Maintaining productivity has always been a priority for business owners and entrepreneurs. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, businesses all over the world were forced to adapt through the use of remote work setups. Employees who were able to accomplish their tasks digitally were allowed to continue working remotely.
While the height of the Covid-19 pandemic has passed, remote work and hybrid setups are slowly becoming a standard practice, especially in the world of ecommerce and online business. According to a 2020 report, 47% of company leaders are leaning toward the institutionalization of remote setups for their employees. On the other hand, a larger 82% are amenable to the utilization of a hybrid workforce. Thus, allowing employees to work at the office and at home a few times a week.
Remote work setups have a ton of advantages, Employees no longer have to deal with and worry about traveling to work. At the same time, they get to enjoy greater flexibility and autonomy with their tasks. But while these benefits are promising, it is essential that business owners and leaders first establish processes and frameworks that are suitable to the needs of remote teams.
Taking advantage of technology is one way of ensuring remote employees maintain their work productivity even when they are working from home or anywhere else. To give you a better idea, here are some of the best productivity tools for remote teams that you can choose from.
The Best Productivity Apps for Remote Teams
Time Tracking Apps
Time-tracking apps come in handy when it comes to monitoring your remote employees’ performance, productivity, and efficiency. Given that remote work setups lack direct and face-to-face supervision, some business owners and managers fear that their remote employees wouldn’t perform the same way that they do at the office. Time-tracking apps can do a wide range of things.
The most common use of time-tracking apps in remote teams is to simply record the time an employee clocks in and out of work. This allows managers to know if their team members are working the right amount of hours even while at home. However, most time-tracking apps come with an array of monitoring features that provide key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to judge how employees best utilize their time logged on to work.
Time Doctor is a fairly simple time-tracking and productivity app. It has a clean and user-friendly user interface that is easy to use for both the team members and the team manager. Aside from recording the time logged in by employees, Time Doctor also comes with distraction alerts and notifications that help keep them focused and away from apps such as social media.
The app also keeps track of the time spent on unproductive websites and apps as well as the amount of time the employee was idle. However, the best feature of the Time Doctor app is that it is compatible with a range of operating systems whether it’s Windows, Mac, Android OS, iOs, and even Linux. Subscription to Time Doctor ranges from $70, $100, and $200 per year for its basic, standard, and premium services.
Previously knowns as just Toggl, this time tracking tool is considered one of the simplest for both the management and the employees. Toggl Track aims to limit unnecessary inputs from the employee by automating its time tracking and logging features. Instead of filling in details such as project title, client, and other tags, Toggl Track automatically registers desktop activity that takes longer than 10 seconds and automatically records it as a time entry.
Employees can immediately start working instead of taking a good 5 to 10 minutes to keep track of their tasks and projects. Another unique feature of Toggl is that it comes with integrated productivity tools such as the Pomodoro Timer. This productivity hack allows employees to set a timer and their preferred intervals to completely stay focused for spans and get a quick break in between.
Pricing for Toggl Track varies depending on the features included in the subscription. Toggl offers free time tracking while its Starter pack and Premium pack come at $10 and $20 per month respectively. Businesses can inquire about customized subscription services with pricing that can be tailored to their needs and budget.
Best Project Management Tools
Using project management tools is crucial when it comes to handling remote work and employees. These apps allow managers and leaders to organize projects, assign tasks, and set goals. Doing so helps structure business operations and processes work while everything is done digitally and remotely. Aside from that, it also provides business owners to see the bigger picture and keep track of the different projects, tasks, and objectives, both short-term and long-term.
Asana is considered one of the most popular project management apps available in the market. It offers one of the most comprehensive project management features that allow teams to collaborate with each other effectively and efficiently.
Asana is great to use for both managers and team members. Managers can enjoy the app’s automation feature that helps minimize the time and effort needed to schedule and assign tasks to employees. The app also comes with detailed reports and dashboards that can easily provide stakeholders with regular updates such as when a task is completed. On the other hand, team members are provided with different ways to manage their tasks depending on their priority, urgency, and importance.
However, Asana may not be the simplest project management app to use given its wide range of features. The app is also a bit more expensive as it is priced at $13.49 per month for its Premium version and $30.49 per month for its Business pack.
Trello is a fairly simple project management tool. It doesn’t have a ton of features but it is enough for people who just want to organize and manage their projects online. Trello comes with a unique Kanban-style design that is easy to use and fairly intuitive. The app comes with different project categories such as To Do, Doing, and Done which allow users to organize their important tasks accordingly.
Freelance remote employees can use Trello for free to manage different projects. However, teams can also use Trello and enjoy more features. Trello’s Standard version is priced at $5 per month while the Premium version is set at $10 per month. Trello also offers flexible pricing for its Enterprise version which can be adjusted depending on the number of users included. The minimum rate for Trello Enterprise is roughly $17.50 per month for a maximum of 50 users.
Time-tracking tools like Time Doctor and Toggl Track can do more than just record the time spent logged on to work. It also allows employees to stay focused and encourages the use of time management strategies so as to not waste time on unproductive tasks and distracting activities. On the other hand, project management tools such as Asana and Trello are both useful in organizing and managing projects to achieve the set goals and objectives of the business.
Working remotely has its challenges. One of which revolves around the lack of supervision and direct management can affect employee productivity. Using productivity tools and apps can help in better handling remote teams. The bottom line is that remote teams can significantly benefit from technology. These productivity tools can help increase your productivity as long as they are used properly.
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