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5 essential remote collaboration tools for distributed teams

With more teams partially or fully remote, collaboration tools are an essential part of daily work for distributed teams. Try some of these to bring your teams closer together.

More than 20% of the workforce could work remotely three to five days a week as effectively as they could if working from an office, according to findings by McKinsey & Company. Their recent analysis of 2,000 tasks, 800 jobs, in nine countries indicates that this would translate to three to four times as many people working from home than before the pandemic. In 2021 and beyond, distributed teams will need tools like these five for digital adoption, collaboration, productivity, scheduling and meeting. 

WalkMe logo

Image: WalkMe

WalkMe provides companies with a starting point to plan and implement digital collaboration options. This digital adoption platform can help your company plan its digital adoption strategy based on actual user data. By analyzing and isolating business-critical applications, companies can optimize digital experiences and create customizations across applications and business processes. WalkMe increases visibility and clarity for leaders and helps overcome unique business challenges.

Key features:

  • No coding required for non-technical users
  • Data import/export and synchronization
  • Access to conversion optimization tools
  • Process automation to simplify digital adoption
  • SOC 3 enterprise-level security

WalkMe offers Basic and Custom plans, along with the option to schedule a demo.  


Slack screen

Image: Slack

Slack is a digital team collaboration tool that makes it easy for teams to come together and collaborate in real time using channels that house all project-related team activities and communications. Everyone within a channel can access the same messages, allowing them to all stay on the same page. Teams can share ideas, make decisions and make progress with a common purpose and place.

Key features:

  • Stop, Stick, and Roll features 
  • Slack Connect works with multiple organizations within a channel 
  • Messaging to allow private chat with team members
  • Video conferencing for sharing information face-to-face and more efficiently 
  • Historical data that is searchable

Slack offers four pricing tiers, a free plan, a Standard plan at $6.67/user/month, Plus at $12.50/user/month, and Enterprise Grid for larger organizations. Plans can be paid month-to-month or annually and can be canceled at any time. 


Google Workspace logos

Image: Google

Previously know as GSuite, Google Workspace offers companies a web-based suite of business productivity and collaboration tools for companies of all sizes. It combines custom email for businesses and other collaboration tools like Gmail, Calendar, Meet, Chat, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and other apps.

Key features:

  • Custom and secure business email 
  • Video meetings from 100 participants, up to 250+ participants with recordings 
  • From 30 GB cloud storage per user up to unlimited storage
  • Security and management controls
  • Product support

Google Workspace offers four plans, starting with Business Starter at $7.80/user/month, Business Standard at $15.60/user/month, Business Plus at $23.40/user/month and an Enterprise plan.


Calendly screen

Image: Calendly

Calendly for teams is a web-based scheduling tool that makes it easy for everyone to set meeting times inside and outside their organization. Companies can display their entire company availability or each department’s availability on one page. Invitees can schedule a time to meet, which can automatically be assigned to a team member with availability.

Key features:

  • Automated availability checks can be scheduled for up to six calendars  
  • Automated distribution of meetings to your team based on availability and priority
  • Artificial intelligence to help non-data scientists prepare data and build machine learning models
  • Time zone detection that displays availability in each invitee’s time zone
  • Insight on invitee engagement and tracking of campaign scheduling activity

Calendly offers three pricing plans: a free Basic plan, a Premium plan at $8/user/month, and a Pro plan at $12/user/month. Plans can be paid for monthly or annually, and a free 14-day trial is available.


Zoom meeting

Image: Zoom

Zoom meetings provide teams with access to an online HD video and audio collaboration solution that lets groups of all sizes collaborate inside and outside of your organization. Meetings can be synchronized with your calendar system to deliver enterprise-grade video conferencing from your computer or mobile device. Zoom also offers robust security and disruption-free settings.

Key features:

  • Encryption, role-based security, passcode protection, waiting rooms and more
  • Recording and transcripts can be saved locally or to the cloud, with searchable transcripts
  • Streamlined calendaring that syncs with Outlook, Gmail or iCal
  • Team Chat with searchable history, integrated file sharing

Zoom offers four pricing plans: a free plan, a Pro plan at $200/license/year, a Business plan at $270/license/year, and a Zoom United Business plan at $399/license/year. 


This post was written by and was first posted to TechRepublic

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