In 2020, McKinsey and Company reported 9 in 10 companies are switching to a remote or hybrid working model. This is because employees prefer this working style as opposed to more traditional office-based work.
Remote work gives company-wide benefits such as lowered business expenses, increased productivity, improved employee satisfaction, and a reduced carbon footprint. Yet, despite these benefits, remote work isn’t without its challenges.
As more organizations make the remote-work transition, we can expect to see innovations supporting this novel working style. These innovations include remote work software, as a tool to address common remote work challenges.
In this FAT FINGER article, we introduce our top 12 remote work software tools to support your remote work transition.
Here’s to a happier, more productive workforce and better business.
- What is remote work (plus remote work benefits)?
- Remote work software: Our top 12 tools to complete your remote work software stack
Let’s jump to it!
What is remote work (plus remote work benefits)?
Remote work permits professionals to work outside the traditional office environment. Employees can enjoy working from anywhere, with flexible working hours and without the need to commute to a dedicated place of work.
In 2020, remote workers unanimously (98%) wanted to continue their careers with this working style (at least for some of the time). This is due to the benefits remote work brings.
Advantages of remote work
In Buffer’s 2020 The State of Remote Work report, employees were asked: What’s the biggest benefit you see to working remotely?
Survey responses were collected, and the remote-work benefits were recorded. Top benefits include:
- Ability to have a flexible schedule (32%)
- Flexibility to work from anywhere (26%)
- Not having to commute (21%)
- Ability to spend time with family (11%)
- Ability to work from home (7%)
Despite these benefits, remote work doesn’t come without challenges. This Buffer survey found the two main difficulties of remote work were communication, collaboration and loneliness. Surveyed remote workers were asked: What’s your biggest struggle with working remotely? The top 6 difficulties are as follows:
- Collaboration and communication (20%)
- Loneliness (20%)
- Not being able to unplug (18%)
- Distractions at home (12%)
- Being in a different timezone than teammates (10%)
- Staying motivated (7%)
- Taking vacation time (5%)
Yet, as remote work becomes more the norm, we can expect the advance of tools to help teams overcome these remote-work difficulties.
For the remainder of this article, you’re given a tour of FAT FINGER’s top 12 remote work software tools. Each tool is presented as a solution to common remote work difficulties. These tools should be used in combination to complete your remote work software stack.
Without further ado, let’s jump right in.
Remote work software: Our top 12 tools to complete your remote work software stack
Remote work software helps employees meet their job requirements virtually. Due to the challenges remote work brings, it’s recommended you use a diverse and specialized set of remote work software tools. With that in mind, FAT FINGER presents our top 12 tools to complete your remote work software stack.
Tool #1: Use Slack for remote team communication, collaboration, and coordination
“A powerful, popular team messaging app that has earned its rightful place.”
Slack is a leader in the industry capturing mass attention with its highly efficient collaboration capabilities. Slack mitigates communication, collaboration, and coordination issues that come from remote work, and teams distributed across the globe.
Slack does this by supporting both synchronous and asynchronous – not in real-time – communication. Think of Slack as your professional Facebook messenger. Slack supports back and forth communication, either in one-to-one conversations or by using Slack’s group conversation feature.
Once more, you can set up integrations between Slack and other applications, such as Google Drive, Hubspot, Calendar, and email. This brings automation to workplace communications, enhancing collaboration and saving time.
- File sharing
- Video conferencing
- Audio conferencing
Free plan available. Pro plan at $5.25 per user per month. Business plan at $9.75 per user per month.
Tool #2: Use Zoom for remote team communication, collaboration, and coordination
“Zoom is easy to use. It’s the next-gen cloud communication platform that has enabled visual and audio communication in tough times of coronavirus.”
Zoom is another tool to help with workplace communication, collaboration, and coordination. Zoom is used by over 300 million participants daily, coming as a powerful video-conferencing application. Zoom has an intuitive interface that’s simple to set up, and advanced features make it an industry favorite.
With zoom you can host meetings of 1,000 participants, using web cameras for face-to-face interactions. Zoom also helps with local and cloud recording, meaning important meeting information can be saved and securely stored in the cloud.
- Group live chat
- Video conferencing
- Audio conferencing
- Presenter switch
- Screen sharing
- Participant permissions
Free plan available. Pro plan at $11.99 per user per month. Business plan at $15.99 per user per month.
Tool #3: Use FAT FINGER for remote team collaboration and coordination
“User friendly when adding a new app. [FAT FINGER]…helps assign people to the specific app and reminds users when the app is due.”
FAT FINGER empowers organizations to document their business operations as procedures, checklists, and workflows. By documenting complex tasks in a FAT FINGER workflow, information is effortlessly passed from one team member to another.
Simply share the workflow from your FAT FINGER account to collaborate and coordinate teamwork with members spread across the globe. FAT FINGER helps team members understand what tasks need completing, by whom, how, and when.
Process documentation has never been easier with FAT FINGER’s simple drag and drop design. FAT FINGER helps teams take control of their business workflows remotely.
For more information on all of FAT FINGER’s powerful process management features, check out the video below.
- Audit management
- Real-time data and monitoring
- Reporting, statistics, and analytics
- Task and training management
- Third-party integrations
- Activity tracking and dashboard
- Configurable workflows and workflow management
Free plan available. Standard plan at $8 per user per month. Pro plan at $15 per user per month.
Tool #4: Use Loom for remote team collaboration and coordination
“I’m always using this to show new procedures on our work to our coworkers.”
Loom is a video messaging application for work. Users can record their screen, voice, and face to create an instantly shareable video in less time than it would take to type an email or have a meeting. Loom is great for onboarding new employees, troubleshooting customer issues, or code reviews. With Loom, you can get your message across clearly and quickly to enhance team-wide coordination and collaboration across different time zones.
With Loom, users can combine the expressiveness of video with the convenience of messaging. Loom is a new, more efficient, and effective way of bringing your work to life and communicating with co-workers and customers.
- Screen and video capture
- Image editor
- Scrolling capture
- Screen recording
- File sharing
- Video player and management
Free plan available. Business plan at $8 per user per month. Enterprise plan available on a quotation basis.
Tool #5: Use Airtable for remote team collaboration and coordination
“It is an excellent tool for cross-collaboration. I love that you can tag other members to notify them of updates and it is all housed in the same thread.”
Airtable is a flexible smart spreadsheet database enabling teams to model their jobs, define relationships between jobs, and create views explicitly tailored for their type of work. Airtable is designed for project management and can be used by remote teams to collaborate and coordinate on project tasks.
As a user, you can create as many rows and columns as you want in your Airtable view. You can assign each column with a row to link the two. All inputted data is easily stored, referenced, and retrieved.
- Project mapping and planning
- Task creation and assignment
- Project calendar view
- Task dependencies
Free plan available. Plus plan at $10 per user per month. Pro plan at $20 per user per month.
Tool #6: Use Google Drive for remote team collaboration and coordination
“The most determining point of this platform that makes it extremely useful is collaboration. It is so easy to share files by just giving 1 click and choosing the person we want to add either for viewing only or for editing the file.”Carolina Reyes, contributor at TrustRadius
Google Drive provides cloud access for work documentation, giving a secure and centralized location to access project files. You can create and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations using this platform. Track edits made by collaborators in real-time, accept and reject suggestions, and tag people in comments and notes.
Google Drive comes with a powerful set of office tools including email, excel sheets, powerpoints, calendar, chat and meet features.
- Generous free storage space
- Excellent productivity-suite for collaboration
- Desktop-to-desktop file sharing
- Cross-platform apps
- Documentation, plus storage and management
- Email management
- Automatic backup
Free plan available. Paid plans offering more storage space are available. From 100 GB at $1.99 per user per month to 30 TB at $299.99 per user per month.
Tool #7: Use Dropbox Sign for remote team coordination
“Dropbox Sign provides me with prompt notifications via email immediately [when] a document recipient appends their signature on the documents I share with them. This ensures the entire signature signing process doesn’t face avoidable delays.”Berta Vidal Serra, contributor at TrustRadius
Dropbox Sign helps companies of all sizes sign important documentation remotely. This means teams who aren’t co-located obtain the authorization they need on documentation in a seamless process. This aids team-wide coordination.
From loans, sale contracts, job offer letters, and invoice approvals, Dropbox Sign generates e-signatures and comes as a valuable tool for remote teams.
- Custom branding
- User, role, and access management
- Signature history and audit
- Signature workflow
- Bulk digital signatures
- Signature document creation
Free trial available. Essential plan at $15 per user per month. Standard plan at $20 per user per month.
Tool #8: Use Sococo to combat remote work loneliness
“[Sococo]…creates a great feeling of being in a real office, which helps a lot of companies with virtual environments and employees around the globe.”Chrystian contributor at Software Advice
Sococo is an online workplace where distributed teams come to work together each day, side-by-side. Sococo provides an online office for team members to help beat remote work loneliness. Team members can chat and share files in a virtual office space.
Sococo is designed for businesses of all sizes, helping with; collaboration, analytics, in-app chats, document screening, shareable meeting links for guests, real-time discussions, live audio, and HD video conferences.
- Real-time chat
- Video conferencing
- Discussion threads
- Alerts (notifications)
- Screen sharing
Basic plan at $13.49 per user per month. Unlimited plan at $24.99 per user per month.
Tool #9: Use Clockwise to help remote employees unplug and schedule vacation time
“Clockwise is a super easy time management tool to use, basically a plug-and-play solution to arrange your meetings with other colleagues and optimize everyone’s time.”Matheus T, contributor at G2 Reviews
Clockwise is an intelligent calendar assistant that is revolutionizing how remote teams spend their time. Clockwise helps employees work productively, and switch off when their working day is done.
Clockwise uses artificial intelligence (AI) to schedule daily uninterrupted blocks of time, termed as focus time. This allows employees to track how long they have been working, and gives them the chance to enter a deep-work state to knock off their daily tasks.
Outside of this focus time, employees are open for meetings and free time is scheduled. This includes scheduling holiday leave. Employees are empowered to make these requests and have a break.
Once more, Clockwise comes with scheduling functionality to take the stress out of complex meeting bookings, and resolve double-booking errors.
- Focus time holds
- Lunch holds
- Travel time holds
- Smart scheduling suggestions
- Personal-to-work calendar sync
- Automatic no meeting days and out-of-office days
Free plan available. Pro plan at $5 per user per month. Customizable business plan.
Tool #10: Use Coffitivity to reduce at-home distractions
“My building is under construction but if I put this on along with noise-canceling headphones nothing bothers me.”
Coffitivity is a work-from-home app that can create a more lively and productive atmosphere in your home office. Coffitivity recreates the ambient sounds of a crowded office or café. Alternatively, you can choose between different ambient experiences during the day to maximize creativity. Put on your headphones and drown out the noise from your at-home workspace to avoid common distractions.
- A simple interface
- 10-minute long recordings
- Fast forward option
- Offline access
Free plan available. Premium plan at $9 per user per year.
Tool #11: Use Krisp to reduce at-home distractions
“The app eliminated the noisy parents screaming at their kids to eat properly, and the extremely upset woman cursing out her husband for not taking her to a better restaurant…(sidebar: I’m writing this review from an airport café).”Lia Castillo, contributor at TrustPilot reviews
Krisp is an AI-powered noise-canceling software for your microphone, purpose-built to suppress background noise during calls.
Video and audio calls are a core part of the remote work process. During these calls, it’s important for you to maintain high levels of professionalism, and limit at-home background noise and distractions. Krisp adds a virtual filter between your microphone and your call app. This filter doesn’t let background noise pass through.
- Access controls and permissions
- Alerts and notifications
- Call recording and routing
- Collaboration tools
- Contact management
- Live chat
Free plan available. Personal pro plan at $5 per user per month. Team plan at $5 per user per month. Enterprise plans are available on a quotation basis.
Tool #12: Perkbox to keep remote employees motivated
“Perkbox is great for giving employees that extra boost. We’ve found that our staff use Perkbox on a weekly basis for a range of things. Whether it’s a weekly free cup of coffee or a large saving on a new sofa, employees rave about how Perkbox impacts their daily lives.”Stevie M, contributor at G2 Reviews
Perkbox is a cloud-based employee engagement solution to help keep remote workers motivated. Perkbox helps businesses of all sizes attract, engage, and retain the right talent using rewards and recognition programs, plus other employee benefit schemes. Organizations can offer brand discounts, freebies, and gift incentives to employees based on their performance.
Once more, Perkbox comes with a medical module, enabling users to track their wellness providing practices and plans from medical professionals.
- Performance appraisal and management
- Employee management, recognition, and reward programs
- Rewards catalog and management
- Survey and poll management
No free version is available. Paid plans are available on a quotation basis.
Use remote work software to drive a successful remote-work transition
Remote work offers a plethora of benefits both for your business and for your employees. However, making the remote-work transition will present challenges, and to be successful, these are challenges you’ll have to overcome.
FAT FINGER’s top 12 remote work software tools have been uniquely selected to cover each common remote-work challenge, for a smoother remote-work transition.
From workflow management and collaboration in FAT FINGER, to developing a healthy virtual working environment using Perkbox, use these 12 tools to complete your remote work software stack.