote working, especially for freelancers and consultants, the boundaries between personal time and work time can get blurry.
To combat this, tracking time can be very helpful in conjunction with a Project Management tool (i.e. Asana), where employees can log how much time they spent on specific tasks, giving clarity to managers who may be a few time zones away.
We dive deeper into Time Management tools in this post.
Tools like the ones mentioned in this list help companies find resources and also better manage their remote workforce quickly and easily. They also make it easier to hire talent based on their skill set rather than where they live, leading to a more diverse workforce.
Proper planning, training, and investment are key when onboarding any of these tools, especially if you are dealing with time zones issues or multiple offices around the world. Take advantage of all the great resources these companies offer, as well as the ecosystems of consultants and experts that they’ve each created.
If you use Asana and are interested in deeper reporting or creating live feeds, feel free to reach out! We’d love to hear from you: [email protected]