Remote & Async Work 8 min

Best productivity & management tools for remote teams

Written by Amanda Day
February 26, 2024
Amanda Day


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With employees spread across locations and time zones, organizations must provide the right digital solutions to keep remote workers connected and engaged. But with so many remote work tools, it can be challenging to create the most effective tech stack.

In this article, we share our curated list of top 15 tools across various categories that can help optimize communication, collaboration, and productivity among distributed teams.

Why invest in tools for your remote team 

When oceans separate your team, the right tools become their lifeline. These tools come with a wide range of benefits:

  • Facilitate real-time collaboration, ensuring everyone stays in the loop and feels heard

  • Streamline workflows, eliminating the chaos of scattered documents and emails

  • Combat isolation and nurture team spirit by strengthening virtual connections

  • Empower employees to manage their time effectively, achieving work-life balance in a remote environment

Ultimately, the best tools for remote teams aren't just technological solutions; they're the foundation for a connected, happy, and thriving workforce, regardless of physical distance.

Below is our curated list of top 15 tools across various categories. 

Internal communication tools

Fragmented communication channels (like email) can silo information and hamper collaboration. Internal communication apps can streamline knowledge sharing.

1. Slack: best for team chat 

Slack is great for real-time, instant messaging and lets you organize conversations by topics, teams, or projects using customizable channels. 

Teams can easily search through conversations, files, and data shared in Slack channels. It also offers instant notification features, a mobile app to use Slack on-the-go, and integrations with popular ​​work apps like Google Drive, Trello, and Zoom.

2. Notion: best for creating wikis

Notion helps virtual teams create centralized wikis to collect company knowledge, FAQs, guidelines, employee handbooks, and more.

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Teams can also build customized databases to organize and share company data, from sales leads to product specifications. It’s easy to ​​control access and editing privileges for users based on their roles and needs.

Productivity and task management tools

Increase productivity, focus, and keep track of projects with our favorite productivity and project management tools.

3. Asana: best for project management

Asana lets teams create and manage projects with clear goals, milestones, task assignment, deadlines, and dependencies. This promotes accountability and transparency. 

With its customizable reports, you can view data on team performance and identify bottlenecks. 

It offers free plans for individuals and small teams up to ten people, and comes with 100+ integrations. 

4. Todoist: best for creating to-dos 

​​Todoist is a popular task management app. It helps remote employees easily capture tasks and break them down into smaller subtasks.

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The interface is very user-friendly. Teams can set up recurring tasks with flexible intervals (daily, weekly, etc.). You can also assign priorities to ensure the most important tasks get the spotlight. 

5. Harvest: best for time tracking 

With Harvest, employees can start and stop timers with a single click, either from the web app, desktop app, or mobile app. They can track total working hours and view them in visual reports. It’s easy to share time reports and invoices directly with clients, ensuring clear communication and timely payments. 

Video communication tools 

Video communication tools help teams collaborate face-to-face: facial expressions and body language provide social cues lost in voice-only conversations. Here are ‌our two top suggestions for video communication tools.

6. Vowel: best for video meetings

Vowel generates AI-powered summaries and transcripts of every video meeting so you can revisit any call whenever you want. Teams can use agendas, emojis, timers, screen sharing, and notes features to make meetings engaging. You can also text search in any of the meetings and jump to the point in the video.

7. Loom: best for async video communication

Loom combines screen recording with video — so team members can use it to walk colleagues through complex topics visually. 

You can share your Looms instantly with a link or embed them directly in emails or on platforms like Slack (team members can watch them when they want). It’s easy to track views, reactions, and comments to gauge understanding and impact of your message.

Collaboration tools

Remote collaboration tools help employees to ideate, keep initiatives on track, and share important documents — all from integrated workspaces accessible anywhere.  

8. Google Drive: best for file storage

Google Drive offers a generous 15gb of free storage for personal use. The web interface is simple and intuitive, making it easy for users of all technical abilities to store, access, and share files. Teams can ​​easily share files with others via email or link, and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

9. Miro: best whiteboard tool 

Miro's infinite canvas allows brainstorming and idea visualization, ideal for remote teams where collaboration needs to be unrestricted. 

Multiple team members can work on the same whiteboard simultaneously. They can choose from a vast library of pre-made templates for various tasks like mind-mapping, Kanban boards, and user flows.

Miro's interface. Manage projects and tasks better.

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Additionally, numerous built-in tools like sticky notes, shapes, and connectors offer visual richness.

10. Dropbox: best for document sharing

Dropbox’s file sharing solution comes with an intuitive interface and is accessible across various devices, including web browsers, desktops, and mobile apps. 

It excels at sharing large files, so it’s a good option if you want to share multimedia files. You can access files even without the internet, and it offers version control.

Dropbox offers various ways to share files and folders, including password-protected links, public sharing, and direct invitations.  

International Hiring

With these international hiring tools, you can overcome geographic barriers to seamlessly secure global talent.

11. Veremark: best for background checks

​​Veremark offers background screening and pre-hire verifications for ‌remote applicants in 150+ countries. You can validate their fitness, identity, social media profiles, and whether they have the right documents to work. They offer regional support teams and with with local compliance.

12. Greenhouse: best ATS software 

Greenhouse is a great option for international hiring because it offers multi-channel sourcing (from job boards, social media, etc.). You can automatically publish jobs across multiple platforms. 

Employers can get a scorecard to evaluate candidates based on predefined criteria and identify the best fit for each role. You can also get key insights into your hiring process through reports. With free integrations with Remote HRIS, employers can seamlessly connect their recruiting and onboarding platforms to Remote's Global HR platform.

Employee engagement and well-being tools

Taking care of your employees in a remote environment can be challenging, when you do not have the luxury to regularly see them face-to-face. With these engagement tools, you can create team connection and belonging, and motivate your team members in a remote setting.

13. Culture Amp: best for measuring employee experience 

Culture Amp offers a comprehensive suite of features designed to help organizations understand, measure, and improve employee experience. Take their pulse surveys to measure employee engagement across various aspects like culture, leadership, and work environment.

​​With CultureAmp, you can:

  • Get in-depth analytics on retention (like how many people joined, stayed, or exited)

  • Use pre-built surveys on onboarding and manager effectiveness

  • Manage performance by tracking goals and multi-source feedback

  • Create personalized plans for people development 

14. Desana: best for co-working space offerings 

Desana offers a network of modern, well-equipped co-working spaces in prime locations globally. These spaces cater to individuals, startups, and teams, providing a professional environment beyond traditional offices. 

Teams just have to pay for the space that they use. It connects a vibrant community of professionals through events, workshops, and networking opportunities. This helps you connect with like-minded individuals, build your network, and foster collaboration.

15. Bonusly: best for rewards 

Bonusly is an employee reward solution that allows remote employees to celebrate their wins. It displays recognition in a public feed and offers a shared space for shout-outs.

Bonusly screen where employees share appreciation for other employees

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​​Following the peer-to-peer recognition concept, you can send “bonusly” points to colleagues for their achievements and contributions. You can choose from a variety of rewards, including gift cards, experiences, donations to charities, and even company swag.

Build your remote team toolbox 

The rise of remote work is redefining how teams operate and collaborate. Successful remote organizations arm their distributed workforce with the right digital tools. 

The tools outlined here support your remote teams to work cohesively through seamless communication, robust task management, and secure technology access. When assembling a comprehensive tech stack for your remote workforce, don't overlook the importance of an integrated HRIS solution like Remote. 

Empower your HR teams to successfully manage a remote team with Remote’s HRIS — sign up now to explore more. 

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