Working remotely allows for flexibility in balancing your home life and professional life. Are you a small business looking to provide the highest value to your team? You may want to consider the option to work from home. Studies indicate that 76% of workers would be more willing to stay with their current employer if they could work flexible hours.

Remote working using online tools

Especially in 2020, with the coronavirus pandemic and government orders to stay home, many employers have had no choice but to shift to this new digital lifestyle. There certainly is a learning curve when it comes to working remotely. Luckily, there are several tools available to help make your transition as smooth as possible while ensuring work is done in an efficient manner.

Here are some awesome tools we suggest to help your small business manage work in a remote setting.

Digital signature

Digital Signage Software

Need to communicate with your team but are unable to do so in person? Perhaps you are stuck at home with illness, or the government has ordered a shelter-in-place order (looking at you, coronavirus). Maybe you are hundreds of miles away from your team but need to keep them updated on the latest company news without bombarding their inbox with internal emails.

You need a digital signage software to help make sending messages across the company a breeze when your staff is scattered. An example of this software is available through REACH, an engaging and informative digital signage software company that can create templated messages for you to send to your whole team. This software can automatically set a desktop screensaver for your employees’ computers even if they’re working remote. This is especially useful when sending multiple updates throughout the day.

Virtual receptionist answering a call

Virtual Receptionist Services

Are you in need of a virtual receptionist for your small business? You may not even know it. A virtual receptionist is a highly organized and intelligent online receptionist for business needs. They fulfill all kinds of reception services such as handling calls, messages, and calendar items without human intervention. These are real people hired by your company to do real work — all completely remotely.

Some popular virtual receptionist services include:

  • Moneypenny
  • Nexa
  • Abby Connect
  • Answer force
  • Ruby receptionist
  • Davinci virtual office solutions
  • Smith.ai

If your small business needs more organization, especially in a remote setting, a virtual receptionist may be the perfect fit to increase the efficiency of your day-to-day operations.

Using project management software

Project Management Software

Project management software refers to software specifically designed to help plan, organize, and manage workflow in a company or business. Typically, the entire team is plugged into this service and collaborates on projects. It is a great way to keep track of who is doing what, due dates, and the amount of time being spent on a project.

Project management software can:

  • Support with planning
  • Help with scheduling
  • Be used to allocate resources
  • Manage risk and other issues
  • Help to control change
  • Provide a way to determine dependent events in the project
  • Predict what would happen if things change

Some of the most popular project management software out there include productivity tools such as:

  • Basecamp
  • Avaza
  • Teamwork
  • Trello
  • Asana

The list goes on. Our suggestion is to try out demos of each and see which best suits your business. Some tools are more visual while others are more in-depth. This largely depends on the type of work your small business does, how many employees, what is required in the input and output phase, etc.

Online communication with colleague

Communication Tools

When working remotely, one thing is certain: when in doubt, pick up a phone.

Still, there are several communication tools available that facilitate water cooler conversation and promote company culture. In addition, online communication tools keep your company centralized in one place so that employees have a platform to discuss company updates or communicate with each other privately.

If you need to shoot someone a quick question, you don’t have to go through the trouble of creating an email or picking up the phone. They work just like Instant Message (IM) but in a professional environment. In addition, these communication tools oftentimes have video capabilities so that if you’re stuck at home during a pandemic and missing your colleagues, you can still see their shining faces. Video capabilities are also great for hosting meetings with clients as they are more personal.

Here are our top picks for communication tools in the workplace:

  • Slack
  • Skype
  • Zoom
  • Teamwork chat