Chat winner: Slack
Starting with the basics… Remote teams need to exchange information quickly and these communications need to be organised in an easily retrievable way. Slack hits the nail on the head; nine million active users agree.
- I very rarely receive an email from a colleague. As someone who dreads a busy inbox, this is important to me and saves me time.
- It’s highly customisable. I can choose which type of notifications I want to receive at different times of days. So when my colleagues on different time zones are hard at work, I can know as much or as little as I choose.
- There are thousands of integrations and add-ons to help teams work better together, whatever the challenge may be. For the team struggling with taking decisions, Simple Poll let’s you take a team poll in seconds. See more awesome integrations here.
- When Slack conversations get complex, the in-app call function is pretty good too.
Video call winner: Zoom
Up to 10,000 non-verbal cues can be exchanged in one minute of face-to-face interaction according to Trello, so video meeting tools are crucial to building relationships with your colleagues.
- With Zoom’s HD video conferencing and screen sharing capabilities it’s almost like being in the same place (provided you have a fast, reliable internet connection).
- We can replicate most team building activities this way; training, feedback and even random coffee dates (see Hootsuite’s initiative, which introduces employees at random with an end to minimising information gaps).
- Zoom’s features also include a collaborative whiteboard, file sharing during meetings and recording calls.
Project management winner: Redbooth
Leading a remote project team effectively requires delegating responsibility, defining roles and holding people accountable to their tasks.
- Create visual timelines, making it easy to track progress and stick to deadlines.
- Much like Slack, Redbooth integrates with loads of your favourite software including Google drive, Dropbox, Evernote, Zoom, Slack, Gmail, Outlook and more.
- Delegate and assign tasks to other team members so that everyone knows what tasks they are responsible for within a project.
- I can call everyone who is working on a specific project in Redbooth, without having to set up the call on a different communication channel.
Leadership development and coaching winner: CoachBot
Managers that can get their team to work well together are more efficient, productive and successful. When you know why your team exists and have a clear vision of what success looks like hitting your goals becomes much easier.
I’ve worked with remote teams who have the best collaboration tools in place but they’re unclear on what they want to reach and how they’re meant to be collaborating.
- CoachBot is a digital team coach that makes it simple for managers of remote teams to work on team development or manage performance.
- Align your vision and goals and check in to make sure you’re on track.
- Coaches teams through setting ground rules, which is especially important for remote teams; How are you going to use your roster of favourite tools? How are decisions going to be made? How will you give each other feedback?
- Allows you to diagnose and remedy some of the most fundamental teamwork dysfunctions and to connect with an expert human coach, if needed.
All round collaboration winner: G suite
This article wouldn’t be complete without Google’s omnipresent cloud- based suite. The day I started using G Suite marks a before and after in how I work with others.
Why G Suite
- Real-time collaboration on documents, slides, spreadsheets…You don’t need to email the presentation back and forth. Plus, return to an old version in seconds if your colleague messes it up. 😅
- Schedule team activities easily in Google Calendar.
- Store everything on Google Drive so you can access it from all your devices (and your colleagues can too). Share files at the click of a button.
- Google Hangouts is a viable alternative to Zoom for video calls — although Zoom is more reliable especially in large company-wide meetings.
Whilst these are some of the best collaboration tools out there, they might not cut it for your team. Siftery or ProductHunt can help you find a tool that’s better tailored to your team and it’s challenges.
Siftery now also allows you to track your team’s spend across all software (the visuals make it really easy to spot if you’re not spending wisely).