The Right Tools for the Right Job
Choosing the right tools to manage your team is essential. The right tools can enhance productivity, facilitate collaboration, and ensure a team feels like a team. When managing an online office ( part 1 & part 2 ) or employees in remote locations the tools to do so are of significance. For some remote-location-teams, the opportunity to meet face-to-face can be limited.
What to Look For
Know what you Need
When looking for tools to employ in managing your online office and team it is important to have some firm ideas about what precisely your business needs are. To effectively evaluate platforms, it is worthwhile to have an outline of the tasks and process-flow-systems that your business will need to get the job done – this may include project-creation, tracking, reporting & information organizing.
Decide the key ways you want to communicate
Take your team particulars into account. Are you working with global time zones? Does communication need to be instant? Does your team require channels that allow them to collaborate in real time to be highly creative? Do you need platforms that support multi-media files? Do you want to facilitate casual communication alongside professional communication?
7 Apps to Evaluate
Slack is a virtual office; offering an online workspace for your team to participate and even play-in. It handles every sort of communication between team members including calls, messaging, and more. Slack developers claim that using their program will decrease unnecessary use of email and increase productivity. It offers a host of features that can be very handy if you want your virtual office to have some similar aspects to a physical office. Slack is the answer if you still want the chance to have water-cooler banter in the online world as you can set up chat channels to enhance camaraderie.
Cost Is: Free
Access and use Slack for free if you are an individual or a small-to-medium business for as long as you want.
Trello works to make sure your team stays organized. Collaborate with multiple remote workers using Trello’s unique card system. Every project has a card created for it. On the card, progress can be tracked, support requested and received, and work can be clearly documented. This works especially well for remote teams because regardless of when they log-in they can access any card on a Trello Board and see exactly where the project stands and what is needed. It aids teamwork and facilitates productivity.
Cost is: Free
Best news is that it is a completely free platform app, so give it a go!
Asana’s motto is “From Chaos to Clarity” and it offers numerous helpful features to achieve just that. Turn ideas into actionable tasks. Customize your tracking ability and track just about anything you want. Create specific teams for work projects. Selectively follow the progress of what you need to know about. Receive customized notifications and reports. Integrate other apps you utilize and more. Perfect for a small business Start-Up, this platform offers agility & customization to your digital office.
Cost is: Free (up to 15 team’ members)
Up to 15 team’ members can Use Asana without a charge. However, if you wish to host a team larger than that you will have to choose from a selection of subscription packages.
4. Google Docs & Google Hangouts
Two free platform services from Google. Share files or access a free online chat room that can be used for meetings and to facilitate communication between team members.
Cost is: Free
An-oldie-but-a-goodie, Skype allows video calls, regular calls, conference calls, instant messaging, and even screen-sharing. All these things can be done gratis over the internet making it a great option to meet many online office needs.
Cost is: Free
6. Dropbox Paper
The newest brainchild from the team that developed Hackpad, Dropbox Paper is an ideal team platform. Use it to create, review, and organize whatever you are working on. It can handle all sorts of formats so you can choose what suites you. Team members can contribute from wherever they are and changes will show in real time. You can manage and see clearly who is contributing changes. Keep all of your work in one place, and make sure everyone stays on task and on the same page. It has been designed with an interface that is easy to access and utilize so it makes being creative & focused simple.
Cost is: Free
Harvest offers an entire platform for an online business. It provides just about everything you can think of. Think – all types of tracking & reporting, everything from timesheets to invoices and budget alerts.
Cost is: Free
Harvest is free for 30 days with all features, Free forever for single use. Experiment as much as you want for the first month and see what works for you. Thereafter you can continue to use it for free for single use or you can pick a subscription option to host your team.
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• Read about tips to effectively manage an online office
• Read about raising capital for your startup
• Read about registering your business