The Covid-19 pandemic gave a new definition to working remotely altogether. Overnight, software developers and IT engineers around the world came to the forefront to ensure business continuity plans (BCP). The only hope organizations had was in the wizards of their companies to continue their business operations. Mostly every company has its own dedicated IT team to rely on in times of such emergencies but using collaboration tools and platforms lays the foundation for generating smooth virtual communication amongst remote teams.
Through this blog, we aim to communicate the relevance of using collaboration tools and platforms to achieve productivity, employee engagement, and information security amongst remote teams.
What are the collaboration tools for remote teams?
Collaboration tools are types of software used to ensure smooth interaction among employees to complete tasks and projects conveniently. Collaboration platforms, on the other hand, allow sharing of files, projects, and documents online. These collaboration platforms can include instant messaging, video conferencing, document management systems, task management, and cloud storage. Collaboration tools and platforms save time, effort, and costs while managing remote teams. Without these collaboration platforms; the work allotment, coordination, and deliverables would go for a toss.
Gathering an understanding of the four important categories of tools namely, communication, collaboration, administration, and security is important in narrowing down the I.T. infrastructure that has to be set up for remote teams.
1. Video conferencing and communication tools
When it comes to communication, the latest method of communication is video conferencing. The tools such as Google Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams are the most preferred tools used by companies.
Google meet has popularly grown in the last few months as it is very convenient to jump onto a google meet through a uniquely generated URL via a Gmail account. Google meet enhances communication through its features like a whiteboard and comments section. The other preferred video conferencing tool is Microsoft Teams. Anybody with a corporate or consumer email address can sign up for Microsoft Teams 365 commercial subscription and have free access to the same.
Zoom has an exciting feature of viewing a gallery version of all the joined members. Zoom has over 90k on Google play and 300k reviews on the App store showcasing its popularity among other tools.
2. Data and document creation
The Google Suite consisting of Docs and sheets on Google drive is a great collaborative platform for working in sync and storing data. With 15 GB of free cloud storage, customizable sharing settings, control access to shared files, and an option for working on spreadsheets offline. The drive is great for storing documents. IT professionals always recommend saving data on Google drive instead of laptops’ C, D, and E drives.
Zoho is great for keeping a track of data. It allows merging documents via form submissions in personalized template formats, conditional merging, and sending out interview letters, payslips, and signature collections.
3. Monitoring and maintenance tools
Because collaboration tools and online collaboration platforms are used for remote teams, it becomes imperative for companies and organizations to monitor their remote employees. Monitoring tools are a great way to keep track of the employee’s work completion, and time spent completing assigned tasks. Some tools offer features like time tracking, attendance, employee locations, movements, and progress reports. Time management sheets, activity logs, and timesheets can be used to monitor work done by employees on certain tasks for the day.
Since the working remotely model is of a risk management nature, some companies prefer monitoring the operations for security reasons. To check the credentials of the employees, it is ideal for conducting a two-step verification by generating login detail verification through a mobile-generated code. The multi-factor verification authenticator code is a great way to maintain confidentiality. Zoho is a great web-based business tool to store employees’ personal data and professional data.
The other upside of using monitoring tools is that it helps you track the productivity of the employees. Interesting research suggested most employees showcased certain durations of the day as their most productive hours.
4. Administrative and security tools
The dynamics of evaluating every employee’s work changed the paradigm of managers’ evaluation processes as well post-2020. They could no longer monitor the employees’ desk time by keeping an eye on them in the office but had to rely on tools to get an understanding of it virtually.
With remote monitoring technological advancements, you can view employees’ active and idle time spent on websites as well. Some tools can also click pictures of employees when they are seated in front of their laptop screens. Some tools can also help in generating accurate bills for the meetings conducted with clients. It records the accurate time a representative spends with a client as well.
However, in order to respect the privacy of the employees, it is best to inform them they are under surveillance to avoidance of legal issues. This is considered a good management practice. A June study by Gartner suggests that 26% of HRs used monitoring tools to track their employees after the coronavirus hit in 2020. Hubstaff, ActivTrak, and Teramind are known to offer technologies to monitor employees.
How Remunance can ease your process of working remotely?
Remunance is recognized as the Indian leader in providing International PEO and EOR services.
As an International PEO in India, we have a dedicated team of IT professionals who ease your journey of interacting with your remote employees by suggesting the best collaboration tools and online platforms. Our team of HR professionals ensures employee engagement is enhanced with the use of video conferencing tools, google meets, regularly conducted webinars, and updated social media pages.
If you wish to explore the Indian market and expand your market reach as an SME or start-up company.