With the advent of cloud and SaaS (Software as a Service), most teams today are working with distributed teams. The benefits of cross functional teams are many – reduced costs for both the employer and employees; the team is free to choose their own tools that best suit their needs; it allows them to work from anywhere in the world. However, one drawback that comes with remote team collaboration is lack of direct control over these distributed resources. You can’t just walk up to your teammates and ask them to do something for you! This has given rise to several collaborative tools/software which aim at helping managers identify where each employee spends his time on computers during work hours so they may provide the right guidance. This also allows employees to track each other’s progress and give helpful advice if needed.
Here is a list of 10 such tools/software along with their features that can help you manage your distributed team better:
1) Rescue Time
RescueTime helps you understand where you spend your time on the computer, across multiple applications and sites, providing reports to see where you’re spending too much or too little time on certain activities. The free version provides fairly detailed reports including an analysis of how productive your top applications are – given the amount of time spent on them! You can also choose which websites are allowed to show up in these reports; it even blocks all internet access to those sites as well as any others that you’ve added.
RescueTime offers a very powerful reporting interface – but leaves customizing other aspects of the program up to you. You can also choose whether or not you want an alert if your usage falls outside your set parameters. But all-in-all, RescueTime is a nice free tool – and I found it quite accurate after using it for several months!
This extremely user-friendly mobile app was created by former employees from Google, Oracle, Yahoo!, and MTV Networks who realized there had to be a better way for people working in remote teams to communicate effectively without tying up the phone line, holding meetings etc.
Live chat is also available – so members can keep in touch throughout the day – even if they are not together in the same room! One of my favourite features is that you can check how much time your teammates spend on tasks each day – and compare their performance to others within the group. The Connecteam App also comes equipped with a social media-like feed where employees can post fun updates about their projects or life happenings. This really helps to build team-work culture and camaraderie among both full time employees and freelancers alike!
For clients, the Chisel offers a space where everyone is “in the loop” with what’s happening. This helps to avoid confusion or miscommunication – and can often help streamline processes within your company! Users can post questions on projects they are working on, share files and other relevant content, set due dates for tasks etc. Clients can also create polls or office-wide announcements through this section of the app to keep their team informed.
Now that you’ve read about all the awesome features of Connecteam… Are you ready to join our closed beta? Just write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want an invite code to try it out before anyone else does 🙂
4) Post a Project on Connecteam and you’re ready to go!
Now it’s time to post your first project and tell your team all about it… Our draft feature on mobile will help you add descriptions, milestones, upload files etc. with ease on the run. No need for long emails or complicated documents – just draft an announcement, add some text or images and send it to your teammates!
5) Invite your Teammates
Step 1: Fill in their email addresses (or select them from the contacts list), assign them roles like “Manager of this Project” and click “Send Invitations”.
Step 2: Once they join the project our app will automatically notify them that something new has been posted then they can return to the app to read the full article.
6) Customize your Invitation Email
Each invitation email you send can include an individualized message, choose a certain role for each person and specify advanced responses like “I’d like to be notified when new articles are created”.
7) Manage your Roles
Every team member will start off with their default role (i.e. Contributor). You can assign different roles for people that need specific permissions on your project – giving them access to comment, create articles or even delete pages.
8 ) Collaborate on Articles
It’s super easy to comment on any draft article within the app! Just find it in our feed, click reply and get typing.
9) Create Milestones
Once you’re ready to share your prototype with the world or just a close circle of friends, you can create milestones to showcase your project. Make sure to set them as public so that other people can see them too!
10) Add Tags
Create tags for different categories and easily find articles by searching these tags. For example, if I’m building an app about food, I might call the tag “food”. Related articles will pop up when other people search for these terms. Check out our guide on tagging for more information.