It’s projected that 1 in 4 jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022. As the business world continues to embrace this phenomenon and ‘working from anywhere’ becomes increasingly commonplace, that number is only expected to increase in 2023 and beyond.
If you’re managing a team, chances are at least some of your employees are already remote: you might be operating a hybrid team model, where remote working overlaps with days spent at the office; alternatively, you may have fully embraced the remote revolution, enjoying all the advantages of a non-office-based workforce — cost savings, access to a wider pool of talent and enhanced productivity to name a few.
But managing a remote team isn’t easy; though there are obvious plusses, there are inevitably challenges, too — communication can be trickier, recruitment can be complicated and engagement might be harder to measure. Fortunately, though, there are a number of tools that can ease the burden of remote team management.
8 Tools to Manage Remote Employees in 2023:
1. Slack – A Communication Tool
Communication is the bedrock of any successful team, but it becomes increasingly paramount if that team is operating remotely: when employees aren’t sharing the same physical space, there are fewer opportunities for off-the-cuff discussions or non-work-related water cooler chat, for example. Back-to-back meetings can be exasperating (and often less-than-productive), while email threads can grow arms and legs.
To streamline communication and ensure everyone in your team stays ‘in the loop’, an instant messaging platform like Slack is essential. Whether you’re communicating important business updates, searching for a quick answer to a burning question, or simply chewing the fat about your favorite TV series, Slack organizes discussions into specific channels to make it easy for remote teams to seamlessly stay connected throughout the working day.
See Also: Best Asynchronous Communication Tools for Remote Teams
2. GoToMeeting – A Video Conferencing Tool
As friends and loved ones were forced to spend time apart from each other due to the global pandemic, they became acutely aware of the power of video-conferencing technologies. In the business world, too, we’ve become increasingly reliant on virtual meeting tools to facilitate ‘face-to-face’ connections across laptop screens — especially when those screens are located miles apart.
Tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet and powerful and popular conferencing tools, but GoToMeeting keeps it simple: with one-click meeting access, crystal clear audio, and a handy ‘commuter mode’ for those who need to join meetings on the fly, it’s perfect for one-to-one discussions, interviews, presentations or full-blown company meetings. Plus, it’s adaptable to all platforms and devices (including iOS and Android) for maximum flexibility.
3. Hive – A Time Tracking Tool
Time tracking isn’t a way of ‘checking up’ on remote employees to see what they’re up to during work hours (a high degree of trust is key to a remote working environment), but it is important to measure productivity so you can delegate tasks and assign projects while ensuring your employees aren’t burning out due to an unmanageable workload. For client-facing businesses, it’s important to keep track of billable hours, too.
Hive is a feature-packed project management tool with an emphasis on enhancing productivity in remote team environments. It boasts a ‘teamwork’ tool that lets you keep an eye on how much work each team member is performing (with in-built time sheets and tracking), and allows you to assign tasks with just a few clicks. With a more complete view of workload and capacity, you can ensure you’re using every hour of the day more productively.
4. Bullhorn – A Recruitment Tool
Remote working is irreversibly changing the way businesses hire and onboard new talent, with technologies advancing and applicant expectations shifting; the talent pool is theoretically more expansive, for one thing (since location is no longer an obstacle), but that means recruiters potentially have to sift through thousands of applications to find the right candidate.
An all-in-one remote recruitment and onboarding solution like Bullhorn simplifies the entire recruiting process for remote companies by allowing them to source, interview, and hire new employees from one platform. Bullhorn integrates with platforms like LinkedIn and several major email providers, offering a fully-featured Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and a smart search feature that helps you recruit the right talent for your team.
See Also: 5 Best Work from Home Apps
5. Remote – A Global Onboarding Tool
The expansion of the talent pool facilitated by remote working is increasingly allowing companies to go one step further in their recruitment: rather than restricting their talent search to their own countries, a ‘work-from-anywhere’ mentality means that businesses can theoretically look overseas for their new hires; this is especially beneficial for global enterprises looking to expand into new markets, where local knowledge is a plus.
The process of hiring and onboarding from overseas might seem more complex than doing so locally (and in truth, there are a number of additional constraints and considerations), but with a global HR solution like Remote, it can be a lot smoother than you may think. Using its employer of record (EOR) service, you’ll ensure payroll, benefits, taxes, and all other legal requirements are taken care of when onboarding a new overseas starter.
6. Asana – A Project Management Tool
Project management can be complex and challenging in any working environment, but in a fully remote team there are even more potential barriers and pitfalls; particularly where there are several stakeholders involved, it can be difficult in a remote environment to ensure key updates are communicated, roles and responsibilities are clear, and that deadlines are consistently ticked off.
With project-related communication often happening through a number of disconnected channels like email or messaging apps, a project can easily become derailed; the advantage of using a project management tool like Asana is that all project-specific comms go through one central platform, with a simple-to-navigate dashboard making it easy to create tasks, assign them to the relevant individuals and keep all necessary stakeholders updated.
7. 15Five – An Employee Engagement Tool
One of the biggest challenges facing remote managers is keeping their teams engaged; with everyone working in silos from their own locations, it can be difficult to measure employee satisfaction and ensure everyone stays motivated so they’re performing at their best. In an office environment, your teams will often benefit from shared energy; but in a remote one, it’s not always easy to keep engagement levels at their highest.
With a dynamic performance management tool such as 15Five, it’s easier to ensure that remote team members remain happy, fulfilled, and motivated in their roles. 15Five offers specific solutions for remote team management, helping managers to measure engagement, prioritize the development of their teams, and reward and recognize outstanding performance.
8. ProofHub – A Team Collaboration Tool
Managing projects with widely distributed team members is far from easy for project managers. It’s not easy to keep every remote team member on the same page. Project miscommunication, poor planning, uneven workload distribution, and weak collaboration among your remote team members can easily derail your projects, which can cost your business big time.
This is where an intuitive and powerful project management and team collaboration tool like ProofHub can help you with the efficient management of remote team members. The tool brings all your team members, clients, and stakeholders on a shared platform and serves as a single source of information for everyone involved.
With features like task management, instant chat, multiple views, time tracking, etc, your team can stay updated and connected while consistently staying on top of deadlines.
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While there are multiple benefits to moving to a fully remote workforce, there are inevitably a number of additional challenges; that said, if you’re equipped with the right tools (like the seven we’ve suggested here), then you’ll find it easier to recruit, onboard and retain remote workers within your organization.