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The Top 9 Tools Teams Use To Stay Connected While Working Remotely

Jan 17, 2022

Policy can only take your organization so far when the whole team’s decentralized. The CatalystU team has been working remotely well before the pandemic. We are sharing our favorite tools for making sure we’re working well when working from home.

It's fair to say that remote work is here to stay. And as the world moves forward in 2022, technology must adapt and keep up. Remote workers report feeling more productive and less stressed by work than their office-bound peers.  But reaping the rewards of a remote staff doesn't come easy—you can’t just turn your staff loose and expect productivity and retention to blossom!

But it can take more than a positive attitude and thoughtful suggestions to ensure things run smoothly when your employees and teammates are fully decentralized! It takes tools—both digital and tangible—to keep your team on track and in sync. 

1. Solid WiFi

We’re calling this one “solid WiFi” for a reason. Even if you already have fairly reliable internet at home, you may want to upgrade to higher speeds to accommodate any additional devices you might use throughout the day, as well as a healthy dosage of video conferencing you’ll be partaking in.

2. Headphones

Headphones—preferably noise-canceling ones—should include a microphone! For one, if you’ll be partaking in any amount of video conferencing or even longer phone calls, you’ve just gotta be able to hear your colleagues, and they’ve gotta be able to hear you! Even if you’re working from a quiet home office, atmospheric noise can prove distracting.

3. Google Drive

Google Drive and all of its subsidiary programs (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.) are incredibly easy to use, and are great at fostering collaborative work. Just be sure to establish clear, and consistent labeling practices for files, and create folders within your team’s Drive to ensure things are sorted in a logical, easy-to-find manner.

4. Gmail

Love it or hate it, you just gotta have it. Okay, maybe you don’t need to use Gmail, but you need—and almost certainly already use—email! That said, without the opportunity to pop over to a colleague’s desk for a quick, impromptu chat, you’ll also want something with a bit more immediacy. Which is where our next tool comes in.

5. Slack

 Slack, an organizational messaging application, fills the gaps nicely when it comes to the sort of quick back-and-forth you probably take for granted when working in a conventional office. Have a quick question about a report? Need a speedy answer to a “yes or no” question? Want a reminder on who’s leading which projects? Use Slack.

6. Zoom

Video calls can be the next best thing to a standard, in-person round-table-style meeting. Everyone is present and able to contribute in real time, and the visual component of this medium really raises the stakes engagement-wise. Zoom—and other similar video-conferencing platforms—can even elevate client communication.

7. UberConference

But not all of your clients may necessarily want to—or possess the perceived technical prowess—to just “hop on a video call.” If you’re working with or on behalf of a more old school organization, a conventional conference call might be best. UberConference is one of the best options out there. 

8. Trello / 9. Asana

Trello and Asana aim to accomplish much of the same thing, but approach it through slightly different methods. They are both project management software, that allows individual team members to clearly see what’s expected of them, and also let their colleagues see the progress they’ve made. It can come down to personal preference on which to use, but both clearly, visually, and communally present deadlines, tasks, and roadblocks in a way that makes full team collaboration possible and efficient, even without in-person contact.

One great aspect about all of these tools (sans utilities like electricity and WiFi and physical goods like a laptop and headphones) is that they are free to use, or at least offer a limited free version, so that your team can test them out and see if they fit.


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