Working remotely is no longer a distant concept—it’s increasingly becoming the norm rather than an unusual work situation. As technology improves, more businesses are seeing the value of a remote workforce, including a reduction in overhead costs and access to a larger talent pool.

Once you’ve decided to integrate remote employees or an entirely remote workforce into your business, the next question becomes how to manage them most effectively. Technology is the general answer, but in particular, what are the technology tools and platforms that allow you to make sure there’s smooth communication, collaboration, and optimized productivity?

  1. Project Management

There are ample project management technology apps, tools, and platforms that are ideal for managing remote workers, and two of the most popular right now seem to be Basecamp and Trello.

Both are great options for managing a remote workforce because they’re simple to use, and they allow for the management of multiple projects and tasks all at one time.

They have intuitive dashboards, and there isn’t much of a learning curve for users. Even if you go with an alternative project management technology platform, it’s good to look for those characteristics.

  1. Communication

Skype is widely considered a must-have for most companies that manage employees who don’t work in a central office. It’s a great way to communicate with staff anywhere, and the video chat feature gives managers and business owners the chance to create that valuable face-to-face connection that can be lost in a remote environment.

Another technology tool that’s great is Slack. Slack is a team-based messaging app that organizes conversations into easy-to-find channels based on projects, topics, teams or whatever works for your business. There are also options to create private channels and send direct messages to coworkers or employees. Users can install the app on their mobile device, and they’ll get messages instantly.

  1. Document Sharing

The workplace is full of documents and data, and if you’re striving for more efficient management of not just your employees, but also information, you likely need to find technology that helps you.

For some businesses the use of a tool like Dropbox or Evernote might be enough, but if you’re sharing sensitive information or documents that need to be very protected against cyber threats, it can often be best to go with a something like a VDR, otherwise known as a Virtual Data Room. A VDR can offer the highest level of protection and can be accessed by only the relevant people who need to see particular documents.

Look for a VDR provider with multiple layers of security and simple integration to ensure you’re able to get up and running quickly while minimizing the risks that can come with sharing documents simply through email or even a cloud-based service such as Dropbox.

Making the Most of Remote Employees

Technology is ultimately the best way to make sure you’re maintaining and managing a strong remote workforce. With tools for communication, collaboration, sharing and more, you can gain the benefits of a traditional office environment while simultaneously obtaining the advantages that come with this modernized work setting.

Author's Bio: 

Susan is a marketing writer and blogger helping small and medium size businesses craft winning content strategies. She’s always scouting the web for new social media strategies and is slightly addicted to apps. When not tapping the keyboard, you are likely to find her in the park playing with her uncontrollably friendly Irish setter.