Tips on managing your workforce remotely
Many people are now working from home and trying to maintain productivity and stay positive during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re looking to boost your remote team’s productivity and morale, here are some useful tech tools that can make your day-to-day working-from-home life much easier. For example, a social media management tool allows you to manage all of your accounts from one dashboard.
So many people are now working from home (WFH) 100% of the time. Hopefully, if this is the case for you, you can maintain productivity and stay positive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While a lot of us are used to living the entrepreneur life from a home office, it’s still a big adjustment to have to self-isolate and stop all face-to-face interactions with coworkers and clients.
I encourage you to use this time to take a closer look at your overall business goals, focus on your health (both physical and mental) and self-care, and enjoy some family time at home.
I think many small business owners are having to pivot their marketing strategy, and what they do when the coronavirus passes could look quite different from what they did before.
I wanted to share some useful tech tools that can make your day-to-day WFH life much easier.
Team communication tools
This is probably the biggest WFH product decision you’ll have to make. Your team needs a reliable and easy-to-use tool that lets them instantly message coworkers. The right one for you depends on your business needs and challenges, team size and budget.
- You may have heard of Slack. This tool gives you the ability to create channels around multiple topics and invite users. From marketing content ideas to social media tactics to office dog photos, your team can create relevant channels for easy chat and collaboration.
It also integrates with many useful tools, including Outlook Calendar, Twitter, HubSpot and Salesforce, so you can see what’s going on at all times right in the Slack app (no need to click in and out of your daily calendar or Twitter feed, for example). There are SO MANY fun and creative emojis you can use too, making remote messaging in a challenging time like this a little more lighthearted.
- Another popular platform is Discord. Popular with gamers, this voice, video and text tool isn’t just for talking to coworkers, but for finding like-minded communities and new friends. You can create “servers” and “channels” for specific topics, similarly like you do for Slack channels. While Slack has more business integrations, Discord has voice channels, so you can easily chat with team members. Discord also lets you set user roles and permissions.
- Flock is a cloud-based team communication tool with video and audio calling, screen sharing, text chat, integration with other business applications and more. You can tag colleagues in comments and to-do lists, upload documents, images, and videos and set reminders and due dates. Polls, code snippet sharing, and group discussions are available, and it integrates with other apps such as Trello, Github, Google Drive, and Asana.
Team collaboration tools
Your employees need to be able to share their work, whether they’re creating on a marketing strategy or editing a press release. Here are a few that might fit your small business needs.
- G Suite is a Google product that’s made up of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products. In one suite of tools, it offers email, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation decks, shared calendars, cloud storage, and more.
You can comment and make suggestions on specific documents through Google Sheets and Docs, edit documents online simultaneously and collaborate on projects and documents. It’s easy to give users permission to specific files.
- Evernote: This is more than a note-taking app. Evernote helps you capture, prioritize and share ideas, track projects, and to-do lists. I find it super helpful for note-taking, obviously, but also as a sort of “digital filing cabinet” that simplifies organization. There’s a free, basic and business package.
CRM stands for “customer relationship management,” and CRM tools help you with things like inbound lead management, sales tracking, social tracking, and eNewsletter delivery. Here are three to consider:
- MailChimp is an all-in-one marketing platform with tools to create everything from emails to postcards. They have a great selection of templates to choose from that can then be further modified to suit your brand. Their intuitive interface and thorough reporting are great, but things can get expensive as your subscriber list or number of emails increases. You can compare their different plans.
- Constant Contact has always been a big rival with MailChimp to be the brand name in email marketing. It’s a huge company and a great option if Facebook is a big part of your online marketing strategy. Constant Contact has an email option that is designed so users can easily share your newsletter on Facebook.
This option can be considered the most social media-friendly and has all the major features of the others noted. If your online marketing involves Hootsuite (you can integrate this into Hootsuite) and you focus your efforts on gaining traction on social media then this is a great newsletter tool for you.
- AWeber is an extremely popular option and recommended by many professional marketing companies. It gives you five plans to choose from and a long list of features such as unlimited email marketing campaigns, follow-ups, lists, and Auto Responders.
Many people believe their Auto Responder platform is superior to other companies, allowing businesses to automate the process of delivering personalized emails to customers on a schedule.
Project management tools
A collaborative task management tool lets everyone track and manage all of their projects. Think of it as an online scheduler, taskmaster, and collaboration tool to manage your team’s workflows.
- Asana is one of the leading tools and gets a lot of positive feedback. It allows everyone on your team to follow the whole workflow of a project in an easy visual tool. You’ll always know where your team is at and who’s responsible for what and when.
From daily reminders on a task that’s due, to the ability to easily add collaborators or assign teammates a sub-task of a project, Asana makes it simple to see what everyone’s day, week and month looks like (but you can easily move things around if plans change).
- Monday.com is a pretty simple, intuitive visual team management tool (it’s really a project management platform). It runs processes, workflows, and projects in one digital workspace. Visually, it looks the same as a collection of very customized spreadsheets, in which every team member can log their tasks and update them with status reports and other relevant information.
That means that every person can see all active tasks and keep count on their progress. Team members can work on multiple projects without getting lost by using Monday’s weekly overview. The workflow can be customized just about any way you want it to communicate priority, what’s done, not done and so on. The colorful designs and big buttons don’t hurt either!
Social media management tools
Many small businesses will already have a social media management tool set up. A social media management tool allows you to manage all of your accounts from one dashboard, which saves you both time and frustration. These tools share your content at the best possible times throughout the day, so your followers and fans see your updates more often. It’s a smarter and more efficient way to schedule and share your social media posts.
The best part about these tools is the built-in analytics system, which will give you a glimpse into what’s performing well, and when your social media posts are making the most impact.
Here are two social media management tools I personally use:
- Buffer shows your scheduled posts and analytics (how in-depth those analytics get depends on the plan you choose). Many small business owners choose Buffer because of its sleek, clean interface that’s easy for beginners to get the hang of.
- I find that while Buffer is great for less demanding social media needs, Hootsuite is where it’s at if you want to see your timelines, replies, and more across all your social networks.
Both Buffer and Hootsuite offer free and paid plans, so you can always try them out and see which one feels like a better fit for your small business.
And while it’s not a tool your entire workforce might use, I’m liking MoneyMinderOnline during these uncertain times. It not only gives you a place to track your spending, but you also get insights into your spending habits, and you can look ahead to improve your cash flow, clear your debt, and start saving for your big goals.
I hope I’ve given you an overview of some tools that will help boost your team’s productivity and morale while you’re all working from home. You may also benefit from “How to Boost Business Efficiency”, on our website.
(Featured image by William Iven from Pixabay)
DISCLAIMER: This article was written by a third party contributor and does not reflect the opinion of Born2Invest, its management, staff or its associates. Please review our disclaimer for more information.
This article may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “believe,” “project,” “estimate,” “become,” “plan,” “will,” and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks as well as uncertainties, including those discussed in the following cautionary statements and elsewhere in this article and on this site. Although the Company may believe that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, the actual results that the Company may achieve may differ materially from any forward-looking statements, which reflect the opinions of the management of the Company only as of the date hereof. Additionally, please make sure to read these important disclosures.
Seed Money’s Third Campaign Started on CrowdFundMe
To date, Seed Money has as many as 580 members and, thanks to the capital raised in the previous two...
Fintech Company Stripe Builds in GPT-4 for User Support
The integration of GPT-4 is primarily intended to allow developers to submit natural language queries to the AI within Stripe...
Arthex Biotech Raises €11 Million to Advance Against Muscular Dystrophy
Arthex Biotech is a spin-off of the University of Valencia (UV). Established in September 2019, the company focuses on the...
Corn Closed Higher Last Week and Short-Term Trends Are Up
News that China had bought almost 2.0 million tons of US Corn over several days last week was positive for...
UBS Bailout of Credit Suisse Leaves Markets in Doubt and Spanish Banking Sector Suffers Instability
Hours after the purchase of Credit Suisse by UBS was sealed, the company's CEO has called for calm in the...
Featured2 weeks ago
Marcegaglia Signs First Sustainability-Linked Leasing Deal with Alba Leasing
Africa1 day ago
Climate Finance: The NGO Wep-Burkina Trains about 30 Women
Featured1 week ago
The SVB Bank Collapse May Only Be the Tip of the Iceberg
Business5 days ago
No Major Spanish Bank Was Affected by Credit Suisse’s Collapse