Remote Work

Table of Contents

Remote Work Software

What is Remote Work Software?

Remote work software refers to any system that enables remote teams to work anywhere other than the main office while also communicating, collaborating, and monitoring tasks that ordinarily require presence on-site.

Bear in mind that remote work has been around as far back as 1973 but the COVID-19 pandemic further brought it into prominence. From less than 10% of workers working remotely before the epidemic, the number triggered to over 70% of the global workforce following the trend after 2020.

Types of Remote Work Software

Collaboration Software

This refers to teamwork chat or software solutions that help remote teams collaborate on a task, share important information, and stay in touch with each other using real time data. Here, distance is no barrier. Collaborative software covers systems for file sharing, messaging, project planning, project management, and other tools that not only promote employee efficiency but also aid teamwork.

Video Conferencing

This is a web-based face-to-face meeting that uses both video and audio software so that office workers can meet, irrespective of their locations. It is an ideal choice especially if you want to link up with your far-away customers.

Virtual Office Software

Without the aid of administrative staff and other expenses associated with the main office, this type of remote work software offers your remote teams a physical address alongside other office-related features.

Despite working from a virtual space, your business can still enjoy meeting rooms, mailing addresses, videoconferencing, and phone answering applications.

Cloud Office Productivity Suites

This category of remote work software minimizes costs and enhances cooperation anytime and anywhere. It also creates a reliable model through which the productivity level of your remote teams can increase. It covers a group of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) communication and collaboration systems that aid instant messaging, email, document planning, and file sharing on complex projects. Examples are G Suite by Google and Office 365 by Microsoft.

Chat Tools

This type of remote working tools is browser-based and allows office workers to communicate with each other in real-time. It also promotes the transmission of videos, text messages, hyperlinks, and images. Some leading-edge web-based chat tools also allow users to make video and voice calls.

Benefits of Remote Work Software

Businesses have many benefits to derive from using remote work software such as:

  • Expanding your business horizons to discover skills that may not be locally accessible and employing workers outside your location.
  • Promoting efficiency and facilitating work-life balance, even for special categories of workers such as returning mothers and pregnant women.
  • Continuity of business operations regardless of emergencies and weather-related surprises.
  • Improved team communication and detailed report for action items.
  • Seamless integration with project management tools.
  • Reduced commuting time.
  • Higher flexibility and less staff turnover.
  • Little or no need for a physical office space.

Key Features of Remote Work Software

Features Description
Cloud-based Capacity It offers remote workers the ability from any place and any electronic device once there is a reliable internet connection. It also possesses cloud storage to save essential business documents.
Web-based Office Suites Other than file sharing and storing via the cloud, remote work software can send and edit files in real time.
Time Management This feature allows users to track how much time is spent on each task. Employees also use this feature to bill their managers according to the number of hours spent on each project.
Project Management It possesses flourishing project management attributes that remote workers can use to earmark their ongoing tasks and other activities slated for execution later.
Automation and Collaborative Features This key feature enhances the efficiency of remote workers. It saves time by robotizing repetitive and minor tasks, thereby giving users time to concentrate on more important activities.
Security Most remote work software makes room for two-factor authentication and online backup to ensure that your data is safe.
Whiteboarding It offers remote workers visual online collaboration.
Recording and Screen Sharing The software can share and record screens while making presentations to your co-workers.

 

Costs of Remote Work Software

The costs of remote work tools can vary based on the provider, the features you look forward to, and the types of projects. Meanwhile, some virtual work software provides a charge-free basic version (although with restricted features) while you have to subscribe monthly or annually for others.

Here are the average pricing schedules:

  • Free: Some providers provide a free basic version of their product but you have to pay to access features that accommodate a large number of users and other advanced elements. For Monday.com, its free plan is for small teams or businesses that only need the platform’s most basic features.
  • Subscription: Most providers offer monthly or annual subscription plans. However, the price attached to each package depends on the features added and is between $10 to $50 per month. Check Monday’s pricing chart here.
  • Fixed-Price or Custom Pricing: This plan is more of a work plan. Large contractors and software providers create a pricing plan after deliberation on the features they want, the boundary of work, and potential risks.
  • Pay Per-Use: Unlike custom pricing, providers charge their users according to the number of participants they have or the features required per session or on daily basis.

Popular Remote Work Software Providers

Do you need a robust virtual work software to improve your work on a daily basis? Here is a compilation of A-class remote working tools:

Google Drive

Google Drive is one of the industry leaders you should check out. It uses the cloud to gather and store formats such as Google Slides, Google Sheets, Google Forms, and Google Docs in a consolidated folder. You can use Google Drive to share files with folks within and outside your virtual team. This can be done using a link or directly via Gmail.

A bonus here’s that the platform is searchable. Thus making it perfect for essential company files such as templates, operating processes, handbooks, complex projects, and contact lists.

Slack

Slack is a favorite of most remote workers and full-time employees across the world. The tool promotes communication through direct messages (DMs), email threads, and channels.

Slack facilitates team management and is a tool that fosters deeper relationships among teammates. You can also integrate it with Zoom, Google Docs, Salesforce, Google Suite, and Asana.

Monday.com

Here is project management software with notable collaboration features. It covers project dashboards, team calendars, data dashboards, and timelines. Other than searchability, Monday gathers your virtual workplace communication into a centralized library while team members can also share correspondence beyond the average email response time.

Monday.com offers key features that managers can use to closely monitor progress reports. It can also improve employee scheduling, connect boards, and shuffling between tasks.

Zoom

In the modern corporate world, Zoom is a household name. It is a tool that supports video conferencing for business managers, entrepreneurs, and contractors worldwide. Zoom is quite easy to install and users can hop onto meeting spaces without having the software installed on their devices.

Some key features here include using only audio and partial screen sharing. It is a formidable tool for face-to-face online meetings.

Todoist

This is a digital to-do list manager that helps remote workers remain efficient and active throughout team meetings. It has incentives for participants that regularly complete their projects and users can prioritize certain projects alongside consistent reminders.

HubStaff

This is a time-tracking software that supports email threads, tracking, scheduling, collaborative space, and coordination of the entire team. The GPS tracking capacities also come in handy for offices using a hybrid style. It covers online invoicing, payroll tools, project dashboards, and prompt progress reports.

Important Remote Work Software Integrations

Integrating virtual work software with other tools like communication software can produce a perfect work environment for your employees. Here are some remote software integrations you should consider:

Integration with Project Management Software

Pairing tools like Trello, Wrike, Asana, and Smartsheet with virtual work software can help you keep track all ongoing and later projects. This integration can also help you commence virtual meetings from the project planning systems.

Integration with Events Scheduling Tools and Calendar

Calendar, Google Calendar, Calendly Mobile, Microsoft Outlook, and other collaborative features that schedule events can help teams host and join online meetings as and when due and without stress.

Integration with Video Hosting Sites

Video hosting platforms like Brightcove, YouTube, and Vimeo offers the possibility of sending and receiving recorded versions of team meetings. All you have to do is ensure that meetings are recorded.

Potential Issues with Remote Work Software

Although remote work software isn’t without benefits, some potential problems may also arise from its use. Here they are:

Distractions at Home or Any Other Location

The use of remote work software may lead to being swept off due to distractions around the remote workers. This may not necessarily be at home; train stations, work-share spaces, restaurants, etc are included. Factors such as background noise across the street, dogs barking, and children screaming while passing by may make concentrating somewhat difficult.

Isolation

Remote work can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation and this becomes more evident with folks living alone. Unlike the traditional office where you get to interact with your co-workers, social interaction can never be as it ought to be once your company adopts remote work tools. 

Cybersecurity Challenges

Security remains pivotal in every business. When a company embraces a remote work pattern, the concerns get more critical. This is because unauthorized entry may occur through firewall bypassing and VPN distortions.

The threat may become complex when one of your employees who’s working remotely goes to a public spot like a coffee shop or bus terminal to work using public WiFi.

Unreliable or Unstable Internet Connection

There is no guarantee that users will enjoy steady internet access every day and even if there’s no outage, the reliability and speed of internet access vary. Thus, this may pose some threats to the smooth running of your software.

Relevant Trends in Remote Work Software

Hybrid Work Arrangements

About 66% of international companies are looking forward to rebranding their office space to align with hybrid teams. Many businesses and industries are fast following suit and hybrid work arrangement is among the most popular remote work trends in 2022 and the first quarter of 2023.

In 2021, McKinsey also gave projections that about 61% of the entire workforce in the US will embrace remote working with at least once a week frequency in the future and this prediction is getting fulfilled already. The UK, France, Japan, and Germany are also in tune with this trend.

Adoption of Cloud-Based Tools

Gone are the days of traditional physical workplace settings. Thus, streaks of innovations in the remote workspace keep springing up every day. Many US companies have also started the use of cloud-based tools for their operations and it has been corroborated by VMware when it was made public that the rate at which public cloud is used has increased with 71%. This also applies to SaaS which increased by 51% and the latest apps by 58%.

Mental Health Concerns Triggered by Remote Work Software

Truly, remote work life can be isolating and depressing. The toll gets graver with companies that focus on each employee’s performance rather than the entire teams’. According to Harvard Business Review, not less than 76% of remote workers and hybrid teams experience at least one symptom of a mental health deficiency.

Therefore, many companies are fast putting measures in place to cater to the mental health needs of their workers, especially those working remotely. On the bright side, the American Psychiatric Association also said 44% of workers have declared that their workplaces now pay attention to their mental health needs.

Software and Services Related to Remote Work Software

Email Tracking Software (ETS)

This software helps remote and hybrid teams keep track of their emails while also offering real-time updates once the receiver opens the mail, checks the links, or downloads the attached files. The key features of ETS are automated reminders, email analysis, and employee scheduling.

Time Tracking Software

Here is another software related to remote work software. It allows office workers to monitor and regulate the time spent working on complex projects.

Web Conferencing Software

This communication software is designed to accommodate event hosting, teamwork chat, and virtual conferences such as Google Meet. It also allows the registration of users, session scheduling, and other engaging features.

Frequently Asked Questions on Remote Work Software

  • What is the Difference Between Remote and Virtual Work?
    Remote work is determined by location while virtual work revolves around collaboration and communication in an online or web-based space.
  • Why is it Called Remote Work?
    This is because of the emerging idea that tasks and projects do not have to be executed in a particular place to be perfect. Thus, instead of going through the rigors of going to work every day, remote workers can do all their works and exceed their objectives right from the comfort of their rooms or wherever they want.
  • How Do You Manage Communication When Working Remotely?
    You manage communication when working remotely by giving your workers some sense of flexibility during virtual meetings, adopt comfy communication applications, create an enabling environment for sound interpersonal relationships among your workers, and adopt project management systems.
  • What is One of the Biggest Barriers to Success with Remote Work?
    One of the biggest barriers to success with remote work is poor workplace communication. Absence of interpersonal relationships may make you feel isolated from the team and loss of interest in the workplace may come in.