32 Online Work Tools To Improve the Remote Work Experience
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published April 2, 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
The remote work model allows employees to carry out their duties outside the traditional office. Working remotely typically requires an internet connection and software applications for monitoring progress and keeping in contact with colleagues and supervisors. If you're interested in seeking remote work or you work for an organization that implements a remote work model, it can be helpful to know what tools you can use to facilitate productivity, communication, collaboration and storage.
In this article, we define remote work tools and provide lists of tools that you may find useful when working outside the office, with detailed descriptions for select options.
Related: Q&A: What Is Remote Work?
What are remote work tools?
Remote work tools are software applications that facilitate working away from a centralized location, such as an office. Such tools serve various functions meant to substitute for the accessibility provided by a shared location. They generally fall under six main categories:
Communication: Communication tools allow employees and supervisors to keep in touch with one another through text-, audio- or video-based means.
File management: File management tools are resources for storing, sharing and collaborating on files.
Employee monitoring: Employee monitoring tools are primarily for supervisors who wish to keep track of their teams' progress and prevent distractions.
Time management: Time management tools are dedicated to helping employees keep track of their hours and productivity.
Project management: Project management tools are useful for team members working together on a project, as they allow for scheduling, planning, progress tracking and reporting.
Miscellaneous: Tools that fall under the miscellaneous category are usually lightweight or niche programs that help to create an easier remote working experience, such as through automation, shortcuts or improved accessibility.
22 useful remote work tools
Here are 22 popular and useful remote work tools, with descriptions of each:
Remote teams that have regular meetings may benefit from using 10to8, a tool for scheduling meetings. This software integrates with video conferencing software, syncs with common calendar applications and can help to reduce no-shows to meetings by sending email or SMS reminders. There are also booking features for arranging appointments or meetings with clients.
AnyDesk is a remote desktop, a client application that allows you to connect remotely to a computer located elsewhere. This can be useful for remote employees who may occasionally or frequently require access to files available on an office computer or a company network. AnyDesk automatically strives to provide users with the fastest connection and allows them to transfer files.
CamScanner is a mobile app that functions as a scanner. Users can photograph hard copies of documents and the app creates a high-resolution image as though it were fed through an office scanner. It also includes native cloud storage and a collaboration feature that allows your teammates to offer feedback on your scanned image.
ClickUp can help remote teams manage and collaborate on projects. It helps to make projects more approachable by breaking them up into manageable parts, with features for creating tasks, sub-tasks and checklists. There are settings users can apply for specific project management philosophies, such as scrum. In addition to these features, it also integrates with other useful remote work tools for communication and time management.
Clockify is a time management tool that may be useful for remote employees required to track their hours. Users can clock in and the program starts a time clock that displays the total time that the user has worked that day. Team leaders can also set up features that designate specific lengths of time to certain tasks, which can help employees to organize their workload.
Dropbox is a file management and sharing tool that remote teams can use to upload and access files. This allows users to share large files with numerous people, which would be impractical or impossible to do over email. The business-level storage plans that Dropbox offers range from 3,000 gigabytes for one user to unlimited storage for as many users as necessary.
Related: How To Send Large Files
Evernote is an online note-taking program that you can access from any device logged in to your account. Aside from taking notes, you can use the program to create to-do lists, save online content and share content with others. You can also add Evernote extensions to your web browser to enable some of the program's features without directly accessing the site.
8. I Done This
I Done This is software that tracks team progress and allows managers to monitor performance. The tool reminds team members to check in daily with their manager, either by email or via the web browser app. Through the app, they write to-do lists, keep track of their achievements throughout the day and create status updates. I Done This helps to keep team members accountable for their work and can function as a substitute for check-in meetings.
Krisp is a noise-canceling software that works with any major communication application. It identifies and removes background noise during audio and video calls on both your end and those of other participants. With Krisp, you can more clearly hear and understand others and also be better understood yourself.
Loom is a tool for screencasting—the video recording of the data and activities visible on your computer screen. Screencasting can be useful for creating instructional videos that direct teammates on complex tasks that may be challenging to explain through the written word. Loom is compatible with multiple operating systems and allows you to record not only your screen but also your voice and your face.
NordVPN is a virtual private network (VPN) service provider. A VPN is a type of internet connection that encrypts your data and links you to a server outside your actual location. This circuitous connection route helps to keep data secure, which can be essential for employees handling company information from home.
ProofHub is an online project management service that lets teams plan projects, collaborate and track their progress. It's an all-in-one tool that offers multiple functions, including discussions, feedback and proofing. Using ProofHub, teams can also communicate with clients and organize each project by category, including type and the team responsible for it.
Ringover is a cloud-based phone system that may be useful not only for communications with team members but also for customer support and sales. Through this service, you can make an unlimited number of calls to more than 100 countries, record phone calls and conduct group messaging and video conferencing. For customer support and sales teams, you can set up automatic call distribution to remote employees, which ensures that callers have access to a team member when necessary.
Sketchboard is an online collaborative whiteboard that allows users to develop ideas as a team. The interface is a board on which team members can type text, draw shapes and diagrams and insert icons. The board is endlessly editable by the users, who can offer feedback to one another. These features can be particularly useful for remote professionals in software development, software as a service, research or education.
Slack is a workplace instant message application. It features an intuitive user interface and allows the members of an organization to send communications and share files both privately and in large channels, or groups. Members can also use Slack for collaboration, project management or socialization with colleagues.
16. Time Doctor
Time Doctor is an employee monitoring tool that tracks employees' time and activities. To manage distractions, the program alerts users with a pop-up if they spend excess time idle or browsing the internet recreationally. The program also measures users' productivity and provides summary reports about the sites they visit and how much time they spend on them. Additional features include timesheets for tracking hours and cross-platform compatibility.
Timezone.io is an application keeps a record of the time zones in which team members live and work. The interface displays the name, image, location and local time of each member of the team. This tool can be useful for employers who have a mostly or entirely remote workforce.
VirtualOffice is software for creating custom backgrounds for video calls. Because video conferencing is the most common method of conducting meetings for remote workers, projecting your own background can help to present a more professional appearance. It can also be a fun way for employees to express themselves.
19. Water Cooler Trivia
Water Cooler Trivia is an online quiz game platform. Though not directly related to work, software such as Water Cooler Trivia can help to build camaraderie between team members who rarely or never see one another in person. The platform offers weekly customizable quizzes. There's also an option that allows you to receive quizzes entirely tailored to your team's preferences, written expressly for you by the service's question writers.
WooBoard is a web-based platform that allows users to recognize colleagues for their accomplishments. Employers can use the platform to set up reward programs that provide real-world incentives for work well done, such as gift cards to popular retailers, restaurants and grocery chains. Tools like WooBoard can be helpful for showing appreciation for employees and boosting their engagement.
Zapier is a platform that allows for easy automation of tasks. With its Zaps feature, you can connect your frequently used apps for fast and seamless workflows. If, for example, you receive an email attachment, the Zaps feature can copy the attachment to your cloud storage and alert you through your workplace communication software, all without having to access your email account. With Zapier, you can improve your productivity and spare yourself having to switch between your various remote work tools to get things done.
Zoom is a conferencing tool that allows users to hold remote meetings or chats via their computers' camera and microphone functions. It's also useful for presentations, as a host can mute participants and share their screen as they speak. Using the free version, you can host up to 100 participants per meeting.
10 other useful remote work tools
Here are 10 other remote work tools to consider:
World Time Buddy
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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