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Six must-have tools for shifting to remote business

With these tools, you can transition your business to a remote-friendly model.

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Before 2020, many businesses were exploring remote capabilities and shifting away from the traditional 9-5 business model. With the COVID-19 pandemic, companies were forced to accelerate that timeline, allowing for remote work to stay afloat.

All businesses should put tools in place to be prepared for periods of remote work, whether optional or not. Here are six must-have tools for shifting your business to a remote model in 2020 and beyond.

Cloud-based CRM and Lead Management

One of the critical components of keeping a business operational in an increasingly challenging world is customer service. Ensuring that customers have the information they need while feeling valued builds loyalty and trust, leading to long-term retention.

Cloud-based CRM and lead management software ensure that all pertinent team members and customers can access pertinent information from anywhere. While maintaining current customers is essential for the business, building out the sales pipeline with leads is necessary for planning for the future. Read more about lead management technology on this page on Salesforce’s website.

Intuitive Project Management Software

When you’re working on a remote team, you can’t stop by someone’s desk and ask for an update on your shared project. Communications become jumbled at the best of times in an office setting. Take away the face-to-face contact, and timelines can be pushed drastically.

Having easy-to-use project management software is a must when shifting business to a digital ecosystem. Trello and Basecamp can create a simple, streamlined platform for sharing progress on projects and daily work. Teams can post updates in a live environment using cloud technology rather than relying on back-and-forth communication.

Integrative Instant Messaging

Email is a thing of the past when it comes to internal communication. Instant messaging is a must for shifting to a remote work environment. Integrations play a significant role in choosing an instant messaging platform to streamline communications in a centralized environment.

Slack is an industry leader when it comes to business-related instant messaging. It integrates with high-value tools like Google Drive and Zoom. Troop is a worthwhile alternative to consider, with limited access capabilities that allow contractors and vendors to exchange messages within the platform without the risk of seeing sensitive information.

Cloud Sharing Capabilities

Cloud sharing capabilities may be the overarching foundation of your business as you shift to remote work. Sharing essential documents and information with the click of a button will keep your business moving forward.

Consider using G Suites to power your remote business, capitalizing on the live editing capabilities of spreadsheets, word processing, and presentation software. Dropbox is another platform worth looking into for it’s clean, user-friendly interface.

Video Conferencing Software

The one challenge with remote work is that it lacks the face-to-face interactions that are vital to productive communication. While a video conference may lack the nuances of an in-person meeting, it fills the gap for remote work.

Zoom has been the go-to solution for video meetings during the Coronavirus pandemic, and for a good reason. This easy-to-use software is affordable and scalable, depending on your business needs.

Productivity and Time Tracking Apps

There’s conflicting information about productivity and remote work. Some sources say that remote work increases productivity while others say it’s easy to fall victim to distractions. The truth likely depends on the individual involved.

That being said, using productivity and time tracking tools can help improve employee buy-in and keep managers informed. The Forest app blocks distracting sites and keeps people focused in a fun and visually stimulating way. Time Doctor tracks productivity and time spent working in remote teams, while Toggl can be used to audit your time and make product recommendations.

With these tools, you can transition your business to a remote-friendly model. Employees will feel more prepared to manage expectations, and your business will move forward regardless of what the world throws at you.

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