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Solutions | 4 min read

Top 10 Remote Work Tools to Improve Employee Productivity

Patrick Hanifin
Written by Patrick Hanifin

Remote work was already prevalent before the pandemic, but now it’s practically a given. Working from home is here to stay, and it’s important to provide employees with applications and tools that will keep operations running smoothly and won’t compromise the integrity of your business.

Productivity and security are critical factors to consider, as is a full understanding of what different departments may need for their particular tasks. With that in mind, we’ve gathered a list of the top 10 remote work tools to improve productivity while also considering secure methods of technology management.

These top remote work tools address concerns ranging from connecting with coworkers to mass storage and network security. While this isn’t an exhaustive list, it’s a good place to start if you’re considering an upgrade in remote work software.

1. Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 provides cloud storage and tools for online collaboration, using well-known applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. If you go for this suite of tools, you’ll also have access to Microsoft Teams, which lets you chat directly with individual coworkers and groups, as well as set up video meetings and conference calls. Your information and devices are protected with Microsoft’s built-in security features, and setup is a cinch.

2. Google Drive (and Google Workspace)

Similar to Microsoft Office 365, Google Drive offers secure cloud storage of your content and more, with an easy-to-use interface for access and uploading. In fact, the entire Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) offers all-in-one functionality where workers can create and share content in a truly collaborative space using Google Docs, Google Sheets and other applications. Google’s built-in protections against malicious intent, such as spam and ransomware, help minimize risk and keep your work, equipment and employees safe.

3. Zoom

If people didn’t know what Zoom was prior to 2020, they sure do now. Zoom has become a part of everyday vernacular across the globe thanks to its videoconferencing and screen sharing capabilities and ease of use. Individuals or groups can meet in real-time over video to hold meetings or discuss important issues. It’s a great way to keep in touch with coworkers and ensure everyone is on the same page with their tasks rather than relying only on written communication. Encryption, passcode protection and waiting rooms help keep intruders from disrupting meetings and swiping confidential information for ill-intended use.

4. Slack

Slack is another tool to keep employees connected and communicating through written chats and video calls from anywhere, including a home office. Its interface is simple and convenient, and it’s available on desktop and mobile devices. File sharing and app integration are other useful features your teams may use, and Slack promises identity and device management, data protection and information governance to keep sensitive information secure.

5. Evernote

If you or your employees have ever found it difficult to juggle notes, to-do lists and other daily task management, you may want to give Evernote a try. This application brings much-needed order to the day, keeping your notes and lists in one simple spot. Users can even add images, audio and PDFs to the notes, and sync up with their Google calendars.

6. Miro

If your workers need to have a little more hands-on collaboration with their projects, Miro may be just right. Miro provides an easy-to-use whiteboard platform where brainstorming can thrive. Different templates and features exist depending on which departments will use it, and such features as video calling make it possible to work on and add to a project in real time.

7. Trello

Project management from afar isn’t always easy, but Trello aims to change that with its solutions for a variety of different teams and objectives. Trello offers convenient visualization of tasks that shows how a project is progressing and lets employees shift items around as needed. Customization allows users to tailor it to their needs and specifications, making for a more flexible and enjoyable experience.

8. Duo

Passwords are vital for ensuring that those who don’t belong in any of your accounts won’t gain access. But we know that keeping track of dozens of passwords can be tricky, especially since a strong password requires a high variety and number of characters. Duo offers single sign-on for users, storing their passwords securely and letting them sign into all linked systems at once. Other features, such as multi-factor authentication and adaptive access policies, make Duo a secure convenience.

9. Toggl

Toggl offers three distinct applications: Toggl Track, Toggl Plan and Toggl Hire. Depending on how your organization works, you may need to track billable time to ensure everything is in order and you’re earning the right amount of money. Toggl Track offers project time tracking to ensure work is billed appropriately. Toggl Plan is another project management tool that makes it easier to distribute work evenly, while Toggl Hire helps assess candidates to see if they’re the right fit for your company.

10. VPN (from Various Providers)

With remote workers using networks located outside the highly secure confines of your office, you’ll need to make sure that when they access sensitive data or assets from your servers, it’s done with air-tight security. A VPN (virtual private network) works to encrypt connections between users and company networks and servers to protect against intruders. Numerous VPN providers and prices exist, and we won’t recommend a specific one; as long as you can find a VPN that's reputable and provides the protection you need, you’ll be in better shape than you’d be without one.

Bonus: VDI

Something else you may want to consider for remote employees? Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), especially through Microsoft Azure. This is a technology that grants users secure remote access to a company’s assets from anywhere through an internet connection. We’ve put together a VDI FAQ that digs deeper.

How Elevity Can Help Keep Your Business Up to Date

Elevity has a four-pronged approach to technology management: strategy, security, solutions and support. We can work with you to strategize which tools may work best for your business goals. We’ll help you keep your information and assets secure. We’ll help you find solutions that maximize your ROI. And we’ll offer support with a personal touch throughout the process.

Maybe some of the applications listed here will work for you. We encourage you to review them and see whether they could be a fit for your company. We can also have discussions on what kinds of technology and systems you’ll need in place to provide efficient and secure workflows. Security is particularly important, as recovering from a cyberattack can be immensely expensive.

We have a helpful resource you can check out to see if you may need an upgrade or a managed IT provider. Click the link below to learn more about our Technology Inventory Checklist and access your free copy today.

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