Two thirds of companies now allow for remote work and 16% already have a fully remote workforce. This is, in large part, due to the emergence of technology which allows for efficient team efforts, even when employees are thousands of miles apart. Hiring a remote workforce means that you can handpick the best candidates without worrying whether they are within commuter distance of the office. For the workers themselves, the commute is entirely removed from the morning routine, allowing for time, energy, and focus to be redirected towards getting on with important projects. Employers are able to cut costs, while employees gain autonomy and flexibility.
One of the biggest benefits of going remote, however, is the ability to work from anywhere. This means that you can travel the world, earning as you go. While a Whatsapp group chat might be enough for simple tasks, it usually isn’t the right way of communicating when it comes to larger and more complicated projects. These often require an extra level of collaboration. Fortunately, there is a growing number of apps, websites, and software that streamline group work projects, so that you can optimize productivity across time zones. Here are a few of the most popular and effective.
Just six years old, Slack has grown into one of the most popular online resources for companies. It is particularly popular with businesses who hire remote workers because it allows for direct communication from anywhere in the world. Different channels can be opened for different projects and roles within the company. This allows for seamless organization and the ability to closely track the progress and success of projects.
The software was originally developed for just one company, but was so effective that it was released to the public. It has been designed from the bottom up to facilitate remote collaboration. For instance, before sending a message which tags an entire channel, Slack will warn you of how many time zones you are sending a message to. This reveals an awareness of the complexities of having a global workforce. So much more than a messaging tool, Slack also offers integration with other cloud services such as Google Drive. There are also a lot of useful Slack bots, such as Vacation Tracker, that let your team request, approve and manage leave within seconds
As the name implies, Coworkify is an online space created from the start to facilitate group collaboration. It is an intuitive software which is designed to be flexible and usable by any organization. It is available for a small fee, but offers a 30 free trial so it is definitely worth a try. With no long term contracts, you can opt out at any time if you find the service isn’t working for you. This is good evidence of the confidence Coworkify have of their ability to boost efficiency and increase profits for businesses.
This is a highly secure online platform that is hosted across Europe, the US, and Japan. This means that it is optimized for whichever part of the world that workers happen to be in. Each online workspace will be different due to the large customization options. It will therefore take a bit of trial and error until you find the perfect setup for your project.
Most companies are confined geographically to the immediate surrounding area when searching for employees. Remote employers, on the other hand, have access to a pool of workers from anywhere in the world. Your business could be based in California, but have a tech specialist in India and a content writer living in Australia. With more potential employees, you can build the perfect team for your goals and ambitions.
This can lead to difficulties though. With everyone in a different time zone, the whole team are unlikely to be online at the same time. Scheduling in Skype meetings and setting project deadlines can get confusing when you lose track of what time it is for each individual employee. It becomes even more complicated if your remote workers are nomads who are constantly on the move. In order to improve organization in this area, Timezone.io was established. It allows you to instantly see where each of your employees are and what the time is for them, so that you can schedule meetings in when it is most convenient for the whole team.
Creating a remote workforce is a form of minimalism, which cuts down on any unimportant or unnecessary tasks and redirects focus towards genuinely valuable activities. This principle is reflected in the work of Asana, an online platform for managing teams. Goals and aims can be placed on the platform and then organized to allow a collective focus on the most important tasks for the growth of the company.
Asana is all about efficiency, helping you to automate as many tasks as possible. It has a pleasant aesthetic that is easy to understand and will help you to divide up projects in a way that makes sense for your team. Asana also offers a free trial, so it’s worth checking it out to see if it can help your business to grow and operate more efficiently.
If you are a minimalist who takes on ambitious projects, then WorkFlowy is for you. It has a focus on simplicity, being uncluttered and easy to use. Essentially a text editor, this software is dedicated towards note taking. However, you’ll be surprised at how much benefit can be derived from something so simple. WorkFlowy is utilized by the founder of Twitter and has been used to write best selling books and New York Times articles. It was even used by the founders of Slack as they were building the now hugely popular online workspace.
There is no free trial for WorkFlowy, but the basic model is free to use. You can then purchase additional features depending on your needs. A simple, yet effective service, WorkFlowy is ideal for people who like to simplify and break down their projects. It can help you to set goals and stay on top of them. Breaking ambitious goals into simple achievable steps can be the most effective way to find success in business.
This upstart visual note-sharing app is breaking new ground. Amazing for note-taking, project management, mind-mapping and a whole load of other productivity tasks. Ideal for the more visually-minded teams. It also looks bloody cool ; check out Milanote!
It is all well and good having an online workspace, but you still have to physically be somewhere in the world while you are accessing it. You may want to stay in bed or lounge on a beach, but getting work done requires the right environment. This is where coworking spaces come in. They are designed to optimize productivity, so that you can focus in on a task and maintain workflow for longer.
Virtually every city in the world has coworking spaces now, which you can pay a small fee to gain access to. However, for prolific travelers, it can become exhausting finding a new place to work every few days. This is where Copass comes in. For a single monthly fee, you gain access to coworking spaces all over the world. The Copass app gathers all the best digital nomad offices into one place, so you can find the perfect place to work in no time at all.
There are over 1000 spaces listed in more than 600 cities and 91 countries. You can access all of them with a single membership card. You can buy a 3 day, 10 day, or unlimited day pass, or pay as you go with a 20% discount. Depending on your needs, Copass has a membership plan for you.
There are so many tools out there for digital nomads and remote workers, each one varying slightly. While one might not be useful for you, something else could give a real and measurable boost to your productivity. Whether you are the boss of a remote team, a solopreneur, or a freelancer, utilize the apps listed above and see if they can help you to achieve more in your remote work career.