A major benefit of running an online business is you don’t have the overhead costs of a traditional brick-and-mortar outlet You’re not paying for store space, property insurance or property taxes—you probably don’t even need physical office space if you’re starting out.
So, you expand your talent search and hire remote employees. Great! Except, how do you keep your remote team on the same page to achieve maximum productivity and drive growth?
Below I’ll highlight the top tools you can use to manage a remote team.
Slack – Communication
Scheduled meetings and phone calls, as much as some people like to have them, usually end up being a waste of time. Internal email? Even more of a time suck. While many tools offer the ability to text, chat or get on a video call, Slack provides a straightforward, unique experience. You can create customized channels for each area of your business to keep the discussion between relevant team members and easily search any message thread for keywords to bring up past discussions. Sharing and accessing files is also super simple. Best of all, though? Slack offers countless app integrations, allowing the platform to be molded to your company’s specific needs.
Runner-Up: Join.me Not exactly a “plug and play” runner-up, but Join.me is a helpful supplement for when you have to get on a conference or video call, especially since Slack’s video functionality is functional but still developing.
Asana – Project Management
I’ve been using Asana for years, both for my personal life and remote team-management needs. Why? It has a simple interface and makes it easy to assign tasks to various team members. It’s also a reliable tool for documenting processes in a neatly organized place. For example, an e-commerce company that sells makeup could add permanent sections that document their business development and sales processes so new employees can self-onboard. There are several ways to get value out of Asana, but at a minimum, it’ll declutter your brain of the many tasks it has floating around, make delegating tasks to employees easier and get you to stick to hard deadlines. If you have less than 15 employees and opt for an annual subscription, you only pay $6.25 per user. Not bad for a tool that provides daily mental health dividends.
Google Drive – FIle Management
If you’re a relatively new company, you’re probably using Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Sheets, so why not keep file management easy with Google Drive? For teams, G-Suite offers three plans, with the $10/per user business plan that provides unlimited storage making sense for most companies.
1Password – Password Managers
Keeping a myriad of account information straight is a burden. But before you try to “solve” the problem by creating an Excel or Google sheet listing all your accounts and passwords, think about security: do you want to give each employee access to an unprotected list of passwords?
You’d be better served using a password manager, of which many exist, but my pick is 1Password for teams. With a free trial and paid accounts costing $3.99 per team member, you can store unlimited account passwords and credit card information and have the peace of mind that each team member can access what they need without having to ask around. Being able to store passwords seems like a small detail but avoiding logistical inefficiencies can be a huge boon to day-to-day productivity, not to mention employee morale.
Runner-Up: LastPass for Teams
From my experience, these are the top tools to manage a remote team, but countless options exist. The best part is pretty much every team management tool offers a free trial, so if you’re still in the early stages of building your team, you can experiment to see which work best for your team’s needs. The last thing you want is to pivot to a new platform and get everyone used to the interface when your business has ramped up.