The advantages of remote work are evident. With a flexible schedule, increased productivity among workers, and less overhead, more employees and employers are turning toward virtual teams to get work done. However, a certain amount of tech knowledge is a defining factor in the success of remote workers. If you’re lacking the expertise to work online, practice makes perfect. Master these remote work software programs to improve your communication, engagement, and productivity.
Remote Work Software for File Sharing
File sharing is what makes team collaboration possible. As a result, you’ll need remote work software that provides your entire team with access to the files they need when they need them. Here are some of the best.
Dropbox is a file-sharing service that provides file storage and a number of other features. Password encryption, file permissions, file transfers, and cloud storage all fall under Dropbox’s list of features.
Price: Free with Dropbox Basic (2GB of storage); Paid team plans start at $12.50 per team member per month for 5TB of storage. The company also offers a 30-day free trial.
How to Learn It: Dropbox has a six-step tutorial to help you navigate the Dropbox interface.
Google Drive is a file storage service that gives you up to 15GB of storage and allows remote workers to store and share files. Used simultaneously with Google Docs and Gmail, and this three-pronged package of remote work software will make your life easier.
Price: Free up to 15GB of storage; $1.99 a month for 100GB; $2.99 a month for 200GB, $9.99 for 2TB.
How to Learn It: If you’re just learning Google Drive, use the G Suite Learning Center. Here you’ll find cheat sheets, productivity guides, tips, and tutorials.
Sync, or Sync.com, is a lesser-known Canadian company that provides cloud storage with end-to-end encryption. If you have sensitive information, Sync is perhaps the best choice, as the company has sworn they won’t part with the information even if requested by authorities.
Price: Free for individuals (5GB of storage); Team plans start at $5 monthly per user for 1TB of cloud storage space.
How to Learn It: Sync.com has a neatly organized help desk to walk you through its features and frequently asked questions.
Remote Work Software for Team Collaboration
Team collaboration software is the equivalent of the virtual office. With the perfect remote work software for team collaboration, you can share files quickly, send direct messages, or just engage in some “water cooler” talk. Try these options to see which one lets your team interact with ease.
Asana is a leading remote work software for team collaboration. Through its easy-to-use interface, Asana provides an optimal system for organization, tracking projects, and managing workloads.
Price: Free for a basic package with up to 15 team members; Paid plans start at $10.99 per month.
How to Learn It: According to some reviews, the learning curve on Asana is a bit steep. However, the company offers guides on how to get started and onboard new team members. If you need more in-depth knowledge, enroll in the Asana Academy and become a certified pro.
Podio is a web-based team collaboration tool. Some of its features include project management, business processes trackers, and team communication. Add all these specs together and you get a remarkable project management and team collaboration tool.
Price: Free for teams of up to five; After that, monthly prices range from $9 to $24 per month.
How to Learn It: The Podio Help Centre offers tutorials, webinars, and videos on how to use the Podio platform. In addition, the Podio community brings users together to answer questions and provide inside tips on how to use the software more efficiently.
With over 12 million users, Slack is one of the most popular remote work software programs in the world. It allows teams to chat in real-time, as well as connect other apps into the interface. By using Slack, remote teams can ensure proper communication and ditch less ineffective forms such as multiple emails.
Price: Plans start at $6.67 per member per month for small-to-medium-sized businesses.
How to Learn It: Slack 101 provides videos, tips, and walkthroughs, as well as in-depth training for the various aspects of the software.
Remote Work Software for Time Management and Employee Monitoring
Although remote work offers a certain amount of flexibility, time management is still crucial to success. As an employer, you may want to see how much your employees are working on a project. Freelancers and contractors should also use time management for billing purposes and proof of their hours spent on the job.
Clockify is an amazing time management remote work software. Offering unlimited users for tracking and projects, remote teams can stay on task and under budget. Each week or month, users can print a report to show how they used their time and on what project.
Price: Free for the basic version of Clockify, and free forever. Extra features—such as branded reports, time audits, and locked timesheets—start at $9.99 per month.
How to Learn It: Clockify has a searchable help center that provides answers to basic questions and uses of the software. Their website also has videos for more visual learners.
Monitask is an employee monitoring software. Winner of several awards for ease-of-use and innovation, Monitask provides a transparent way to view how employees work, as well as track their time on a certain project. If your team is having trouble staying on task, Monitask can also monitor each of your employees’ computers.
Price: Free for one user; The professional version is $4.99 a month and has a 10-day free trial.
How to Learn It: To help you navigate Monitask, the company offers an FAQ section on its website, as well as a customer support chat and email.
Dedicated to freelancers and remote teams, TimeCamp is remote work software that monitors the actions of logged-on users and tracks their time. By using this app, employers and freelancers can improve their productivity and see how much time workers are spending over a specified period of time.
Price: Free for solo users such as freelancers; Team-based plans start at $5.25 per month for each user.
How to Learn It: TimeCamp has a “learn the basics” section of their website, and a full-length PDF file on the same page. You can also sign up to book a demo that shows you the functionality of TimeCamp at every level.
Remote Work Software for Video Conferencing
Without face-to-face meetings, video conferencing has become part of the new normal. Instead of holding in-person events, companies are turning to remote work software for many aspects of your business. Thanks to these video-conferencing programs, you can conduct interviews, meet with teammates, or entertain clients from the comfort of your home.
Cisco WebEx Meetings
Voted a PC Magazine Editor’s Choice, Cisco WebEx Meetings. Part of the Cisco WebEx family, Meetings allows screen sharing, simple supplementary productivity tools, and space in the conference for up to 100,000 people.
Price: Free for solo accounts and solopreneurs; Team rates range from $13.50 to $26.95 per user each month.
How to Learn It: Cisco provides a page of in-depth training videos that allow you to use all of the features of WebEx Meetings.
Although Skype has some limitations for larger teams, it’s one of the oldest and most popular video chats in the world. Providing streamlined cross-platform communication, you can have video conferences on your work computer or your Xbox One. Skype also has instant messaging and file sharing.
Price: Free for all users; $2.99 per month to call a phone number from Skype.
How to Learn It: Skype uses a “getting started” section of its webpage to provide the information you need to make your first Skype video calls.
Zoom is a video conferencing and chat software service provider. Unlike its rivals, Zoom uses a cloud-based peer-to-peer network to communicate between parties.
Price: Free for meetings of up to 100 people with a 40-minute time limit; Paid plans start at $14.99 per month.
How to Learn It: Zoom provides video tutorials that allow users to learn the ins and outs of the software, how to schedule calls, and how to start conferences.
Miscellaneous Remote Work Software
Sometimes, you need to know remote work software that doesn’t fall into one of the above categories. Here are some extra programs to learn that are sure to make your job a bit easier.
Started by Dropbox, HelloSign is a handy tool that allows you to get legally binding e-signatures from clients, customers, and employees.
Price: $13/$24/$99 per month depending on the plan.
How to Learn It: Use HelloSign’s help center to learn the features of the software through video or textual format.
WordPress is the most-used content management system (CMS) in the world, comprising 54% of market share. Although some remote workers make a living from designing websites through WordPress, general knowledge of the basics is often viewed as a highly coveted skill.
Price: Free for basic WordPress; Prices range from $4 to $45 for paid plans.
How to Learn It: WordPress classes are seemingly everywhere. Use YouTube, a Google search, or the WordPress website to enhance your knowledge of this amazing CMS.
While the manufacturer’s website is always a surefire way to find the information you need, sometimes online educators have the upper hand. Websites such as Coursera and Udemy offer hands-on classes that allow you to apply the knowledge you’ve learned in projects and exams. To take the extra step toward proficiency, you won’t find better options.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of remote work software solutions, don’t be. In most instances, your employer will have a preferred program in each one of these categories. That way, you won’t have to run the gauntlet of 10 different programs. Nevertheless, any knowledge you can gather on remote work software will only heighten your profile and improve your resume. With a bit of practice, you’ll become an online software guru.
iStock Image: Eva-Katalin
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