30 Remote Work Software That You Wish You Knew about Sooner

Brands such as Google and Facebook have recently announced that they plan on working remotely for the foreseeable future, (or even forever in the case of Twitter). Whether your business is going to follow suit or not, there is one thing that has clearly stood out in the past few months of this new normal – your work-from-home experience is only as good as the tools you use to enable remote work.   

To help you ensure that you have everything you need to work from home seamlessly, we’ve put together a list of the best tools that can streamline communication, manage productivity, track projects, and more.

You can use the index below to jump to whichever section you need recommendations for:


Remote Work Software for Communication and Collaboration

Whether you are a freelancer or work in an organization, there is some level of communication and collaboration you need to carry out your day-to-day activities. Apart from providing a platform for you to communicate, it’s important that the collaboration tool you use enables you to share files with your colleagues. Here are some popular and easy-to-use communication tools that can help you manage conversations in real-time. 

Real-time communication

Slack 

The ease of initiating both 1-1s and group discussions (using channels) is what makes Slack popular among businesses of all sizes. It serves as an intuitive digital workspace that helps businesses communicate and collaborate within and across teams. Apart from messaging, Slack also allows you to:  

– Make and receive calls with video and screen-sharing.
– Integrate with Google Calendar, Google Drive, and Freshdesk to get updates, and collaborate better. 
– Configure bots for birthday reminders, polls, and more to improve employee engagement and bring everyone on the same page remotely. 
– Set reminders that can be activated using a simple shortcut or star a message to create a to-do list.

Free plan: Yes

Chanty

Chanty is an AI-powered chat software that enables businesses to get more done together. With Teambook – a well-organized hub for tasks, conversations, pinned messages, calls, and shared files – you can stay on top of all the things that are important to you at work. Chanty also offers some cool things like:   

– Taking control over the information you get with smart notifications.
– Leaving voice notes along with collaborating over a call.
– Connecting with other apps that go beyond communication.

Free plan: Yes

Chanty - remote work software

 

Google Hangouts Chat

If there’s a messaging tool that works particularly well for businesses that use the G-suite, it’s got to be Google Hangouts Chat. It offers direct-messaging for 1-1s, and team channels for discussions with more people. Since it’s deeply integrated with the rest of G Suite, you can share documents and manage appointments right from within Chat.

Free plan: No

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is the go-to tool for team collaboration in Microsoft 365. It serves as a unified communication and collaboration platform that combines chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration. Apart from just sharing files on Teams, you can also use it to edit Word docs, PowerPoint, and Excel files in real-time.

Free plan: No

Screen-sharing and video conferencing tools

Since in-person meetings currently seem like a thing of the past, and everything from daily catch-ups and org-wide meetings are now being conducted on a video conferencing tool, it’s important that you pick a tool that is versatile and scalable, such as:

Zoom

Zoom is a popular video-conferencing tool that is being used by businesses of all sizes. Zoom allows 1,000 video participants and a whopping 10,000 viewers per meeting. This makes it convenient to host meetings for a large audience and also conduct webinars. 

Zoom is also a viable option for small businesses as it has a free forever plan. The catch here is that meetings come with a 40-minute cap. However, by paying $14.99 per month, you can conduct meetings that go beyond forty minutes.

Free plan: Yes 

Screenleap

Have you ever shared your screen with a colleague or client/customer and found yourself in an awkward situation because you had to request them to download an app to view your screen? A tool like Screenleap helps you avoid this unnecessary hurdle. 

With Sceenleap, your colleague or client can view your screen without installing the app. This helps ensure that you are providing a frictionless experience. It also allows you to share your screen with more than one person at once. 

Free plan: Yes

Go-to-meeting

Go-to-meeting is a video calling platform that was specifically designed by keeping online business meetings in mind. With Go-to-meeting, you can 

– Share files and conduct polls.
– Include rich media add-ons like slideshows and annotations.
– Record your meetings in real-time, take notes, mark action items, and share them after the meeting.

Free plan: No

TeamViewer

Remote support and remote access control is the need of the hour, and TeamViewer is a well-known tool in this space. Using TeamViewer, you can remotely access and control the desktop of your customer or employee and assist them from anywhere.

Additional capability: TeamViewer also comes with an integrated remote monitoring and management solution that allows you to monitor various aspects of your devices, patch outdated software, and gather valuable information from one central location.

Free plan: No

Remote Work Software for Project Management

Keeping tabs on what everyone on your team is working on might seem like a challenging task in a remote work setup. However, with the right project management, you can get a clear picture of what your teammates are up to and assist them whenever required. 

Here are a few project management tools that can help you execute your projects effortlessly:   

Asana

Asana is an easy-to-use tool that helps you plan and structure your projects, set priorities, and deadlines, and keep everyone on your team aligned to their goals. You can easily share important details, assign work items, and monitor progress on every stage as opposed to following up on email or chat. Additionally, using Asana you can also:

– Reduce repetitive tasks by creating templates for common workflows and processes and setting up recurring work-items.

– Integrate email communication with project management.

Free plan: Yes

Basecamp

Basecamp is a project management tool that is popular across software development, design firms, freelancers, architects, schools, and nonprofits. 

Since Basecamp was built by a team that operates remotely, it covers all the fundamentals that businesses require to work from homes such as announcements, to-do lists, schedules, group chat, file-sharing, and automatic check-ins.  

Free plan: Yes

Notion

If you’re looking for a tool that serves as a note-taking, knowledge management, project management, and CRM software, then Notion is the right one for you. 

Notion is a one of a kind project management software that centralizes communication and information and works well for businesses of all sizes that are working remotely. Plus, if you are a freelancer or a solopreneur, the tool can help you boost personal productivity by enabling you to think more clearly and stay organized.

Free plan: Yes

iDoneThis

With a status-sharing tool like iDoneThis, remote teams can say goodbye to recurring conversations about who is working on what. This tool helps you see what everyone on your team is working on in a single glance. It sends you an email that asks you what you got done that day and sends everyone a digest of what your team completed the previous day. 

Free plan: No

Remote Work Software for Customer-facing Teams

Customer support and sales are two functions that require their teams to be on their feet at all times as they cannot afford to keep a lead or a customer waiting for a response. So it’s important that the solution you pick offers a seamless remote-work experience. Here are a few tools that enable you and your team to continue engaging with your customers effortlessly:

Remote support

Freshdesk

The need of the hour is to be able to strengthen relationships with your existing customers. Freshdesk’s unique solution for omnichannel support lets you do just that. For instance, using Freshdesk, you can:

– track and manage customer conversations from a unified platform,
– provide instant support using live chat and other messaging apps,
– set up emergency hotlines without investing in hardware,
– launch a branded self-service portal with a chatbot or a website widget.

Additionally, to help ensure that your remote customer support team is able to assist your customers without any hassles, Freshdesk enables you to:
– Stay on top of all conversations with intelligent automation, SLAs, and customizable dashboards and reports.
– Build robust workflows by integrating with over 650 apps such as Zoom, TeamViewer, Slack, CRM tools and more from the Freshdesk marketplace 
– Improve agent productivity by cutting down on repetitive tasks using agent-collision detector and automatic-ticket merger.

Freshdesk also comes with Freshconnect – an inbuilt-collaboration tool that allows you to loop in your teammates or members of another team whose help you need to resolve an issue.  

Free plan: Yes (with unlimited licenses)

Omnichannel software - remote work software

Front 

Front is a suitable tool for businesses that still use a shared inbox to offer customer support. It helps you maintain a well-organized shared inbox by automatically adding tags and routing incoming customer conversations to the right agents. Additionally, the tool also lets you manage conversations across live chat, text, WhatsApp, etc right from a single inbox.

Free plan: No

Help Scout

Help Scout should be your go-to customer service solution if all you need is a streamlined shared inbox plus live chat.  

Along with enabling you to assist your customers on chat and email, Help Scout helps you offer proactive support using Beacon – a website widget that your customers can use to find relevant answers from your knowledge base. The widget also displays a contact form that your customers can use to reach out to your team if they are unable to find a solution through your self-service portal.

Free plan: No

Remote selling

Freshsales

Freshsales is an AI-based CRM software that takes care of your sales team’s every need. Apart from offering powerful solutions for pipeline management and reporting, Freshsales helps you 

– boost sales productivity with real-time notifications, easy data import, and access to relevant information in one place
– power your conversations with leverage lead scores, event tracking, and activity timelines
– automate your sales process with workflows, call logs, and lead-assignment. 

Free plan: Yes

Remote work software - Freshsales

Nimble CRM 

If your business primarily functions using Office 365 and G Suite, Nimble can fit right into your workflows and help you collaborate better with prospects and customers, and grow your business. 

Nimble offers a powerful Microsoft integration that automatically combines Office 365 contacts, communication histories, email inboxes, calendar appointments, and social media connections into one unified platform. It is also ideal for individuals and teams transitioning from managing contacts and sales pipelines within spreadsheets, or email.

Free plan: No

Remote Work Software to Manage Employee Productivity

As a manager, it is important that you help your teams stay focused on what they are working on and help them balance work and life. The same goes for freelancers and independent consultants too. To help you boost personal and team productivity, here are some of the best tools for time management and note-taking.

Time management

Harvest 

Harvest is a time tracking tool that is ideal for freelancers who need to track time and invoice clients, as well as businesses that need to track the time spent on multiple projects or clients. 

You can also use Harvest to track time from your desktops, phones, or project management tools such as Asana, Trello, and Basecamp, and leverage the in-built reports to make better business decisions. 

Tip: You can also use Harvest to create invoices from your billable time, and email it to your client directly. 

Free plan: Yes

timee.io

If your business is spread across different geographies, then you need a tool that lets you view different time zones before scheduling meetings. 

time.io enables you to instantly view multiple time zones and schedule meetings right from within the tool. This tool can also be added as a Chrome Extension. 

RescueTime

Do you find yourself getting distracted by notifications while working? Or have you ever wondered if you’ve gotten faster at completing a task?

With RescueTime, you can do both – automatically track the time you spend on apps, websites, even specific documents and projects, as well as block distracting websites and apps. 

Along with this, RescueTime offers three useful features that enable you to:

– identify what’s getting in the way of your productivity using detailed reports on where you spend most of your time
– set up work hours, and alerts that let you know when you’re working for too long during your non-work hours
– create goals and track progress on those goals using the app.

Free plan: Yes

Toggl

Toggl is a simple and intuitive time-tracking tool for businesses as well as freelancers. What  sets Toggl apart from other time-tracking tools is that it comes with a dashboard that lets you:
– compare project progress to the estimated time
– spot problems in advance and resolve them before they blow up. 

Using Toggl, you can also assign billable rates to your tasks.

Free plan: Yes

Timely 

Timely is an ideal time tracking platform for you if you need to monitor the number of hours your team worked for. 

Using Timely, businesses can get an overview of how they allocate their team’s time, and whether it’s the most efficient use of each member’s time. It also offers automated time tracking and entries.  

Free plan: No

Note-taking app

Evernote

Evernote is a powerful solution for note-taking as well as a collaboration – you can share your notebook with others, and edit it together in real-time. You can even send emails to Evernote and gather all of the things you need in a single place. Additionally, you can also create templates to jot down your thoughts faster.

Free plan: Yes

Google Keep

Google Keep helps you note down whatever is on your mind not just through notes or lists but also using
– voice memos that automatically get transcribed,
– a photo of a poster, receipt, or document. 

You can optimize for search by organizing your notes using color codes and labels. You can also share your Keep notes with others and collaborate on them in real-time.

Free plan: Free

Microsoft To-Do

If you’re a person who likes to plan your day efficiently by breaking tasks down into simple steps, adding due dates, and setting reminders, then you will find Microsoft To-do to be very useful. 

Additionally, it helps you stay on track with intelligent and personalized suggestions to update your daily to-do list. You can also share your to-do lists with your colleagues.

Free plan: No

Remote Work Software for Data Storage and Security

Along with communication, project management, customer service, sales, and employee productivity, two of the most important things for remote work is security and cloud storage. Here are highest-rated tools for security and cloud-storage: 

Dropbox

Dropbox helps you centralize content by creating, storing, collaborating, and sharing files from Microsoft Office 365, the GSuite, and Dropbox Paper into one single platform. 

Paid plans also come with Dropbox’s Smart Sync feature, which enables you to use files available both in the online interface and offline on your computer or laptop. It also keeps your company’s data safe by offering a secure, distributed infrastructure that includes admin tools for control and visibility.

Free plan: Yes (comes with 2 GB of storage)

Drive

Using Drive, you can create, share, store, and access content from Docs, Sheets, Slides, and other cloud-native apps, and collaborate effectively in real-time. 

The Enterprise plan comes with additional security features that help you safeguard your company’s data with Data Loss Prevention, Vault for eDiscovery and archiving, and security center.

Free plan: Yes (first 15GB of storage are free)

ExpressVPN

ExressVPN services help you give your employees secure access to your company’s internal network and resources. It lets you use 5 devices simultaneously, and can be extended with the ExpressVPN app. 

Using this, you can also handle a flux in workload by letting you route some device traffic through a VPN while the rest accesses the internet directly. It removes geo-blocks and helps you access any content, no matter where you are located. It also helps keep hackers and spies at bay with best-in-class encryption and leak-proofing. 

Free plan: No

LastPass

Contacting your IT team because you forgot your password, and getting locked out, can be quite embarrassing. That’s why you need a tool like LastPass that lets you store your passwords and other digital records such as insurance cards, memberships, Wi-Fi passwords safe, and makes it easy to find. It also comes with a built-in password generator that creates long, randomized passwords that protect against hacking.

Free plan: Yes

1Password

Wouldn’t remembering one password be better than remembering dozens? Using 1Password, you can create a single Master Password using which you can manage passwords on all other websites and important information. Sounds like a real life-savor, doesn’t it?

Free plan: No

Are there any tools that have been helping you work from home efficiently? Let us know in the comments section! Don’t forget to look away from your screens periodically and stretch for a couple of seconds.