12 remote work tools for freelancers and remote employees
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 13 April 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
If you're self-employed or work full-time for one employer, you may have the possibility to work remotely from wherever you're currently based. Adjusting to a remote work environment may take time, but knowing how to approach this can help you better manage your time and tasks. One of the most important things you can do to quickly adjust to working this way is learn about the most popular tools that make remote work possible. In this article, we explain what remote tools are and list 12 tools that you can use to collaborate with your team or clients remotely.
What are remote work tools?
Remote work tools are digital tools, including software programmes and browser applications, that make it possible for remote teams to collaborate, communicate and perform their tasks online. As of 2021, working remotely has become a trend. It creates a strong demand for tools that allow people to better manage their time and work from any location.
Related: Q&A: what is remote work?
Why choosing the right tools for working remotely is important?
Spending time analysing and selecting the right tools for working remotely is important, as it can help you streamline work and strengthen your skills. Here are some benefits of using tools dedicated to remote employees:
Better productivity: Selecting the right remote tools can help you better manage your tasks, making sure you complete all your to-do lists on time. They can measure important trends in how you work and analyse them for you, so you become more self-aware and know when you're the most productive.
Better teamwork: Many tools for working remotely have the option to share your progress with a remote team and communicate with them to discuss any changes in your projects. They also allow you to stay on track with important project updates and make it possible to socialise with co-workers, regardless of their location.
Better time-management: Working remotely is different from working in an office, which is why it's important to focus on adjusting to it and learning how to manage your time when working from home. Many tools make it easier for remote employees to manage their time and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
12 tools for effective remote work
Although working remotely is still a concept that's new to some people, working this way has been trending for some time now. Thanks to the pioneers of working remotely, there are many useful digital tools available for people who decide to work from home, including:
Slack is one of the most popular communication tools for remote teams. It allows companies to create dedicated channels for each of their departments or teams, which makes it easier to organise their internal communication. Although it originated as a written communication tool, Slack now allows users to organise in-app video and voice chats. It's a widely accessible tool, which means you can use it on almost any device, including tablets and mobile phones. One of the biggest advantages of this tool is that it allows users to connect their communication channels with other apps, including Drive or Office 365.
Related: 13 essential work from home tips
Zoom is a video communication tool that many companies, universities and even government agencies use to schedule video conferences. If you want to make your remote team's work more efficient, you can use it to schedule and deliver presentations or webinars, conduct job interviews or organise client meetings. Zoom can be a great solution for companies of all sizes, as it has packages that allow companies to have up to 1,000 people participating in a video call.
Asana is an effective project management tool that allows you to develop project timelines and schedules. Using this tool, you can break down projects into smaller stages and individual tasks, which you'd assign to individual project team members. For every task, you can also select a due date, description and label. Asana is a tool that continuously offers its users improvements, for example, the possibility to create and manage team calendars.
AnyDesk is a remote desktop app that allows you to virtually access your work desktop from any location. This may be especially useful for you if you work on a mixed schedule, for example, if you commute once per week and spend the rest of the week working from home. Using AnyDesk can improve your time management and efficiency because it reduces the time in which you can perform certain tasks, including transferring important documentation from your PC at work.
Toggl is one of the most effective time-management apps that allows you to track your work time. It's especially useful for freelancers and self-employed specialists, as it allows them to create several projects and track how much time they spend working on each one of them. Toggl also allows them to label their work sessions, projects and clients. It also makes it possible to extract work reports that they could use as proof of work that they'd present to clients.
TeamViewer is a screen-sharing tool that makes collaborating with a larger remote team easier. It allows you to give remote access to your desktop to someone, such as a tech support representative. When using TeamViewer, you can give presentations, annotate reports and screen-record daily stand-ups or other team meetings.
Drive is one of the most popular remote solutions that most individuals and companies use to store, manage and create their files. You can integrate it with your work email account to receive notifications whenever someone from your team modifies a file or document. There are various types of documents that you can edit and view in Drive, including Excel sheets, Word documents or PowerPoint presentations.
Notion is an effective note-taking tool that allows you to organise your calendars, to-do lists and projects. You can use it to track your personal and professional development, for example, if you're developing new skills. After setting up your Notion dashboard, you can create separate pages for each project or even task needing to complete. You may also decide to set some as private, so you're the only person who can view them, or share them with your remote team and give them access to collaborate.
Sketchboard is an online whiteboard tool that remote teams can use during meetings. The app has many functionalities, including the option to use diagrams, notes or images. You may use this to brainstorm ideas, creating mind maps and vision boards.
ProofHub is a project planning tool that can improve teamwork efficiency. It gives teams full control over the projects they complete remotely, including telling them how much time they spend on each stage of the project or an individual task. Thanks to ProofHub's timesheets, daily agenda and project progress reports, project managers can use it to make sure they can deliver projects on time and meet important client deadlines.
GitHub is a popular tool for software development companies. It enables them to publicly and privately share code, which improves the internal collaboration of their teams. It's a universal tool that both large companies and even students can use to gain access to various developer tools that GitHub makes available on their platform.
Pomofocus is an effective time-management time based on the pomodoro technique. It's a method that breaks down work into intervals with shorter breaks in between. This is a fantastic tool that allows you to learn how to better manage your time when working from home. In Pomofocus, you can manually adjust the length of each work interval. For example, you may decide to work for 25 minutes, after which you can take a five-minute break, which is the most common setting for pomodoro technique users.
Todoist is a digital tool that enables teams to prioritise tasks and organise their workload. It's easily accessible from most devices, which makes it possible for you to manage your tasks from anywhere. It also enables you to share your lists or progress with others, delegate tasks and receive notifications when someone on your team completes a task.
12. Virtual Office
Virtual Office is a useful and fun digital tool that gives you access to virtual office backgrounds that you can use during your video calls and conferences. Since many people, including clients, consider working from an office more professional than working from home, using a virtual office background creates that impression for them. Virtual Office makes it possible to use various virtual scenes which are compatible with Zoom.
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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