Covid-19 has changed the way we live, work, and interact for the foreseeable future, forcing companies to embrace remote working as the new normal.
Remote working isn't rocket science, but it's not all cut and dry either. Companies of all sizes must become accustomed to working as a distributed team and decide what the best tools are to handle their workflows and processes.
Trio, like many startups, has been leveraging communication and collaboration technologies and refining how we use them to work more efficiently. And so we bring you a few remote working tools and stacks for companies of different sizes, including our own.
Tools for Communication
The most well known and perhaps a startup favorite. Slack provides an easy to use chat/channel communication tool that can keep everyone connected with an easy-going user interface. It's powerful when it comes to integrating with other products such as G Suite (Google Docs and Drive), Dropbox, Adobe Creative Cloud, and more. Advanced managers that genuinely dive into Slack can even help foster work culture online through the use of fun bots that can do anything from wish team members happy birthday or deliver reports.
Perhaps a more enterprise version of Slack. Microsoft Teams exists within the Office ecosystem and integrates natively with all other Microsoft products. If you run a small business that uses Microsoft Office, then it's probably the most accessible tool to adapt since most of your employees are used to using other products such as Outlook.
For the hardcore Google users out there. Hangouts Chat provides secure team messaging and provides powerful integration across the Google product ecosystem, making it easy to upload documents from Drive and collaborate on Docs and Sheets. Setting up calendar events is also a breeze and Google's fantastic search capabilities certainly won't disappoint when looking for that 'one message from two weeks ago' or an old file.
Tools for Collaboration
Another startup favorite, Trello is an extremely general purpose and easy to use project management tool. Based on the Kanban system, Trello makes it easy for managers to create cards and guide them through a lean process that is as customizable as you wish.
Owned by Atlassian, Jira comes from the same DNA as Trello but is tailored specifically towards developers and project managers working on software products. As a product of the Atlassian ecosystem, Jira integrates with other products such as BitBucket and Confluence to make development easier.
An excellent project management tool, Asana has been around since 2008 and is extremely powerful due to its many features. In a space as crowded as project management tools, Asana has managed to stay on top as a leader in the area. From timelines and project boards to automation and integrations, Asana is a comprehensive toolkit with a solution for the needs of any organization.
Tools for Video Conferencing
A Trio favorite. Zoom is a fantastic video conferencing tool that is exceptionally lightweight and integrates directly into Google Calendar by way of the "Make a Zoom Meeting" button. We use it quite frequently here at Trio despite the vulnerabilities discovered in 2019. With a free plan, you get 40 minutes' worth of conference time, and with a pro plan, you are entitled to more plus added webinar hosting features, which can be great for your online marketing efforts.
Another excellent tool, Google Hangouts, is the default when scheduling online events via their calendar. Of course, it is optional but perhaps even more lightweight than Zoom. It's a given that those committed to the G Suite products are probably best off using hangouts for their conferencing purposes. For those that would rather make life as easy as possible when scheduling online calls, Google Hangouts is just for you.
Popular Remote Work Stacks
That about sums it up for the tools. There are plenty of tools out there beyond the ones listed here, so feel free to do more digging with a simple "alternatives to [product name]" query, but for the sake of simplicity, we listed the ones that have survived the test of time and have grown the most over the years.
Moving on to remote work stacks, we have a few different builds. We are omitting file storage tools (G Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive) because, to be quite honest, your business should be using one of the three already.
The Small Business Stack
(Option A) Microsoft Teams - Asana - Google Hangouts
(Option B) Microsoft Teams - Trello - Google Hangouts
(Option C) Slack - Asana - Zoom
(Option D) Google Hangouts Chat - Asana - Google Hangouts
You might ask, wait - where is Skype? And that is a great question. Unfortunately, Skype dropped the ball years ago.
And now for our lean and mean personal stack.
The Trio Startup Stack
Slack - Trello - Zoom - G Suite
Extremely simple and straight to the point. It's the ultimate barebones build for any startup looking to move as agile as possible.
There's nothing magical going on with the stacks above. They are simply combinations for you to choose from, but ultimately the decision will come down to what your team wishes to use.
Your employees have a stake in the company, which is the ability to govern how they work, and your job is to find out what works best for everyone so that your business can stay as productive as possible through these challenging times. Truly, we wish you the best of luck