The 2020 pandemic has forced many companies to switch to remote working, and despite the year that has passed, many have still not returned to their everyday office life. However, this doesn’t surprise me one bit because remote work is in many ways more profitable than working offline, both for employees and managers. That’s because remote working not only saves time by avoiding the daily commute back and forth to the office but also money. That, in turn, allows you to cut costs on rent, lunches and the same water in the cooler. Consequently, in short, I, Alex Reinhardt, am an active supporter of telecommuting! But the main thing, of course, is to organise it correctly.
Many people come to the Alex Reinhardt Academy to receive online business training, increase their earnings, and learn how to run this very telecommuting correctly. After all, today, you could be overwhelmed by the number of different programmes and systems designed to optimise remote teamwork. I also had the chance to work remotely with my team during the pandemic, and to this day, most of the work on the Alex Reinhardt Academy gets done remotely. So, I’ve put together my personal top list of the best platforms and systems for telecommuting for you.
CRM (Customer relationship management) systems for project management
When working remotely, you can’t do without a CRM system. It will become your “virtual office” where you will all work together on projects. I suggest you choose from the following list, which I have personally tested:
- Asana is the system used by large companies such as Uber, Pinterest and Airbnb. Here you can communicate with every team member in a group chat, or one-on-one, publish tasks, and monitor employee performance.
- Trello is a visual and flexible platform with a clear interface based on the legendary Japanese “kanban” model. Here you can create project boards, assign roles to participants, assign responsible persons and track the progress of tasks. Therefore, this platform is most suitable for small teams.
- YouGile is a simple and convenient management system but for large teams. It is somewhat similar to a social media platform where you can get notifications when someone completes a task, chat and view the statistics of your colleagues. In addition, all projects here look visual and use Agile boards, which is also a huge plus!
- Jira is a powerful CRM system for IT companies. It was firstly designed for bug tracking and user experience management, but can also be used for team project management. You can utilise it to generate a list of tasks, track progress and, most importantly, capture and resolve problems that arise in the process promptly.
- Microsoft Teams is a tried and tested classic with the standard tools necessary for efficient teamwork. I am talking about a chat, file sharing, video and audio chats, scheduling function, etc. However, mastering the platform may not be as easy as is the case with the previously mentioned ones, and there aren’t enough visuals.
- Bitrix24 is a platform for large projects, which enables project management, organising interaction with clients, keeping analytics, reports, and even connecting the call centre. However, the most useful function there, in my opinion, is the possibility of viewing the amount of time it took for an employee to complete a particular task.
Personally, I alternate between these platforms for different teams and tasks. With Trello, for example, we at the Alex Reinhardt Academy work on developing educational programmes, and we use Jira to work on the platform itself.
Additional platforms and tools for employees
One CRM isn’t enough if you want your team to be as productive at home as in the office. My advice is not to get too carried away and give the team a list of fifteen platforms they should definitely download and use. That will cause information overload because you only need to use a maximum of three to four platforms at most to work. Otherwise, you will go crazy remembering where and what data is stored!
Here are the platforms that I consider universal and that you may need for different team tasks:
- Zoom is the most famous platform for video conferencing, where several hundred people can participate at once. It integrates easily with DropBox and Microsoft Outlook. By the way, a little tip from the Alex Reinhardt Academy: Don’t hold remote meetings more than once a week! Online meetings are even more distracting than offline meetings.
- Google Docs allows the whole team to access files, make edits, changes and work collaboratively on documents.
- Slack is a popular enterprise messenger for communication and file sharing that you can integrate with Trello and other applications.
- Canva is a platform for creating graphs, brochures, charts, posters (including motivational ones, why not?) and anything that can make work easier and more versatile.
- Miro is an interactive whiteboard for visualising ideas and discussions. Think of it as a real chalkboard: you can draw there, write down ideas, glue stickers, etc.
- Calendly, a calendar application to help you schedule your employees’ work. Another personal piece of advice from me, Alex Reinhardt: flexible working hours, when it doesn’t matter how many hours a person spends on work, but quality and results, is the best choice for telecommuting!
At Alex Reinhardt’s Academy, you will be offered many programmes for online business education, combining the best tools from international experts with my personal experience as a serial entrepreneur and investor. As a result, you will learn how to organise your remote work and level up your leadership and business skills. For example, you will discover how to launch and build your own start-up, manage your team efficiently, negotiate, and much more. After all, training is the best thing you can do for the productivity of your team and the future of your business!