Team Collaboration Tools to Make Work From Home Easier
COVID-19 forced us out of our offices and made us adopt new ways of doing business and working together. As restrictions are slowly being lifted, we’re confronted with a new reality in the business landscape and all industries are affected. The CDC has released new guidelines which call for reshaping the workplace with changes such as erecting plastic screens, barred seating in common areas, outdoor meetings, and removal of communal perks among others.
The changes, in many cases, are expensive and, in other cases, impractical for small businesses. In light of the current reality, many employers will choose to adapt fully remote teams for the foreseeable future. That means they’ll need to adapt to the new reality while achieving peak performance.
Part of the challenge is properly collaborating and completing projects without being in the same room as your team. Team collaboration tools, built to meet these challenges head on, will become more important as time goes on. In this article, you’ll learn how five of the best tools make the work from home challenge much easier to master.
Wrike is a solid project management tool that makes it possible for teams and clients to collaborate from almost anywhere in the world. There are a few key features that help it stand out in a crowded space. First, and possibly most important, there’s a personal dashboard that displays all the tasks and projects and individual is working on. They can see what’s been done, what’s left, and a visual representation of their progress.
It also has a feature known as Proof which can be used to leave comments on documents, images, videos, and other files. It has a clear comment history which makes it simple to see how the project has evolved over time.
What makes Wrike one of the most powerful collaboration tools are the Gantt charts. Create tasks, milestones, assign responsibilities to team members, and set completion dates by simply dragging and dropping. Gauge progress at a glance and adjust course as necessary.
Finally, it comes with time and budget planning so you know who is working and how much projects are costing you. It has a simple interface that lets you view the important information at a glance or drill down into specific reports so you have a holistic view of everything that’s happening. This is only scratching the surface of what Wrike can do. Read a full review of Wrike.
Project Manager is a team collaboration tool that has an emphasis on clear reporting. It takes inputs from all of your team members and updates your data in real time so you’re always in the loop. Through this interface, you’ll be able to keep track of tasks, teams, and even overall project costs. Create custom dashboards so you can easily track the data that’s most important to you. An interesting feature of Project Manager is the ability to track your team’s workload to understand if they’re overburdened or not.
Like Wrike, you have access to Gantt charts that makes it possible to plan projects, timelines, and assign dependencies between tasks. There’s a drag and drop interface that provides the flexibility to rearrange tasks as things develop. It goes a step further with Kanban boards so everyone can work the way that best suits them and be more efficient as a result. Attach files, drag tasks around, and make categories that reflect the way you work.
Project Manager goes a step further by allowing you to assign tasks to your entire team in a list view. Set schedules, control a master calendar that shows you everything that needs to be done across all projects, and see availability of team members. There are personal areas where team members can do private work, support for conversations between people, and file sharing capabilities. Read a full review of Project Manager.
RingCentral’s Glip may not be the first piece of software you think of when it comes to collaboration tools but it’s has strong features for remote teams. It has desktop and mobile apps, as well as an online portal to access your workspaces from anywhere. Robust team chat features make it simple to collaborate internally and coordinate on important projects. Conversations can be organized based on topics, projects, teams, or anything else that matters to you.
Within the chat, you can also share important files and pin them so they don’t get lost. You can also create and assign tasks for yourself and individual team members. It even supports guest users so you can bring on freelancers or contractors.
One of the reasons Glip is a powerful collaboration tool is its ability to launch video and voice calls from within the project management interface. Set up meetings on the fly, talk to clients, and share your screen with a few clicks. This capability makes it easy to get clarification on tasks or work through challenges together. Read a full review of Glip.
FuctionFox is another collaboration tool that can make work from home easier during these trying times. At its core, it’s a project management and time tracking software for professionals. It allows you to track time online so you have accurate reports to share with your clients or other team members. Coupled with the time management, you can view the budget and expenditure per project whether you bill by the hour or deliverable and get ahead of situations before they become problems.
You can organize projects using Gantt charts and assign dependencies between individual tasks. Assigning responsibilities to your individual team members is straightforward and you can view their workloads so you can make informed decisions around scheduling and task assignment. Of course, there’s internal communications where you can chat about projects and share internal files.
The reporting features give you insights into every aspect of a project to ensure you’re meeting your goals. If the basic reporting features aren’t enough, you can get advanced reports that let you drill down and track individual contributors. Read a full review of FunctionFox.
Last, but certainly not least among collaboration tools is Easy Projects. It brings together simplicity and functionality to deliver a powerful project management tool which will make work from home easier for the entire team. As you’d expect, there are messaging features which you can use to keep up with the entire project or individual tasks contained therein. If you’re in charge, or want to stay abreast of what’s happening then you can activate message notifications.
Share files directly in Easy Projects and keep track of all the versions with the audit trail feature. Of course, they can be downloaded by you or anyone else that has access to the project. It has a simple annotation feature for images and when the specific tasks are complete, you can request approval before moving on to the next step.
Finally, you’re able to organize entire projects around Kanban boards or Gantt charts and assign tasks. Your team will always be on the same page about progress and deadlines which improves overall collaboration and communication. Read a full review of Easy Projects.
Team collaboration tools were optional just a few months ago. Today, they’re essential if you want to adapt to the changing landscape we’re faced with. This article has gone through five tools that will help you maintain your business success and in some case improve it.
Each summary has only touched on the key features of each tool but they all have more to offer. Go through the detailed reviews on our website and see for yourself exactly what each one brings to the table.