As I sat down to write this article, I promised myself to not mention the word(s) ‘COVID-19’, but I couldn’t help it. The virus has put a magnifying glass on the need for technology in our daily working lives. And as of this present moment, for many of us, COVID-19 has changed not only how we work, but where we work.

As someone who has worked from home for the past few years, I understand how difficult it can be to stay on top of your tasks and remain productive/collaborative with the rest of your team. It took me a long time to learn what works best for me. So, I thought I’d share a few tips for how I’ve successfully managed a remote working team.

*note, tips 5 and 6 may be something you haven’t heard of.

*note, most of the tips I’ve mentioned are free or have freemium offerings.

Six Tools to Use when managing a Remote Team of Title Agents

  1. Cloud-Based File Storage

Examples – Google Drive, Dropbox & Mega.NZ

Usage – Allows you to securely store documents and collaborate on files.

Notes – I personally use Google Drive, as I found it integrated well with other tools and provided an online alternative to Microsoft’s Office products. You can create ‘Excel’ spreadsheets, create ‘Word’ documents, and transfer these files easily across your team using any of these tools mentioned.

  1. Instant Messaging Software

Examples – Slack, Microsoft Teams & Facebook Workspace.

Usage – Allows you to communicate directly with coworkers, create channels and it integrates well with other online tools – such as Google Drive/Trello.

Notes – People who are apprehensive about tools like Slack often ask, “How is it different from email?” – I found the difference is in its real-time communication. Consider it like this, Slack is for instant messaging things that aren’t relevant over email and for those long communication chains where you just need a quick/informal answer. In other words, water cooler talk. I’ve found in many ways that Slack has replaced my internal email communication.

  1. Project Management Software

Examples – Trello, & Asana.

Usage – Create visual work boards, assign tasks and easily identify priority tasks

Notes – Project management software is probably the thing I find most useful on this list. Instead of using sticky notes, I’m able to keep track of my personal tasks and manage the priority tasks for my team. It’s a great way to visually recognize where a project is and what needs to be done to get it to completion. I personally use Trello right now, although I’ve used all examples listed and found each one to be excellent.

  1. Zoom (Or any video conferencing software).

Examples – Zoom, Cisco and GoToMeeting

Usage – video conferencing meetings, audio conferencing, webinars, meeting recordings, and live chat.

Notes – The hardest part about working from home is the isolation. While there is no substitute for physically seeing someone face-to-face, Zoom is the closest thing you’ll get to real-life. Zoom also provides a lot of fun tools for hosting webinars, like virtual backgrounds and quick polls.

  1. Visual Storyboards

Examples – Miro and Mural

Usage – In short, it’s a digital whiteboard that can be used for research, ideation, building customer journeys and user story maps, wireframing, and a range of other collaborative activities.

Notes – I love Miro. I’m in no way affiliated with them, I just love the product. While it’s particularly important for my marketing brethren to use tools like this, it can be used for any team that conducts research or needs to brainstorm a task.

  1. Password Management Tools

Examples – Bitwarden & Last Pass

Usage – Safely store your passwords and create secure notes.

Notes – This one may surprise you for making the list, after all, how do you “manage a team” with password management. But, if you’re like any of the companies I’ve worked at, you’ve probably stored some handwritten passwords in a folder that’s hidden away at someone’s desk. That’s not a great solution. Bitwarden is and it’s free.

I’ve used this analogy several times and I see no reason to not use it again. In the early 2000s, Netflix executives flew down to Blockbuster’s headquarters to pitch them the idea of buying Netflix. Blockbuster rejected the idea – unable to see the industry moving in the direction that Netflix presented. Evitably, Blockbuster fell behind in the market, while Netflix became a Fortune 500 company. Why is this relevant? If you don’t keep up with innovation, you’ll fall behind too.

COVID-19 may be temporary, but its effect on the workplace won’t be. Start looking at the tools now that will allow your team to succeed in what will become a predominately remote working landscape.

Affiliation with SnapClose

I’m Mitch, Token Australian, and Director of Marketing at SnapClose.