11 Biggest Challenges of Working Remotely and How to Overcome Them

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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 on the tools best suited for their workflows and processes.

We at Trio have 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 technology stacks for companies of different sizes, including our own.

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What Is the Importance of Communication for Remote Working?

Remote software development is becoming more and more popular thanks to the number of advantages that it provides for businesses and entrepreneurs.

From cutting down on the cost of office maintenance to granting access to new markets and talents, remote work benefits companies big and small.

Communication and resource accessibility are the main concerns for remote team members on software development projects.

Even though technology and access to the internet have made working remotely a possibility in the first place, there are still difficulties that arise, such as time zone differences, language barriers, and general miscommunication.

To ensure the success of the project, it’s the team leader’s responsibility to provide team members with handy tools that will improve productivity and minimize the risks of miscommunication.

Luckily, the market offers us plenty of tools to choose from. From productivity trackers to file sharing, there are a variety of tools to help remote development teams.

The following list features tools that Trio uses nearly every day.

The 11 Best Tools for Remote Work

Communication plays an important role in any type of work. But when it comes to remote work, this is even more important. Starting a conversation to get something done isn’t as easy as walking over to your co-worker’s cubicle.

And so your organization must find tools that can keep your team on the same page.

In some ways, project management plays a similar role. You’ll notice that most of the tools below will have a direct influence on how your company communicates and manages their work.

Let’s take a look at some options.

1. Trello

Trello is a startup favorite. It’s an extremely general-purpose and easy-to-use project management tool, based on the Kanban system.

It also makes it easy for managers to create cards and guide them through a lean process that is as customizable as you wish. 

Trello has earned its popularity thanks to the visual list creation tool that allows you to follow the project progress in a simple and visual way.

By creating cards with tasks and rearranging them, you can delegate assignments, track progress, collect and store information, as well as plan and organize work processes.

This is a perfect example of software that doesn’t need to be complicated to serve its purpose well.

Simple, yet effective design and straightforward functionality make it a solid choice for the teams that need to collaborate on a number of complex tasks.

A screenshot of a Trello board with various lists and task cards for project management, featuring labels, checklists, and member assignments.

2. Slack

Slack provides an easy-to-use chat/channel communication tool that can keep everyone connected with a user-friendly interface.

It can integrate with other products such as G Suite, Dropbox, Adobe Creative Cloud, and more. Fun Slack bots boost morale by giving birthday reminders and team reports.

It is hard to imagine a remote team that is communicating without using Slack.

Even its tagline, “Where work happens”, speaks about its indispensability in project management.

Slack is present in both mobile and web versions, allowing its users to collaborate and coordinate from wherever they are.

It’s affordable price and practical features make it a great communication choice for many remote software development teams.

A screenshot of a Slack workspace with an ongoing conversation, user interactions, a shared image, and the channel and direct message lists visible on the side.

3. Zoom

Zoom is a video conferencing tool that is exceptionally lightweight and integrates directly into Google Calendar.

Even though it does have options for messaging, Zoom is mostly known for its high-quality video calling.

With a free plan, you can get 40 minutes’ worth of conference time. And with a pro plan, you are entitled to much more, including webinar hosting features, which can be great for your online marketing efforts.

One of the features that users find most useful is video recordings. You can use these recordings to create educational videos or document common procedures.

4. Dropbox

Dropbox is a cloud-based file hosting service that helps its users to store their data in one place which they can make accessible to whomever they wish.

It’s an online library designed to organize and manage information such as documents, photos, videos, music, or one of the other dozen file types that Dropbox supports.

It is compatible with various devices and can be accessed both from a computer or mobile device.

The free version of Dropbox provides you with 2 GB of cloud storage space, but if you are planning to use more space, you might want to consider it’s paid versions that start at $8.25 per month.

A screenshot of a file management interface with a list of files, details on modifications, a side navigation bar, and a prompt to streamline with Dropbox Paper.

5. Asana

Asana has been around since 2008 and is extremely powerful due to its many features.

From timelines and project boards to automation and integrations, Asana is a comprehensive toolkit with a solution for the needs of any organization.

Asana’s interface is task-oriented which makes it an excellent tool for remote work management.

Its tasks assignments are built into bigger projects which helps team members compartmentalize their workload in the development process.

Its straightforward design allows you to track progress and see who is responsible for specific project parts, making any miscommunication about roles and responsibilities unlikely.

6. Redbooth

Redbooth is a web-based collaboration tool that is designed for team task management.

It provides all its tools in one place to simplify communication and advanced project management.

Customers from all industries have given Redbooth high praise, making it a strong competitor against Asana and Basecamp.

7. Basecamp

Basecamp has earned the trust of its customers through its simple interface and actionable task items.

Due dates, calendaring, and to-do lists help users set their priorities and organize their work based on the urgency of the assigned tasks.

Message boards, group chats, and automated check-ins guarantee that every member of the team stays connected.

With Basecamp, team members can communicate in real-time from the convenience of their computers or mobile devices.

The image is a screenshot of the Basecamp project management interface showcasing various teams and projects, a navigation bar on the top, and the Basecamp logo in the corner.

8. Milanote

Milanote is a tool for organizing creative projects into beautiful visual boards.

By design, it should feel a lot like working on the wall in a creative studio – visual, tactile, and sometimes a bit messy. This makes it a fitting tool for designers working on remote teams.

It is filled with hundreds of built-in templates to help you get started with a variety of different projects, from creating a mood board to writing that perfect creative brief.

Milanote boards by default offer a private place to think, but with a single click, you can create a shared workspace for collaboration with your team.

Some key features of Milanote are its ability to write notes and to-do lists, upload images and files, and save the information you’ve found on the web. It also lets you organize visually using a drag and drop interface.

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9. Hangouts

For the loyal Google users out there, Hangouts provides secure team messaging and video calling.

Hangouts have similar features to Zoom but don’t require you to download any software.

Anyone committed to the G Suite ecosystem will be pleased to know that Hangouts allows for simple integration with other Google products like Google Calendar and Google Drive, making scheduling a document collaboration a breeze.

10. Jira

Owned by Atlassian, Jira is cut from the same cloth as Trello but is specifically geared towards software development.

Jira supports test case management and agile software development making it a great tool for high-performance teams.

As a product of the Atlassian ecosystem, Jira integrates with other products such as BitBucket and Confluence to make development easier.

A screenshot of a Jira project management board for a software project.

11. Microsoft Teams

Perhaps a more enterprise version of Slack, Microsoft Teams exists within the Microsoft Office ecosystem and integrates natively with all other Microsoft products.

Microsoft Teams is a hub for chat, video calls, and even file sharing. 

If you run a small business that uses Microsoft Office tools often, then it should be easy to begin using Microsoft Teams since most of your team members will already be familiar with the integrated software.

A screenshot of a Microsoft Teams workspace.

Remote tools for remote engineers

Trio works closely with a number of tools that make the lives of our remote software engineers much easier, so trust that Trio has your best interests in mind.

Even if you find that these exact tools don’t offer the same advantages that they did for Trio or other startup companies, use this research as inspiration for finding what you really need.

If you are looking to expand your software engineering team with LatAm talents, learn more about the process of Software Outsourcing in Latin America.

Trio is your source for both software excellence and South American developers connections. Discover our exceptional Argentinean, Chilean, and Brazilian developers for outsourcing success.

Truly, Trio wishes you the best of luck.

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With over 10 years of experience in software outsourcing, Alex has assisted in building high-performance teams before co-founding Trio with his partner Daniel. Today he enjoys helping people hire the best software developers from Latin America and writing great content on how to do that!
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