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Top Software and Tools for the Era of Remote Work

Remote work continues to be the norm for employees across a variety of sectors. ViacomCBS, for instance, recently announced that employees would only be able to return to offices in July on a limited and voluntary basis. Discover Inc., meanwhile, has told their offices to plan for a September return. For many other companies (including Deutsche Bank), a 40% permanent remote work policy has been adopted, since employees and managers alike have found that this working model promotes efficiency as well as time and cost savings. Technology is playing a key role for employees working from home; below are just a few software programs that are making  production, organization, and time management a breeze for remote teams.

Video Conferencing Solutions

Many remote teams began video conferencing with handy tools like Zoom or Skype, but today, there are a plethora of dedicated video conferencing solutions which are more sophisticated and specialized. Enreach Meeting, for instance, allows users to connect to team members via video chat but also has features for audio calls, file sharing, personalization of meeting names, Webinar proof (which enables users to emit videos during meetings), active speaker functionality, and a stickers feature (just to add a bit of fun into the equation). If you are interested in programs with smart features, check out software like Cisco Webex Meetings or BlueJeansMeetings. Cisco Webex Meetings, for instance, has artificial intelligence features which automate tasks, as well as features such as People Insights (which provides information on the people in your meeting room).

Time Tracking Software

Large companies need time and expense tracking software for projects, payroll, and billing, since relying on manual timesheets can be frustrating, as can having to manually enter identical data into different systems. Modern time and expense tracking software such as that developed by Journyx can be integrated with existing business systems and cloud applications, so that companies need not lose data when making a transition. This type of software can also be used to manage leave requests and calculate time off, and to enter specific times for different members of a team.

Project Manager Software

Project management software is essential for remote teams so that team members and managers can easily track progress, stay updated, and stay focused. Popular tools include Workzone (with resource management, email integration, budget tracking and more) and LiquidPlanner (with standard features plus Gantt Chart View). Gantt charts essentially allow teams to plan together and track each other’s progress, while attaching files, making comments and leaving notes for team members. These charts are interactive, meaning that changes can simply be dragged and dropped and schedules changed on the spot.

Instant Communication

When it comes to communication in channels, sub-channels or via DM, Slack is one of the most popular tools being used by remote teams. It allows users to create private groups as well as communal channels that notify the team when a notice is placed. Slack also enables users to attach documents and images in a plethora of formats. Another popular choice is Friday - a complement to Slack or Microsoft Teams that structures the way teams communicate via daily scrums or regular staff meetings.

Remote work is a reality that will continue for some time in the near future. Teams across a wide array of industries are working effectively thanks to software and tools focused on areas like project management and communication. Video conferencing, time tracking, project management and instant communication are just a few tool types that can help teams stay focused and meet their goals on time.

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