With remote work here to stay, every company, from startups to the Fortune 500, needs extra tools to help manage their teams.
The best virtual work apps to keep your team connected aren’t just the usual suspects like Zoom and Slack, although of course those are critical. To keep everyone connected, you may also want to consider some lesser known options we love, plus an app to help you let loose, too.
So, let’s jump into the virtual work apps you can use to foster more connection among your employees.
1. Zoom or Google Meet
There’s a reason ‘zoom’ has become a catch-all term for any type of video meeting. With the sudden pivot to home working, Zoom exploded in popularity right from the beginning of the pandemic. And because of its reliable service and robust features, it’s since become a mainstay for many companies.
When you’re managing a remote workforce, team check-ins and one-to-one check-ins are a must. And therefore some sort of virtual meeting software is a must, too. While Zoom has a free plan, its reasonably priced options – like screen recording, whiteboards, waiting rooms, virtual backgrounds and longer call lengths – are quite popular.
Google Meet is another good option for video conferences. It offers a free, simple service that may be right for smaller teams.
Slack is another app great for team connection, that has only risen in popularity since the start of the pandemic. It’s an intuitive messaging platform that utilizes channels and direct messaging, so your team can communicate and share information from anywhere they’re connected to the internet.
Slack is reliable and makes remote collaboration much easier. Plus, you can add apps to your workplace, like Google Calendar and Zoom.
And while Slack is great for organizing work, we also recommend you use it to help keep the old ‘water cooler’ feeling alive. This can mean having some fun channels, like a place to share pet pictures or discuss interests like movies, music or other hobbies. Get creative!
Maybe you want to share information with several people on your team, but you don’t need to have a full, hands-on meeting. You also don’t want to write a long, convoluted email, either. In this scenario, we like to use an app called Loom.
Loom is a video messaging tool that you didn’t know you needed. It lets you record your camera, microphone and desktop simultaneously, so you can instantly send your whole team recorded videos. Dubbing themselves a ‘more efficient, expressive, effective way to communicate,’ Loom works great when busy schedules don’t allow for meetings or long emails.
In the old days at the office, keeping everyone on task was easy. A boss could walk by your desk, you could peek over your cubicle, and your special project team could discuss progress over lunch – all offering opportunities for quick progress reports.
Assigning tasks and keeping everyone on track gets a little more complicated with far flung teams. An app like Asana is a good choice to help you manage projects, workflows, and team collaboration.
This might not be what you expected to see on a list of virtual apps for the remote office. But companies work best when every employee is happy and healthy. Employees aren’t machines, and success comes when your workplace culture fosters community and engagement.
Of course, if Jeopardy! isn’t quite to your team’s style, there’s an almost endless amount of collaborative online games to choose from (including options on Slack).
The point is to think about what virtual apps are going to help your team do their work efficiently, of course, and also to thrive. Choose options that make work easier, along with options that make work fun, too.