Monday, 17 August 2015

Useful tools for remote teams

Less than 10 years ago, we could not have imagined that it would be possible to work on a project, entirely integrated with your team, without having to leave the comfort of your own home, favourite café or any other convenient. However, the faster and more wide-spread Internet connection, powerful computers and smart applications, which are constantly improving, made this sci-fi vision possible for many of us.

We at primaERP explore and use the possibilities of remote working for ourselves. Therefore, our team has experience with a variety of useful collaborative tools, without which we could not imagine remote teamwork. Here are some of them.

Sharing is a basic necessity

Google Drive

Google Drive needs no introduction, as it is known to almost everyone. Google Accounts provide virtually unlimited data storage. Everything is stored in the cloud, so your files can be accessed from any computer, tablet or mobile phone. It is possible to share data even with users who do not have a Google account. Everything works both online and offline, synchronizing when the Internet connection is reestablished.

Communication is the foundation


Of all the possible communication tools, we stick with good old Skype. To call or arrange a conference, it is often more efficient than writing multipage e-mails. With a decent connection, the sound quality can be very good. Talking to colleagues directly is certainly more agile than writing and expecting a reply. Keep in mind that written communication is, in some cases however, irreplaceable. It’s important to speak to discuss, but you should still share written notes about your conclusions and to-dos.

Organizing tasks


Log your important tasks into Basecamp, assign them to someone and define a deadline. It has a calendar where it is possible to record all of your colleagues planned absences, so that you know who is and who is not available. I dare say that the most common problem in project management, especially in the IT world, is the non-compliance to deadlines. We try to solve that problem with the help of Basecamp, by breaking the big tasks into smaller ones and to establish deadlines for each of these smaller tasks.

Time tracking


The problem with deadlines can also be fought by keeping track of the time spent completing tasks. It helps us to follow up on the productivity of individual team members and learn how to improve the allocation of resources and estimate the total time for the project. The software we use is our home-made primaERP. We count on it and make sure it is dependable and permanently improved, rest assured. Not because we have good hearts (we do, though!) but also because we want the best for ourselves as well  :-)

Problem solving


If we are working from home and we have a problem, TeamViewer is a brilliant tool to help us solve it. It shares the screen with its’ fast connection and provides remote control to any computer. It works so well that it is as if you were right there, in an office room with all your colleagues. It also enables additional functions, such as online meetings, presentations, training sessions or collective real time work on documents.
Connecting applications


Zapier is a very useful tool for those who want to connect several web applications without the need for complex programming skills. With this application, for example, you can easily create tasks for colleagues in your CRM of choice and make it appear in their calendars, although neither application has a built-in integration system. It may also allow the publication of content on multiple platforms. 

Final note

Remember, the correct app can shorten distances and help you improve your teamwork, but the main success does not rely on technology. No matter what the distance between you and your colleagues, the most important thing is to cultivate team spirit. If you have both, a great team spirit as well as great apps, nothing should stand in your way of success. 

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