It’s not easy to run a team of super-productive employees, but the COVID-19 outbreak makes the task even harder as now most managers need to synchronize business activities online. In such circumstances, no human being can handle all duties single-handedly and keep employee engagement on the desired level long-term.
But the story has a very bright side. According to the report, more than 80% of employees feel they don’t need an office to be productive. All it takes is to find the best tools and set up a proper online environment to make your team members engaged while working from home.
In this post, you will learn the basic features of digital tools and see the most practical platforms that can make your team more effective. Let’s take a look!
Key Features of Online Work Platforms
Before you start searching for a perfect digital platform, you need to understand the features that make a tool more valuable than others.
First of all, you should clearly determine the purpose of a given tool. Do you plan to use it for communication purposes only, or do you have additional demands? The quest for the right platform depends mostly on how you answer this question.
Digital tools come in many different formats, but the vast majority focuses on a few popular features that are applicable across multiple industries. Here are the essential characteristics of a great digital platform:
· Ease of use: The first and by far, the most important thing is to find a tool that’s easy to figure out. You don’t need a platform with a long learning curve, but rather a simple app with clear navigation and a wide range of practical functions.
· Communication: A good tool will always offer excellent communication features that you and your team can use for instant messaging, video calls, and online meetings. The point is to find an app that guarantees uninterrupted communication among employees and their supervisors.
· File management: This is another critical aspect of online collaboration as you and your staff members probably exchange tons of documents daily. In this case, it’s necessary to find a platform with powerful file management capabilities such as sharing, editing, and so on.
· Time tracking: Another important feature is a time tracking, particularly if you are running a remote unit. An excellent time management tool helps you keep an eye on employee performance and makes it easier to pinpoint more extended periods of inactivity. That way, you can maximize performance and build a highly productive organization.
· Search tools: Digital tools are usually clear and visually-appealing, but the number of files and messages will grow very quickly. Without a decent search tool, critical business information or documents might get lost in the crowd of irrelevant messages.
· Reliability: You are also searching for a reliable platform that guarantees functionality around the clock. The worst thing that can happen is to lose your files or abort conversations because your digital platform is malfunctioning.
· Price: The last feature is very significant, especially for smaller organizations with limited budgets. The best tools are not cheap, but the good thing is that you can still find a wide range of amazing platforms free of charge.
The Best Digital Tools to Boost Employee Performance
You’ve seen the main features of high-quality digital tools, but there are hundreds of more or less promising options to test online. If this makes you confused, don’t worry as we are about to present you with the best platforms that promise to improve employee performance. Here are our favourite choices:
Slack is one of the most popular online communication platforms with millions of users from all over the globe. It brings together all the communication channels in one place, which makes it easy for team members to interact, exchange ideas, and comment on each other’s work on the go.
If your communication relies heavily on video calls, then Zoom might be the way to go for your company. Although it offers the usual options such as instant messaging, Zoom is known for its online meetings, conference calls, digital events, and similar. Video quality is always incredible, which turns Zoom into one of the most desirable video communication tools.
3. Google Drive
Google Drive is a popular solution among small-sized businesses. It’s a convenient tool for cloud storage with all the basic file management functions. Google Drive allows you to synchronize files across multiple accounts and devices, so team members can access and work on their documents anywhere and anytime.
4. Time Doctor
We mentioned time tracking as one of the key features of a digital tool, and we want to discuss Time Doctor as one of our favourite platforms. With this tool at your disposal, you can see what each member of the organization is doing and figure out whether they spend their time efficiently or inefficiently.
Web and graphic designers love InVision because it helps them to work remotely and collaborate on design projects online. The process is simple – your team can share and explore different ideas on a digital whiteboard, which then leads to additional actions such as sketching, drawing, and reshaping.
It’s easy to get distracted while working remotely, which is why so many business professionals use anti-procrastination tools like Freedom. This is a simple but very efficient tool that blocks distracting websites and apps.
The last item on our list is Todoist, a practical tool for employees who want to create clear schedules and task overviews. The platform is great for individuals who lack organization and time management skills.
The Bottom Line
Remote work is a totally new thing for lots of business professionals, but the change doesn’t have to be so drastic if you take advantage of the right online tools. In this post, we showed you:
- The basic features of remote work platforms
- The best online tools to make your team more efficient
Now that you understand the key concepts of digital work, it is up to you to do the homework and find the platforms that suit the needs of your remote team.
Featured Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash