It doesn’t seem that long ago that offices were humming with activity. However, it’s been nearly a year since the onset of COVID-19, and with it, an astonishing number of companies have gone remote. As a result, it’s never been more important for businesses to keep their employees engaged – and this requires the right productivity tools. Categorized by functionality, we’ve highlighted 10 of the most essential tools that will help increase team productivity, collaboration, and communication, in a remote work environment.
Formerly called G Suite, includes collaboration and productivity applications such as Gmail, Calendar, Chat, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites, and more.
- Pricing: Google Workspace offers 4 different plans, starting at $6.00 per user/month, Business Standard – $12.00 per user/month, Business Plus – $18.00 per user/month, and Enterprise.
With various subscription models, Microsoft Team enables team members to chat and collaborate using a variety of applications, depending on the plan selected.
- Pricing: Microsoft Teams – free, Business Basic – $5.00 per user/month, Microsoft 365 Business Standard – $12.50 per user/month, Office 365 E3 – $20.00 per user/month.
A popular choice for remote workers, it provides real-time communication for one-on-one or group communications. With 4 pricing tiers, users can share files, conduct audio, and video calls, and communicate with partners.
- Pricing: Offerings include a free tier with limited functionality and paid plans: Standard – $8.00 per user/month, Plus – $15.00 per user/month, and Enterprise. Discounts are provided for annual payments.
Easy to use, it combines conversations, work items, and tools in one place for seamless collaboration with individuals or groups.
- Pricing: Free 30-day trial, the standalone edition is $3.00 per user/month, the enterprise edition is $9.00 per user/month.
Widely used, this virtual meeting tool provides a unified app for phone, video, meetings, and online chat services, as well as an app marketplace for easy installation of a wide variety of productivity tools such as Google Workspace, Slack, and Microsoft Teams.
- Pricing: Zoom provides 4 different tiers, starting with Base which is free, Pro – $14.99 per month/license, Business – $19.99 per month/license, and Zoom United Business – $30.00 per month/license. Discounts are given for annual billing.
6. Google Meet
Formerly Google Hangouts, it’s a convenient option for Gmail and Google Calendar users, it provides video call, phone, and messaging for one-on-one or group chats. Their newest features include artificial intelligence (AI) for noise cancellation and live captioning.
- Pricing: Tiers include 3 levels, however, the basic functionality is always free, Google Workspace Essentials – $8.00 per user/month, and Google Workspace Enterprise.
Easy-to-use, this cloud-based app allows users to create tasks, set due dates, assign them to team members, share documents, monitor project progress, check off tasks, and chat with team members. In addition, notification of tasks due can be sent to the assigned member’s inbox. They also offer app integration to other productivity tools such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, Outlook, and Zoom.
- Pricing: There are 4 pricing tiers, beginning with a free version that provides limited access, Premium – $13.49 per user/month, Business – $30.49 per user/month, and Enterprise.
Each project includes all of the tools needed such as message boards, to-do lists, schedules, documents, file storage, real-time group chats, and automatic check-in questions. With nearly everything in one place, integration with third-party productivity tools is typically not needed.
- Pricing: Offerings include a 30-day free trial, Basecamp Personal – free with limited feature functionality, and Basecamp Business – $99.00 per month flat fee.
9. Google Drive
A cloud-native storage platform that provides a centralized location for the storing, sharing, and collaboration of files and folders. It integrates seamlessly with Docs, Sheets, and Slides, as well as your existing tools like Microsoft Office, PDFs, videos, etc.
- Pricing: Offerings include a 14-day free trial, Business Starter – $6.00 per user/month, Business Standard – $12.00 per user/month, Business Plus – $18.00 per user/month, and Enterprise.
A cloud storage tool that allows users to create, store, and share content like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Microsoft Office files. This tool provides the ability to combine files and cloud content so that other apps, such as PowerPoints can reside next to Google Docs, Trello boards, and other files.
- Pricing: Free trials range from 14-days for the Professional version to 30-days for the Standard or Advanced versions. Pricing tiers include, Professional – $19.99 per user/month (for a single user), Standard – $15.00 per user/month (for 3 or more users), and Advanced – $25.00 for 3 per user/per month (for 3 or more users). Like many other collaboration tools, discounts are provided for annual payment.
Time to Get Productive
Although face-to-face watercooler chats and in-person meetings are less frequent, your teams can still quickly and effectively communicate and collaborate when they have the right tools. With low-cost productivity tools such as these, your telecommuters will have the resources they need to feel connected, stay involved, and remain productive.
Looking for more ways to increase team productivity? Contact our team to learn about how you can streamline your marketing and sales efforts in 2021!