With the increasing pace of technology today, the online workplace is continuously extending the boundaries of a traditional workplace. Today, virtual teams are a common way of communicating and collaborating with employees, co-workers, and staff members online. Whether you’re a freelancer, an entrepreneur, a teacher or someone looking to expand your operations internationally, you’re going to need a handful of tools to allow you to effectively collaborate with your virtual team.
So, without further ado, let’s acquaint you with some of the best tools available online that will speed up the collaboration process and improve your team’s efficiency.
Slack will cut you some of just that while you’re collaborating with you team. This is the perfect chatting tool for your team and not just any ordinary one. With Slack, you can talk, share files, save data, sync to your devices, have over 80 integration tools, share code snippets and much more. Slack is also very secure since it transfers encrypted data among all devices and performs security checks regularly. Slack is free to begin with, but if you need to increase the services it offers, you might want to pay for a pro account.
Google Docs will allow you to collaborate, comment, and chat from anywhere in a single document. This means that other member of the team can “comment” on a piece of text, change it, or simply discuss it if they want to—all through Google Docs. The main advantage of this tool is that multiple people can share a document and every change anyone made is saved automatically. You may also export your work in docx, pdf, txt, .html and other popular formats.
This is a card-based project management application that allows you to visualize what you need to do, what you are doing, and what you have already done – all on one board. Combine calendars, sticky notes, spreadsheets, emails, and to-do list and you’ll come with Trello. Team members can also view these “lists of lists” to see what their team mates have been up to and what needs to get done. Trello sign up is completely free and you can also login with your Google account (if you have one).
Ever heard of an online meeting room? Gotomeeting was built exactly for that purpose. If your virtual team needs to meet up regularly to share ideas, discuss progress, give training or tutorials, you can easily use this web conferencing tool for the purpose. This website allows you to meet with 15 people online. You may also share data in real time and save the recording for future use. HD video conferencing, screen sharing, calendar integration tools and recording are available options. You may also use this on a mobile device for your convenience, if necessary. Gotomeeting is free for the first month after which you’ll have to pay for a plan based on your needs.
Here’s a team-time tracker that will make managing you team much easier. If you want your team to be more productive or you’re not sure how they’ve been utilizing their time, a time tracking tool is a must. Time Doctor lets you to know exactly what everyone has been working on and for how long. You can also use this tool to take attendance everyday which is, at times, difficult when it comes to a virtual team. The manager of the team will be presented with daily reports to help him judge the productivity levels of the team throughout the week. This application is free for the 30 days, so you can see if it fits you or your team’s needs or not. If it does, you can sign up for the solo plan for $5 per month or the full plan for $10 per month.
By adding any one of the aforementioned tools to your arsenal and making the most out of them, you can greatly improve the management of your virtual teams efficiently. Plus, it will also help you lead your team towards a definite success.
Author: Alison Stone works at Dissertation cube where she provides dissertation writing help to students. In her spare time she writes blogs for students starting their career and for those who are still in jobs. Find her on Google+.