With the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) increasing rapidly, businesses are switching to work from home policies if they can. This measure has been taken to control the spread of the disease and keep the employees safe. Because of this, all organizations and employees are now in need of strong remote work collaboration tools more than ever. With the virus spreading, the only safe option is to work from home. And employees and employers must manage to keep the same productivity levels if not more even while working from home. But there are several problems with working from home. Chief among them is the lack of collaboration, which can easily lower productivity.
However, thanks to the growing and emerging enterprise collaboration tools, working from home or any remote location can now be almost as productive and rewarding as working from the office. These remote work collaboration tools allow employees and companies to work together on professional projects and plans while not working under the same roof. They are meant to reduce the bottlenecks of communication gaps, feedback and approval processes, and more. They also help drastically in core aspects such as communication, planning, project, and task management, and file and data sharing. Here are our top picks for the best enterprise-level collaboration tools.
Microsoft Teams is one of the most popular collaboration tools right now. Apart from being backed by Microsoft, the tool also offers very high levels of customization. Teams is also very tightly integrated with other Microsoft apps, making it easy for businesses and companies to manage their work while collaborating. Teams is celebrating its third anniversary, with Microsoft rolling out new features.
Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based business application suite that helps companies manage chats, file and data sharing, work schedules, employee working hours management, and more. Microsoft Teams can be used as a desktop app, web app, or a mobile app.
Microsoft Teams has a very long list of features and integration options and can seamlessly work with almost any Microsoft Office tool and service. As the name suggests, Microsoft Teams packs in various features such as wide integration options, multiple conversation channels, real-time collaboration, cross-platform and device compatibility, and security and privacy for teams. However, several of its features can only be used in a Microsoft environment and not elsewhere.
Zoho Projects is essentially a project management tool with several built-in collaboration features. Zoho already has a large user-base across the globe and is known to provide solutions for companies and organizations or different shapes and sizes.
Zoho already has industry-standard proven solutions for CRM. Zoho Projects also offers very rich communication and an easy to use and intuitive interface. The tool is very responsive and is cloud-based, making It easy to access from anywhere and from any device.
Zoho Projects allow its users to set up custom chat rooms, chat with colleagues asynchronously, and set up different chat rooms for different projects. However, the unique selling aspect of the Zoho Projects is its pricing. It offers five different plans, including a free plan with no time limit. All other plans come with a 10-day trial period.
Slack has been a textbook example of a collaboration tool for years. It is an excellent, easy-to-use, and powerful texting platform for collaboration. Various organizations have Slack as their primary work chat tool for collaboration and communication. Although it offers all the right set of features and options, its paid version is also one of the most expensive collaboration tools out there.
Slack allows integrations from various other tools such as JIRA, GitHub, and Trello. Slack also packs in audio calls, video calls, conferences, screen-sharing and more. It allows users to customize their status, provide full control over notifications and availability. The tool also makes it very easy to separate teams and create different chat rooms. Finally, it also has a bunch of shortcuts to find information from the chat rooms, which is now inherited by various other collaboration tools.
Kanban is one of the commonly used project management methodologies and Trello is one of the most intuitive and easy-to-use kanban apps in the market right now. Offering solid ways to manage work and workflows, Trello is a lightweight project management tool. It is also one of the most straightforward applications on our list.
It comes with a digital dashboard on which a user can create, organize, manage, and prioritize actions. All the tasks, to-dos can be very easily managed using the drag-and-drop card system. Trello allows users to assign an employee or even a team or a set of employees on a certain task. It also allows you to set up deadlines and notes to each of these task cards.
Trello is a web-based tool and also comes as a mobile app on both Android and iOS platforms. There are three different versions including free, business class, and enterprise accounts. Trello offers a limited set of features and misses out on a few of the essential project management features such as progress reports, time tracking, and Gantt charts. However, it still outperforms its competitors in certain segments such as interface and pricing.
GitHub is the world’s leading and largest software development platform. It also serves as one of the world’s largest community of developers and other IT professionals to develop, share, build, and store software.
But many users are still unaware that GitHub can also be used for better team collaboration and communication. GitHub offers an excellent means to collaborate on development projects. With GitHub, users can fork an existing project allowing other developers to contribute to the same project simultaneously. It also lets you clone and add an upstream remote. GitHub also allows adding multiple developers on a single project allowing collaboration.
Remote work collaboration tools: Pick the right one
There are several other collaboration tools and services available in the market suiting different needs. The key here is not just the tool, but to have the right tool in the right place to promote collaboration among the employees of organizations.
Featured image: Shutterstock
More Remote Work articles
- Using VMware Horizon to connect to remote computers without a VPN
- Best Windows SSH clients to boost work-from-home security
- The new brain drain: What if WFH tech employees don’t come back?
- Top 5 work-from-home lessons every CIO needs to know
- How Big Data is leveraging our work-from-home responses