Work Smart – Best Apps and Tools That Keeps a Remote Team Going
There was a time when face-to-face conversation was the only way we could communicate. This naturally led to the obvious requirement of having all your employees working from the same location and in the same office. There was no alternative and that’s how our past generations worked. But then came the internet followed by globalization which has totally contradicted this methodology and brought the concept of remote work in the limelight. I won’t say that it isn’t difficult to manage a remote team but with the modern apps and tools, things seem to be growing better and better each day.
Even Richard Branson thinks offices are about to be a thing of the past. Here’s what he had said when discussing on the advantages of having a remote work team, “Many employees who work from home are extremely diligent, get their job done, and get to spend more time with their families. They waste less time commuting and get a better work/life balance. To force everybody to work in offices is old school thinking.” All of us at The Gadget Flow totally agree to that statement and have been trying to live up to it for the past couple of years.
To work with people you have never met or seen in person might seem a bit unbelievable but that’s what our work lives have been like for the last two years. Flexible working hours, quick discussions without wasting time or energy and extreme amount of dedication is the key to growing a remote team. But we couldn’t have done a bit of it if these apps and tools weren’t there. So if you’re curious to know how we communicate and work at The Gadget Flow or is about to build a remote team yourself, here are the tools and apps you should look for:
I can’t imagine what the day would be like if we didn’t have Slack. It’s an ideal platform for team communication which can work across all your devices and keeps you notified of all that you need to know. You can create separate channels depending on your requirements and include team members who are responsible for that particular work only. So, that’s a good way to differentiate “sales” from “marketing” or “blog editors” from “customer service reps”. Just so that we don’t get bored through out the day, there are channels for our entertainment needs as well. Here’s what our Founder and CEO Evan Varsamis has to say about using Slack, “Slack is one window worth having open. Email is clunky for short conversations and slack is here to fix that. We’ve been using it for over 6 months now and we are so happy with the results. The UI is awesome, blazing fast and stable, I’d strongly recommend it to any company out there.”
Just like any other ecommerce platform, we are loaded with emails everyday. Infact, just calling it a load would be an understatement. What we needed was a platform that could help us manage all our emails, segregate them according to priority and also assign the respective team members the emails they need to respond. Help Scout comes as a breath of fresh air in solving this problem and keeping our inbox well managed all the time. A perfect help desk teams can definitely do with.
Ever since the time we started working at The Gadget Flow, Podio was that one platform which gave us the ability to maintain a proper structure at work. We got to build our own apps depending on the requirement and have everything we need synchronized under one roof. No team member is confused with what they have to do and when which is definitely where our goal lies.
This is what makes our online conversations come alive. Emojis, video chats, group conversations – there’s nothing Google Hangouts doesn’t have in store. Given the fact we all have Google accounts, it’s easy to set up customer calls or chats with Google Hangouts there. Since it syncs with all your devices, it helps us to keep our conversations going no matter where we go.
Be it short notes, scribbles or a long research, there couldn’t have been a better app than Evernote to sync your notes together. We love it like anything and prefer using it whenever there’s a note to be taken. It’s super fast, properly synced and has an awesome interface. With the latest work chat feature, collaboration has become easier than before.
We believe newsletters shouldn’t be too cramped up and should look pretty simple and easy to read. That’s where MailerLite has been helping so that we are able to provide all our newsletter subscribers with a simple newsletter template that introduces you to all our products at a go (on a daily and weekly basis).
You must have already noticed that we do stress on making our site work faster day by day. MaxCDN is what helps us in keeping up with this desire to work on better side speed which enables faster content delivery on any device irrespective of the file size.
User feedback is necessary for every platform you design and UserTesting ensures you get this input from users in a much easier format. It’s as they say “Usability Testing Made Easy”. When real people speak their thoughts out on your platform, it’s a great way you can work on it and try to improve every day.
Hiring decisions for your team is something which needs to be organized and well thought out. One mistake can take you and your business down the wrong lane. That’s why we chose Workable which helps us advertise jobs and make better hiring decisions easily.
Forms and surveys constitute a vital must-have for every team. As for us, we are not an exception either. From payment forms to customer surveys, Typeform is all we need when it comes to this area of our work life.
We help thousands of projects get promoted across the web which naturally includes tons of social media platforms. How we manage all of them is a simple answer – Buffer. A simple, easy to use social media management application which lets you get all those posts and tweets sent on time and across as many channels as you wish to. The weekly analytics will only help you work better and make your social followers happy.
With Dropbox there, we never need to worry about having all our media and content synced on the web. Selective folders are shared with the corresponding team members so that anyone in the team can access whatever media or information they want using the cloud service. It’s an app which can only make your remote team never feel remote when it comes to sharing or accessing content and information.
That was our own social internet which keeps every team member at The Gadget Flow going. We all work from different countries but somewhere these apps and tools are what keeps us all connected. Yes, there might not be too much of face to face interaction and a pat on the back for those “hurray” moments but we still are a team that’s trying to be more productive with every passing day. Cheers to those at The Gadget Flow and to all of you for being a part of our platform. Hope we continue discovering products on the web forever. Happy Gadgeting!