While 2020 may have been considered the year of remote work, it is just the beginning. It is estimated that throughout 2021 and beyond, people will spend less time in the office and more time working from home. Forbes predicts that by 2025, an estimated 70% of the workforce will work remotely at least one week a month. 

The hybrid work model is an important one. There are three primary factors to consider when choosing technology that will future-proof your business; collaboration tools, mobile tools and project management tools.

Effective Communication/Collaboration Tools

Any employer would agree that investing in the right tools is important, and worth it. It ensures employees are as productive when they work from home as they are from the office. Phone conferencing solutions are so yesterday. Today, when it comes to having meetings with remote employees, you want video. Since these employees often cannot attend in-person meetings, videoconferencing has become one of the most “helpful technologies” for both in-house and remote employees. Smart video conferencing cameras allow remote workers to feel as if they’re in the meeting room with their in-office colleagues.

When considering which of the many video conferencing collaboration tool options on the market is best for your company, usability indicators to look for include:

  • Accessibility from any device
  • Meeting lock and knock function
  • In meeting controls
  • Dependability and 24/7 customer support
  • User centric design

Mobile Tools to Work from Home

Employees that work from home often work from different places and heavily rely on their mobile devices and laptops. By making mobile a key part of your workflow strategy, you offer more flexibility and create better efficiency. For instance, make it easier for your employees to use mobile devices by deploying mobile-based apps or providing them with VPN remote access.

You can further improve collaboration with cloud-based business apps, such as those related to project management and communication. These give your remote employees the same level of access your in-house staff enjoys. Integrating apps for remote workers takes some planning and thoughtfulness, but the rewards and payoffs are worth it.

Project Management Tools

When employees are spread across different locations, project management tools allow them to communicate and collaborate synchronously (via chat tools) and asynchronously to get their work done. To ensure remote team members feel included, it’s better to over-communicate so they don’t feel isolated. Through using communication applications, such as Slack, you can create continual permission for employees to bring up issues that aren’t coming up in team meetings or one-on-ones, or to ask quick questions they would normally do in person. 

The main advantage is that it allows for creating separate groups and channels for different projects and teams. It is reliable and powerful with hardly any major instances of downtime. As for the do not disturb concept, there can be constant messaging going back and forth, but there is a, “turn off notifications” option within Slack when carving out chunks of time when you’re not available. Set the expectation that you won’t respond right away.

No matter the type of remote team you’re working on, there’s a project management software for you.