Technology is crucial for supporting remote workers but for more than just productivity. From monitoring employee activity to project management to collaboration to cybersecurity, technological support for remote workers is the difference between an unproductive team and a well-optimized one.
Although there are apparent technological tools needed to support a remote workforce adequately, others are less talked about that must be implemented. Unfortunately, most leaders don’t think outside the box to help their remote employees holistically.
Luckily, with a bit of help from this article, you can narrow down the technologies to the ones that will adequately support your unique remote workers.
Let’s explore the technological support essential for remote workers.
Remote Activity Monitoring Tools
When you’re using technology to support your remote team, monitoring their use of the tools and productivity is essential. Unfortunately, this technology can sometimes blur the line between appropriate monitoring and invasion of your employees’ privacy. This can lead to micro-managing or, worse, expensive legal battles.
Don’t let your remote monitoring get out of hand. Use remote activity tracking tools to ensure you’re implementing remote monitoring tactics that are fair and appropriate. Also, remote monitoring tools can collect data on your team’s internet use, emails, phone calls, and voicemails, so long as the monitoring is legal. This is especially helpful in your attempts to encourage your team to be as productive as possible.
Next, performance management tools go hand-in-hand with remote activity monitoring tools.
Performance Management Tools
Monitoring what your employees are doing when working for you remotely is wise, but that should be coupled with looking into their job performance. You want to ensure that your team’s performance isn’t suffering because they’re working from home. Instead, remote work should enable them to do their best in their respective roles.
Performance management tools can help you facilitate feedback sessions and regular check-ins with your employees. They can give you insight into where employees’ are thriving and where they’re having the most trouble. You can then adjust the remote workplace dynamics, their specific role, or the way your team works together to better their performance.
Also critical for supporting remote workers are video conferencing tools.
Video Conferencing Tools
Video conferencing is one of the more obvious tech tools for supporting remote workers, but it’s also essential for a well-functioning team. Video-conferencing tools facilitate connection and communication on a remote team.
Not only is video conferencing helpful for keeping teams connected, but it’s also crucial for maintaining a culture of appreciation and recognition. Even if it is remotely, recognition and appreciation are still critical for keeping each of your employee’s spirit, motivation, and performance uplifted. Remote employee appreciation can look like:
- Giving branded gifts
- Hosting virtual celebrations
- Launching a customized employee-recognition program
- Providing perks and discounts to use on online platforms
- Celebrating milestones
- Enabling peer-to-peer recognition
- Providing resources that support mental and physical well-being
- Helping employees grow personally and professionally through upskilling and other opportunities
Collaboration apps are essential to include in your technological support for your remote workers as well.
Collaboration is just as important as communication on a remote team. Because stopping by a coworker’s desk or a manager’s office to work together on a project isn’t an option, you must find another way to enable collaboration when working remotely.
That’s where collaboration apps make a big difference. Collaboration apps make it easy for teams to work together on projects in real-time. Also, when there are clear guidelines for using these apps productively on your team, they can make up for the lack of in-person contact.
Other tools that can be incredibly helpful in supporting remote workers are brainstorming tools.
Remote Brainstorming Tools
The brainstorming process is enormous for any project on any team. Brainstorming sessions allow teams to openly express their ideas for executing a specific project or task or solving a particular problem or challenge. They help teams develop the best plan for seeing something into fruition.
Remote teams are no different. So, remote brainstorming tools are a must. Moreover, it is imperative to use remote brainstorming tools that allow your team to communicate in real-time, contribute their ideas to a virtual whiteboard, and combine all the gathered data in an organized fashion.
Also, don’t forget to implement project management software.
Project Management Software
Just because your team is remote, it doesn’t mean you’ll have fewer projects or less work to complete than an in-office team. So, implementing project management software is critical.
No matter where each team member is, they should have a central platform to refer to when figuring out:
- What project they should be working on
- What their role is in the project
- The project deadline
- Specific tasks to complete
- Who else is involved in the project
- The detailed and quantitative project goals
- Who their point of contact is
- Where to find the information they need and how to access it
Remote workers can also benefit from instant messaging technology.
Access to instant messaging is an advantage for any remote team. Sometimes, your team will need an answer immediately or will need to speak with you or a specific team member privately. Instant messaging tools make this possible.
With them, you can personally message anyone on your team. You can also deem instant messaging as the primary communication tool for immediate responses to ensure an organized communication structure for your remote workers.
In addition to instant messaging, meeting scheduling tools are vital.
Meeting Scheduling Tools
Meetings are a vital part of any team but especially a remote team. Using a meeting scheduling tool instead of going back and forth over email about the best times for meetings and who can make it is helpful.
Meeting scheduling tools can optimize the process of scheduling meetings. For example, you can designate the days and times you’d like to have individual and group meetings, send the link to each of your team members, and allow them to choose which option is best for them.
Furthermore, it may be a bit of extra work, but creating or using a workplace portal for remote workers could be an advantage for your team.
If remote workers become a permanent part of your workforce, it may be best to create or use a remote workplace portal for these employees.
With a workplace portal, your remote workers can securely access everything they need to do their jobs from home. This means accessing project resources, team contact information, your other remote tech tools, and so forth.
Also, it’s a good idea to make remote options for mental health and well-being support available in your workplace portal, or just generally.
Remote Options for Mental Health and Well-being Support
If you’ve kept up on remote work trends, you’re likely aware of the conversation surrounding remote workers’ mental health and well-being. Experts find that remote work can have positive and negative effects on someone’s mental, physical, and emotional health.
You should have remote support options for enhancing the positive effects remote work has on your remote team’s mental health and well-being.
More importantly, you should ensure there are options in place for employees to get help with any mental, physical, and emotional challenges they’re facing due to working remotely. These resources could include discounts on remote therapy sessions, contact information for counselors specializing in remote work, free passes to virtual workout sessions, or additional sick/personal days.
Your workplace portal could also include remote onboarding to support your remote team further.
Remote Onboarding Platform
As more and more remote workers are added to your workforce, you’ll likely develop an entirely separate system and strategy for recruiting and hiring this type of worker. Also, how you onboard remote workers will be integral. A seamless onboarding process can be the difference between keeping top remote talent on your team and pushing them away.
If you can swing it, use a platform designed for onboarding remote workers. These platforms can help you introduce your company culture to remote employees, bridge the communication gap between them and the rest of the team, and highlight all available to help them through their remote work journey.
Another technological tool essential for remote workers is a content management system.
Content Management System
You realize how much content is passed between team members when you’re a fully remote workforce, mainly when that content is spread across various platforms, folders, and team members. Fortunately, a content management system makes it easier to track all of your team’s content, whether it’s for an internal or an external audience.
With a CMS, your remote workers can quickly access the content they need and send it out to the audience it’s supposed to go to. Also, a CMS can track any updates to or uses of the content in real-time.
Top-tier technological support for remote workers is crucial if you want your remote team to perform at its best. But, at the same time, it can be easy to get carried away with technology on a remote team if you don’t approach it with a strategy.
So, explore the benefits of the technological support talked about above. Then, weigh them against your team’s unique needs and functions to ensure you’re making informed decisions about the technology you implement to support your remote workers.