The past few years year have changed the future of work forever, especially when it comes to working from home. In our recent Remote Work Survey conducted at the end of 2020, we found that 72% of people are working fully remote, with an additional 21% of people working remote at least part of the time. And even as the pandemic health risks subside, it’s predicted that more teams will continue working in this hybrid team model, where time is split between working from home and working at the office.
This means remote work tools are more important now than ever. And luckily, we’re in the best place in technological history to enable successful work from home experiences. Need more proof that remote work tools are at the forefront of work technology? Look at venture capital spending over the last decade, where over $1 billion of VC funding has gone into this category of software and tech.
The challenge here is that there are a bevy of remote work tools to choose from, and it’s hard to distinguish which tools are absolutely essential. We used our survey to identify the most widely used tools, which showed that 91% of remote workers use currently video conferencing software, 62% use project management tools, and 61% use instant messaging tools.
These statistics reflect some of the most important needs when working from home: a place to collaborate with your team, technology that brings everything to one place, and a way to stay connected. Ahead, we’ve outlined our must-have remote work tools to help you meet those needs.
Hive is the flexible project management and remote work tool that powers fast moving teams at places like Google, Starbucks and Toyota. We’re an all-in-one solution that has everything you need to work together remotely: projects, action cards, an email integration, file sharing, and meeting notes. With Hive, you can open up the app in the morning and get everything done in one window. You can even start a Zoom meeting from Hive.
Imagine this: someone can start a video meeting in California, someone can simultaneously take meeting notes in NYC, and next steps can be assigned to someone in Austin. Does it get any easier than that?
👉 Did you know that Hive just made Capterra’s list of top 9 project management platforms in the world? Get started for free today to see why Hive scored 100 out of 100 in popularity among its customers – the highest score of all tools on the market. Join thousands of teams already using Hive to power their remote workplace.
Zoom has become one of the most popular video, audio-conferencing, and remote work tools, for good reason. With Zoom, you can create a recurring digital meeting room, host up to 100 participants for free, and enjoy collaborative features like screen-sharing, a whiteboard, and the opportunity to call in via phone (or just utilize Zoom’s mobile apps for iPhone and Android devices).
Zoom provides HD voice and video for free, as well as private messages and breakout rooms for periods of individual collaboration among team members. Zoom also easily integrates with Hive — just type “/zoom” in a Hive chat and automatically launch a video meeting in-app.
Dialpad is a business communications platform powered by AI to help you get more out of every conversation. Dialpad’s video conferencing solution helps take virtual meetings to the next level.
With the power of Voice Intelligence, your remote team no longer has to worry about taking meeting notes or forgetting about action items. Instead, your team can focus on conversations and collaboration. Those who couldn’t attend the meeting can easily pull up a transcription to catch up on what was discussed, which is ideal for teams distributed around the world.
For teams that need to regularly hop on calls with customers, Dialpad lets you do that from anywhere without being tied to a traditional desk phone or call center. There are also various integrations to automatically synchronize your customer and call data with tools like Salesforce and Zendesk for a better, more productive calling experience.
TeamViewer is an application that introduces users to the world of remote desktop access. Employees can use TeamViewer as a remote work tool to access their own office computer while they work remote, while attending a meeting from afar, utilize it during meetings to demonstrate technical details to other attendees, and even navigate a presentation while dictating via video and audio. This could be one of the most critical remote work tools of them all.
Plus, TeamViewer caters specifically to those using the program for meetings by providing both a whiteboard and text chat feature.
CloudApp is another great tool for remote work. It lets you collaborate with coworkers using GIFs, HD videos, screen recordings, and annotated screenshots, all with a link. With this tool, you can customize your work with your own branding. Further, with the ability to send your views, and visual edits to people who have internet access, CloudApp is the perfect tool for all remote workers.
So, you don’t have to attend pointless meetings or juggle with endless emails. Instead, integrate CloudApp to your workflow and work the way you want to.
Slack is the chat application we all know and love and one of the top remote work tools by user volume. Slack is real-time messaging, file sharing and collaboration that can be used across an organization for simplified communication. Slack can be broken out into channels for team work, or utilized to send individual messages where you can chat with specific co-workers. Voice and video calls are also easily enabled from Slack itself, which makes face-to-face collaboration a breeze.
Using Slack but want more integrated collaboration abilities? Check out Hive’s Slack integration and add it to your remote work toolkit.
7. Google Drive
Google Drive is a centralized location where teams can share, edit and collaborate on Word Documents, slideshows, Excel spreadsheets, and more. The beauty of Google Drive is that it can be accessed from anywhere, including a mobile phone, which makes collaboration seamless — this is what makes it one of the most essential remote work tools on the market.
There’s also a specialized Business version of Google Drive specifically made for organizations storing large volumes of materials and files. Plus, privacy settings ensure that only the people you’ve invited to edit the document can actually see them. Google Drive can also be easily integrated with Hive for seamless file-sharing.
8. Every Time Zone
Are you working with teams across the globe and want a better handle on everyone’s working hours? Look no further than Every Time Zone. This tool gives you perfect visibility into current times around the world, and you can set specific time zones you’d like to view based on team members.
You can also set your team up in the app to view by time zone, so you know exactly who is working in which areas. Every Time Zone also allows you to select individuals by time zone and add them to meetings with ease via email or iCal file.
9. DropBox & DropBox Paper
Dropbox is a great option if you want a mixture of Google Drive’s capabilities with the benefits of a project management tool. DropBox can be used to store files, images, etc in the same way that Google Drive does. However, DropBox Paper is a real-time collaborative document that lets you plan projects, collaborate on ideas, and take meeting notes in real-time with assigned next steps. DropBox can also seamlessly be connected to Hive.
Xtensio is a collaborative workspace and remote work tool where teams can easily create and share beautiful living documents — everything from PDFs, presentations, and web pages. Collaboration tools like Xtensio are ideal for remote work because it’s often hard to collaborate on creative documents when you’re not in the same room. With Xtensio, you don’t have to worry about accidentally deleting a colleagues changes or any other potential collaboration issues.
If you don’t want to start from scratch, Xtensio also has a great library of templates you can use to create these interactive documents.
Trello is a great option for small teams or individuals looking to utilize a simple project management tool. One of the simplest remote work tools on the market, the tool is Kanban board-based, which is a project management methodology started by an industrial engineer in the 40s. Cards are the basics of Trello, which you can organize into different phases on the board.
You can also color-code and attach images or files to the cards, and invite team members to collaborate on a board with you for a more interactive experience.
Asana is a visually appealing project management software created by one of Facebook’s founders, and easily ranks among the best remote work tools. Used by creatives and teams all over the world, Asana’s dynamic format and design keeps users engaged and active in the platform. Asana helps people and teams increase overall accountability and improve communication.
Okta is a great tool for remote work as it stores passwords and authentication for different apps. With Okta’s powerful capabilities, you can protect and enable employees, contractors and partners. One of their most popular features is their single sign-on feature, that integrates with mobile and web apps and allows you to sign on with one password to all of your tools — this is ideal if you’re working from a remote location with a laptop, as you’ll be able to access all content and apps. Alternatively, you can make use of the NordPass password manager, which utilizes the latest XChaCha20 encryption protocol and provides you with an unbreakable password vault.
Nextiva is an all-in-one Unified Communications platform, also known as UCaaS, which is great for distributed remote teams. With Nextiva, you can combine your voice, video, team chat, and collaboration apps under a single platform and single user-interface.
UCaaS operates completely in the cloud, which enables your remote team to stay on the same page effortlessly. Let’s say you have sales reps that need to take their work from home and on the road. They can switch between their desktop app to the mobile app without missing a beat.
The advantage of using a UCaaS platform like Nextiva is that it integrates with your everyday tools, like your CRM or Help Desk software. This is a huge benefit for companies with remote contact centers and remote support agents. Your customer data can live securely on a unified platform.
Fyle is a cloud-based expense management software that takes care of the mundane, repetitive tasks so that employees can focus on tasks that matter more. With Fyle, expense reporting tasks that traditionally take hours are drastically reduced. Employees and the accounting and finance team can access and view their business expenses under one dashboard. This is a great remote work asset, as it gives management a great bird’s eye view of financial operations.
Loom is a great tool for remote teams because it lets you record and share video messages from your computer. This is great if you need to give someone a step-by-step tutorial of how to complete a task, use a software, or finish a project. If you’re a fan of asynchronous communication, Loom is the way to go — you don’t have to schedule a meeting or write a long wordy message. You can just send the video!
Loom also has a great Chrome extension that you can easily integrate into your everyday workflow, and their starter plan is totally free.
17. Troop Messenger
If you’re interested in a tool that enables communication of all types, Troop Messenger could be the tool for you. With Troop, you can send individual or group messages, conduct video chats, and integrate with other tools like Google and Dropbox. Additionally, Troop allows you to remotely access and control your desktop, which is great for teams that have sensitive information on their computers that are stuck in the office.
As working remote becomes more and more popular in the midst of the pandemic, a variety of remote work tools are making it easier than ever to communicate and get work done. And one other thing is for sure — we’re beginning to see which meetings could’ve been emails all along.
Range is an asynchronous communication tool that remote teams use to be more effective. At the core are Check-ins — asynchronous, insightful status updates that show what teams are doing, what they need, and how they’re feeling. Range relieves the burdens modern remote work places on teams so they can operate at their best. And managers get the ambient layer of context they need without spending hours in meetings, checking tons of tools, or urgent Slack messages.
Range is especially great for remote teams because its features actually help foster strong team culture. As part of a Check-in, you can answer an icebreaker question (more than 350 are built in) and share how you’re feeling with an emoji and a green/yellow/red mood indicator. By combining culture with work updates, Range helps remote teams build a foundation of trust and psychological safety, making work more fun and productive.
19. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is, perhaps, the biggest pandemic hero second to Zoom. With Microsoft Teams, users can meet, chat, call and collaborate in one space. Teams is ideal for groups looking for an extremely secure platform to collaborate on, and it’s especially helpful for teams that are already inside the Microsoft ecosystem (that’s a lot of us).
A few of our favorite things about Teams? You can coauthor files in real time with teammates, which makes remote collaboration a whole lot easier. You can also share files with a few clicks, and instantly go from chat message to a meeting in seconds. You can also integrate other tools into your Teams experience, like Hive, Adobe CC, Sharepoint, InVision, and so many more.
Happeo is an intranet and social collaboration platform that helps employees maintain a sense of community and positivity, even when working remotely. During the shift to remote work, it’s obvious for companies to consider the project management tools, video-conferencing apps, and messaging apps they need to logistically operate on a day to day basis. But what about tools that help employees stay connected and continue to thrive as a community?
That’s where Happeo comes in. This remote work software brings teams virtually together in group spaces, where they can send messages, discuss topics and share files. With static intranet pages and internal news feeds, all employees can stay informed and aligned on overall company goals and updates. Happeo also extends this intranet software to its mobile app, which lets employees receive notifications, access documents, and communicate with coworkers on the go.
Whether you need to fill a silent room or cover up other distracting noises, many people listen to music while they work from home. But not all music is ideal for creating a productive work environment. Lucily, Brain.fm uses science to create and play music that actually improves your focus, rather than just adding another distraction to your at-home work environment.
So how does it work? Brain.fm uses technology that elicit’s a specific response among the neurons in your brain, so they can engage in various kinds of coordinated activity. Simply choose your ideal mental state (focus is great if you need to get a lot done), and Brain.fm will play music that helps you get there. It’s music that helps you do what you need to do.
Shift is the browser for work. It’s the first app you open and the last app you close. Shift aggregates all of your app and email accounts, streamlining your workflow. Choose from 1500+ apps and add unlimited email accounts to a centralized workspace. Equipped with various features to improve efficiency and productivity, Shift is your solution to digital disarray.
We spend roughly 53% of our day jumping between apps, sifting through emails, and searching for various documents, leaving too little time for meaningful work. Shift is a desktop app designed to help you find your focus and leave the chaotic workday behind.
Hypercontext is a great tool to help keep your remote team aligned. The app is a dedicated space for one-on-one and team meetings, where you can build collaborative agendas, communicate asynchronously, assign next steps and action items, set goals, and get feedback after every single meeting. Plus, you can access hundreds of conversations starters, agenda templates and nearly 200 goal and OKR examples.
Hypercontext helps make sure you’re focused on what matters: making meetings more effective so your team’s more productive and engaged.
When the world went remote, a question about time tracking was raised in many companies as time utilization is one of the key factors for success. TMetric is a reliable and flexible time management solution to cater to the needs of remote workers and help them easily establish a work-life balance.
With this advanced time tracking app you will get a long-term system for setting timers on tasks and projects, effectively managing remote teams and their activities, smoothly collaborating with clients, ensuring accurate payroll, and calculating time off with ease.
25. Scalefusion MDM
Scalefusion is a mobile device management (MDM) solution that is designed to streamline remote business operations. Businesses of all sizes can simplify their remote device management on various levels. Scalefusion MDM offers a comprehensive and unified dashboard for your IT admins to perform a wide range of tasks such as pushing diverse content files on multiple remote devices, distributing public and private apps for work and even disabling the usage of selective apps and websites on remote employees’ devices to protect them from lurking cyber threats and malware on your Mac or PC.
You can also automate several routine IT tasks with pre-defined workflows and remote commands. With Scalefusion, your IT admins can also reach out to remote employees instantly and fix device errors quickly, which means your workforce won’t have to worry about technical errors as they work from home.
Scribe is a how-to-guide automation and knowledge transfer tool. For teams that aren’t working in the same place, it’s complicated to explain workflows or share knowledge about how to complete certain processes. With Scribe, sharing “how-to” information is easier than ever, whether you’re onboarding new employees, explaining how to use technology in the workplace, or just working on day to day processes with colleagues.
So how does it work? Scribe is both a browser extension and desktop application that allows you to automatically create documentation just by completing a process on your computer. Simply click “Record,” execute the process, and then Scribe automatically creates a guide with step-by-step instructions and corresponding screenshots.
Once a guide is completed, you are able to modify or add text, upload new screenshots, modify existing images, and more. These guides can be shared with new hires, teammates, customers, and more. For teams that are constantly creating documentation, Scribe saves significant time in the creation process, ensures consistency across documentation, and allows for smooth change management.
NAKIVO Backup & Replication is an all-in-one solution that offers optimal protection for remote work through incremental data backups, powerful encryption and multiple recovery options.The NAKIVO solution provides advanced backup and recovery for VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, Amazon EC2 instances, Windows and Linux physical servers and workstations, Microsoft 365 data and Oracle Database.
Using the centralized interface, you can schedule backups and automatically transfer data during low-traffic hours to minimize the impact on the network. Additionally, you can benefit from bandwidth throttling to ensure that backups do not interfere with business performance. The solution allows you to mitigate security risks when working from home. The 256-bit encryption safeguards data in-flight and at-rest to prevent unauthorized modification or disclosure.
Backed-up data can be quickly restored using full or granular recovery to reinstate entire virtual machines (VMs), individual files, Exchange Online items and Active Directory elements.
Weje is a virtual collaboration platform designed to help manage huge amounts of information and tackle all kinds of projects.
Weje’s online sticky note tool allows you to easily save ideas that come to mind. You can also invite your teammates to any sticky note board while working remotely; by visually displaying your ideas, you can enjoy increased productivity and effective team collaboration.
With the mind map maker, you no longer have to worry about organizing complex thoughts or brainstorming with your remote team. This intuitive software can visually build your thought process and organize it into an easy-to-understand format using your main idea. But that’s not all.
There is also an advanced brainstorming tool that stores every idea in a simple web whiteboard, and can be accessed anytime. With this tool, you can brainstorm individually or collaborate with your teammates to gather ideas, review all ideas and choose the best one.
For videoconferencing, project management, and instant messaging needs, all you need is one app–RingCentral. A cloud-based unified communication platform for your remote work needs. RingCentral gives you the capability to interact with both clients and colleagues to brainstorm, plan, execute and even follow up with your projects. You can even choose how to communicate: video, message, or a phone call.
As remote work is all about flexibility, with RingCentral you can work anytime, anywhere and across different devices, including your phone, tablet, laptop, or computer. You can even integrate it with your business tools such as Zapier, Hubspot, and as an extension on your Google Chrome browser so you can do your tasks more efficiently.
In RingCentral, collaborating means more than videoconferencing for a limited time; you can meet all day, for free! A reliable partner for remote work, you can enjoy secured file sharing, task creation, and tracking. Check out the benefits of our reporting and analytics feature to gather business insights and help you make better business decisions.
Maximize the perks of working from home. Just download our RingCentral Video Pro for free, with the option to upgrade to a paid plan anytime.
Blink is an all-in-one employee engagement app that helps your organization connect with its frontline workers and remote employees. It improves the employee experience giving them mobile access to the communications and applications they need to do their job. This creates a culture of productivity, retention and conversations, where the frontline is engaged, gives feedback and feels valued.
Key features include a personalized feed, one-to-one & group chats, file sharing, employee hub & directory, employee recognition, and integration with hundreds of other workplace systems. With these features, Blink provides everything that’s needed to engage your deskless workers with a modern work experience.
What do you think about the recent shift to remote work? Are there any remote work tools you’ve been loving? Let us know in the comments below.