Apr 13, 2021

Remote Collaboration Tools

The world has had to adjust instantaneously to remote work, and too often the part that is most important is what is given short shrift. From evaluating to planning to improving the remote workforce, remote collaboration must be paramount.

But how can online collaboration mimic what is so complex in-person, with non-verbal cues and subconscious team strategies? Is it possible to expand what we mean by remote working essentials to include remote collaboration tools that allow us to collaborate with the same efficiency as if working in the same room? 

If we are to succeed in transitioning efficiently to remote work then the answer needs to be yes. Remote working applications need to include remote collab tools as a matter of course. And that needs to be just the basics of remote working essentials. 

Currently finding remote collaboration tools means sorting through a wide variety of different options. There is not one central place for remote collab tools. Instead the remote workforce needs a centralized set of tools, one that does more than offer the superficial kind of collaboration that is promised by supposedly ‘free’ remote working applications. 

In order to achieve the kind of collaboration that is as good as on-site, remotely, it’s necessary to make certain that the tools can be fully integrated into every aspect of work, from remote worker management to workflow. Overall the tools need to be able to create a virtual office, a place for remote teams to meet. 

Remote work presents unique challenges, and it is only by fully overcoming the barriers to remote collaboration that teams can achieve the same efficiency as they do on-site. In achieving these goals, it’s worthwhile to learn some lessons from the music industry, which is also so dependent on collaboration, but faces some unique challenges in achieving remote collaboration. 

Remote Working Tools

There is actually no shortage of remote working tools. But the world of remote working software is something of a jumbled mess. A search for working remotely tips and tools offers up a wide variety of solutions, without cohesively asking what the actual questions are. Nonetheless, the tools for remote teams cover a wide range of topics.

Some of the most common remote working tools that we see include chat apps, videoconferencing software, virtual whiteboards and document sharing methods. One of the most complex options in remote working software is that which provides work from home monitoring tools to allow for managing employing remotely.

Some of the most popular remote working tools of today include Zoom and Skype for video conferencing, while Miro and Ziteboard are for virtual whiteboarding. Google docs and Dropbox both offer document sharing options, as do many more. And work from home monitoring tools include Hubstaff, CleverControl and TimeDoctor. These are all just a few names of the many, many options available for those looking for tools to fill their remote work needs.

And such a wide variety of remote working tools ends up being counterproductive. The lack of a centralized place from which to get the job done causes confusion and wastes time. It's time to be able to utilize a single tool, one that combines the best parts of the best tools for remote workers.

Best Technology For Working Remotely

In trying to find the best technology for working remotely, it's important to understand what you need it to do and how. What exactly should your collaboration tools for business look like and how will it fit into your overall workflow? These are all important questions to ask. 

Communication tools for working from home need to be easy to use, simple to understand and work seamlessly within the framework of employees' workflow. Ideally, you would not have many collaboration tools for business, but would be able to combine them into one single, comprehensive platform.

There are some collaboration tools examples that allow for much more than just remote team chat. Rather they offer a more comprehensive platform for fulfilling a multitude of functions of collaboration tools for business. These include Asana and Tandem, which offer quite robust platforms of communication tools for working from home. 

However, it's important to remember that these platforms were not specifically designed for remote work, but as collaborative tools that could be utilized in the office. They certainly don't combine any real employee management aspects, they can be difficult to use, especially if trying to use all of the features, and there are other gaps in what they offer.  

Virtual Office For Remote Teams

Software like Asana and Tandem are meant to create a digital space to supplement business, but remote work demands more than that. The current situation demands a virtual office for remote teams. This in turns requires a virtual office management system, the part of programs like Asana which is most lacking. 

To be a true virtual office, the online experience must create an online environment where co-workers can interact and collaborate, mimicking some of the best aspects of the in-person office experience. It is paramount that virtual collaboration tools allow for these interactions to occur as naturally as possible, just being able to use virtual collaboration tools free does not mean you will be getting the full experience of meaningful collaboration. 

The virtual collaboration tools whiteboard is one of the most important office tools for remote work. Programs like Miro allows for real-time brainstorming around a virtual whiteboard while being far apart. But you have to consider what is being lost from not being in the same room. As convenient as it is to not have to go into work, what gets 'lost in translation' when you're speaking less and writing more. The question of writing more and talking less is also raised by Slack virtual office. 

How To Manage Remote Employees

One of the most difficult aspects of transitioning to a remote workforce, and one which many of the most centralized tools fail to address is how to manage remote employees. While there are specifically designed tools to manage remote employees, they are not built in to existing collaboration tools, nor do they provide a centralized platform to do more than offer specific remote team management tools. 

There are additional challenges of managing remote employees. One of these is that the managing remote workers toolkit can prove controversial. While management in-office has a personal touch, how to manage work from home is more complex. Most remote team management tools have come capabilities that can seem like surveillance to employees. 

One way to deal with this problem head on, is to openly discuss the challenges of managing remote employees. Offer that you are open to ideas, and explain why it is necessary to implement a system of tools to manage remote employees. Offer a managing remote teams pdf that clearly states expectations and procedures. 

Free Online Collaboration Tools

It can be tempting to transition to the remote workforce by using free online collaboration tools. If you Google collaboration tools, you'll find a host of project collaboration tools, the vast majority of which will offer some free version. 

But it's important to remember that no software is truly free. Before committing fully to free document collaboration tools, it's important to consider whether the storage will support your needs, or you'll have to upgrade at a much higher rate than a competitor's plan. 

It's easy to find a remote working productivity tool, but will it fit into the framework that you already have in place. Even though it's free and legitimately offers a useful service, if it clashes with your other virtual project management tools, it's only going to slow you down. 

Remote Collaboration Music

Although we are discussing ways in which remote collaboration needs to happen online in the world of business, one place worth taking a look is at the world of remote collaboration music. 

Music collaboration songs create their own challenges in the world of remote collaboration, as real-time digital streaming cannot not happen at the speed required to make music together. A zoom music collaboration will be too far out of sync, unless the musicians find clever workarounds, such as arranging music differently, or pre-recording parts. 

This is a clever example of how one can take software that has existing limitations, and find ways to 'jerry-rig' it to meet the needs of your business. It also shows how critical a multimedia approach can be.

One way that musicians have been taking advantage of the situation is by using digital tools to find musicians to collaborate with online. Without the limitations of needing to meet in person, musicians can collaborate with anyone in the world. This attitude can be useful if you're looking to hire or need to find new clients while working remotely. The world is broader than when everything was done in-office. 

Finally, a quality music video collaboration app is a centralized place allowing musicians to come together and create a remote music collaboration video. From idea to final product, including complex music and filming, but nonetheless made simple to do remotely, it's the ideal model for what is needed as a centralized platform for creating a virtual office.