10 Best Tools To Manage Remote Employees
Isn’t it funny how just 5 years ago being allowed to work remotely for at least one day a week was such a big deal for both you and your employer?
Tools to manage remote employees existed but were not even merely as popular and developed as today. Remote work was considered a privilege and employing global talent was reserved for companies with particular needs and requests.
However, one day we woke up and remote work became our everyday life. Some of us started working for our dream companies from the other side of the globe without even leaving our beds. On the other hand, companies got a larger pool of talent to pick from. It seemed like a win-win situation except for all challenges of remote work that needed to be figured out overnight! In this blog, we are sharing 10 tools to manage remote employees that we use daily to increase the productivity of our global, remote team.
Vacation Tracker is a leave management tool that puts time-consuming tasks regarding any type of time off on autopilot. It is particularly suitable for remote teams whose employees are based in different countries for how easy it is to customize its tracking system.
Namely, Vacation Tracker allows you to pre-set your company’s leave policies and then fit them to comply with the leave laws of each of your employee’s countries in a matter of a few clicks. Furthermore, there’s a dropdown menu of all public and religious holidays sorted by country. You don’t need to do the research and import them manually. One-click on the country in question, and you’ve customized your leave policy for that particular employee or group of employees.
This way, each employee at any moment can see their leave history in detail, as well as any upcoming leave whether requested or required by law. Vacation Tracker can be highly customized in ways that suit both the entire company and each employee individually. You can test it out for free, and see how easily it adjusts to any company’s needs. One more thing that makes Vacation Tracker an ideal tool to manage remote employees is its integration with Slack, Teams, and Google Workspace, all of which are must-have remote work tools in 2022!
Slack is an online, shared workspace ideal for quick and effective communication via regular chat, video chat, audio and video clips, or a “huddle”, Slack’s audio-first way to communicate. It is among the most suitable tools to manage remote employees for its immediacy and organizational options.
Namely, Slack allows you to send direct messages to one member or a group of members, or to create a private channel or a channel available to all members of that workspace. Channels are smaller workspaces around a project, team, or a topic. They help keep teams or remote team members that work on the same project in the loop while not disturbing other employees. If integrated with Vacation Tracker, it can be used to manage all aspects of work leaves both through its desktop and app versions.
Speaking of effective communication among remote employees, here’s another tool that can help you cut down meetings by 29%, according to their website.
Loom is a video messaging tool that allows you to record your screen or part of your screen and yourself at the same time in an instantly shareable video.
As such, it saves your employees’ time, helps them be more thorough and precise in their job, and is also not intrusive to others’ work schedules. When managing a remote team, bigger differences in time zones can be one of the first obstacles to effective, immediate communication. With Loom, the videos are shared via a link and can be watched anytime without needing to create an account or download it. Even if there’s no major time difference, using Loom prevents you from interrupting someone’s workflow to meet up. This way, every employee can watch the video when it works best for them. However, sometimes you just need to meet up. There’s a perfect tool to manage remote employees for that aspect of this work model too.
Zoom is a video conference tool that hosts high-quality videos and audio calls for up to 100 participants with a 40-minute limit free of charge. It is an excellent tool to manage remote employees for its intuitive dashboard that allows even your employees with minimal technical abilities to use it effortlessly. Zoom is not just suitable for team meet-ups but also to host webinars, and different types of virtual events, it has team chat with file sharing, the option of inbound and outbound calling, and many more.
Each feature is adjusted to make all participants feel as if they were there in person, making Zoom truly a unique tool to manage remote employees, and bridge that spatial gap! Finally, what makes Zoom cost-effective is the fact that usually, it’s only the host that needs to purchase the advanced plan for others to join. Yours is only to go ahead and pick the one!
Calendly is a scheduling automation tool that eliminates the hassle of back-and-forth emails to find and set up the perfect time for online and offline meetings. Aside from its organizational advantages, it is among the most ideal tools to manage remote employees as it automatically converts the time differences between places and time zones.
Calendly works on a simple principle of setting up the times when you’re available to be scheduled for a meeting, and then sharing your Calendly link with others so they can see your availability and book you accordingly. You can include your Calendly link on the website or in your email signature, for example, depending on whether you want to use it for internal or external meetings, or both. Naturally, Calendly sends invitee notifications using the email address associated with your account and helps avoid no-shows and other organizational surprises.
Jira is a task management platform originally built to serve agile software development teams but is often used for the organizational needs of other company departments as well. It is because Jira stands for a highly customizable task management platform making it even more suitable for companies that hire global talent. Aside from issue tracking, code repositories, and detailed project reporting, it allows advanced planning and, at any moment, an insight into the status of each member’s task.
Once you put the task into a sprint, your team member moves it from the To do, In progress, and Done columns, or any other custom-made column. This way, you avoid back-and-forth emailing to understand where you stand with an ongoing project.
PandaDoc is an e-sign tool for paperless document workflows, an absolute must if you’re employing global talent. The times when we had to print, sign, and then scan back documentation are long behind us. Not to mention sending anything via mail. PandaDoc allows you to send and receive any type of document to be e-signed, from a work contract to tax information to invoices, etc., as it can be used for both the company’s internal administrative needs and its clients. All signatures are legally binding.
You can upload as many documents as you want and store them in a user-friendly interface. Also, PandaDoc allows you to custom-make documents from scratch or by simply swiping different elements to an existing document. It is easily adjustable to comply with multiple countries’ labor or any other types of laws making PandaDoc convenient to manage remote employees’ administrative tasks. It has an advanced notification system, so you will know when each employee signed the requested documents. You can also send a follow-up reminder without ever leaving the PandaDoc dashboard.
When managing remote employees, keeping all the company cards’ expenses accurate and up to date can be a real challenge. There’s a possibility of a human error when manually inserting receipts one by one in an excel sheet or simply forgetting about the one sent in an email after your working hours. Are these your worst nightmares when managing expenses or maybe it’s the currency conversion?
Fyle is a must-have expense management tool to manage remote employees that takes care of spending reports, approvals, employee reimbursement, and much more. It eliminates potential expense mistakes and reimbursement fraud thanks to the pre-set expense policies and detailed real-time tracking and notification system.
Not only will you have all your company’s expenses in one place, together with detailed reporting on budget requests and approvals or denials but you will also get alerted each time something’s “fishy” out there.
TravelPerk is a travel management tool that helps you report travel expenses in one place, and is, according to their website, the industry-leading inventory of flights, trains, hotels, car rentals, etc. Therefore, it doesn’t just take care of travel expenses, set budgets per employee, department, or trip, etc. but it actually organizes the entire business trip from the planning phase to the time-consuming reporting afterward.
As such, it earned its place among the indispensable tools to manage remote employees’ business trips. Can you imagine having to organize a business trip for your employee who lives on the other side of the globe and operates in another currency? Yep. That’s why you should consider TravelPerk before you start drowning in hotel rate inquiry emails, and excel spreadsheets.
Employee satisfaction matters and it is particularly hard to measure it in remote teams. Generally, collecting any type of feedback or asking for a personal preference before making a decision on a company level in remote-first teams can be a real nightmare. Not to mention manually comparing the results. This is when SurveyAnywhere comes into play. SurveyAnywhere is an online survey tool, very easy to use, that allows you to create custom surveys and collect the data in a single place.
All you need to do is share the link to your survey, and the tool will take care of the rest. The only manual work consists of composing the questions and making sure they fit your survey needs.
Being forced to move to remote work brought a bit of panic back in the day but also the flourishing of many online tools to manage remote employees. Now when remote work and global employment trends are here to stay, remote work tools are significantly making our everyday work tasks faster and easier. Then why resist them?
Jelena turned her love for storytelling and the written word into a full-time job as a B2B content writer and copywriter in the SaaS industry. She reads, dances, and explores new places in her hometown and beyond in her spare time.