How to Organize Remote Work: Best Free Management and Collaboration Tools
The phrase “Remote work” does not sound strangely anymore. It is a trend and even far more than that.
For some organizations, it is a booster of business development. The 2019 research by Goremotely states that 61% of business owners said that remote work increased their business’ profit. One of the reasons for that is lower overhead costs in the form of reduced office space and utility usage. That is why companies pay more attention to remote work what makes it one of the remote work trends in 2020.
For some employees, remote work or working from home (WFH) is one of the ways to change the office environment and, as a result, get other mindsets and thought-patterns to enhance productivity. Do not be surprised but according to the same report by Goremotely, 83% of the American entrepreneurs said flexible, i.e. remote, hours boosted productivity, and 30% of remote workers accomplished more in less time.
Those were the cases when remote work is still considered as a choice.
Unfortunately, there are cases when it is a necessity. This is what mankind is going through as of the first half of 2020 with the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
Every day, more and more businesses and companies allow, encourage or recommend their employees work from home. On the contrary, many people turn to this new reality and start looking for new work from home ideas to get a stable financial floor in the future.
As never before, the abilities to organize the remote working place, deal every day with remote workers, and properly manage them and all the processes are so much appreciated.
Among lots of challenges that remote teams face, one of the core is to find the best tools for working remotely.
When a move out of the office is the necessity, when you did most duties offline, and there is the need to implement everything online as soon as possible, the best way to keep business processes up and running is to try free management software for remote work or use other online collaboration tools.
Luckily, now, companies, and among them are giants, open free access to their software due to the challenging global situation. No fees. Just take your team and organize work with these remote working tools. And remember, such work may also be fun with games for remote teams.
By the way, you can get new knowledge at remote conferences and, as a result, better organize your work. For example, Remote AID 2020. This one has renowned speakers and experts so it is going to be a great time investment.
Remote working tools: 2020 free offers
Collaborative tools for remote working fall into a few categories. It depends on your remote team needs.
The following remote working tools, and some of them I can name best in their categories, have special offers for teams.
Project planning tools
Now, most of the businesses have to take into consideration this category even if they managed their work without any services. Plans and teams with virtual units are supposed to be managed remotely in the best way possible.
Besides, you’ll benefit a lot in case these project planning tools offer communication, collaboration, and some other opportunities.
Category: Gantt chart-based software for project planning and management.
Offer for remote teams: free account till August 15, 2020, for hospitals and non-profit organizations.
Submission: GanttPRO for nonprofit organizations.
If you are new to project planning or the number of remote workers and employees have increased, you need a robust project planning solution. GanttPRO should attract your attention.
One of the best Gantt chart tools in the market, this remote working tool easily covers the daily, weekly, monthly, and annual planning issues. With GanttPRO, you and your team will be immediately informed about everything going on in a project.
- Task management and assignment.
- Progress tracking.
- Different project views: Gantt chart timeline, Board view, My task dashboard.
- Team roles: Owner, Admin, Member.
- Real-time data synchronization.
- Team collaboration and communication: comments, attachments, mentions, notifications.
- Advanced export.
- Robust sharing.
- Resource management and workload.
- Cost management.
- Time tracking.
- Project calendars, personal calendars.
- Nice interface.
- Short learning curve.
We do know how critical it is to organize proper remote working conditions. We always keep it in our minds as we develop a planning tool for all teams, regardless of their place of work and size.
Considering the current situation and the growing number of remote workers, we’d like to help businesses follow their plans, stay connected, and be productive. And of course, stay healthy.
Productivity and Videoconferencing suites
Changing the office to your home, among others, means that you won’t see your team face-to-face. Videoconferencing tools is the only working way out.
Besides, these tools could come in handy for all those who want to be more productive.
Google Hangouts Meet
Category: videoconferencing tool.
Offer for remote teams: free access to the advanced Hangouts Meet videoconferencing capabilities till July 1, 2020.
This is a videoconferencing tool from the software giant. It helps teams organize video calls with an easy-to-understand interface. Just send a link and forget about any other organizing challenges.
In Italy, this remote working tool was the most downloaded of any category in the first week of March.
Category: videoconferencing and productivity platform.
Offer for remote teams: free premium version of Teams till August 2020. Also, Microsoft lifted the user limits on the free version.
Another tool by the software giant. It quickly allows organizing teamwork with the help of the chat, video calls, and shared access to files.
Microsoft went through an unbelievable increase in conference, meeting, and call usage in China since the end of the first month in 2020. It was then followed by an increase in usage in the USA and other parts of the world as well.
Category: collaboration and productivity platform.
Offer for remote teams: free access to all till July 1, 2020.
Remotely easily maintains a productive working environment with online team meetings, training sessions, calls from customer support service, and sales presentations.
Zoho’s CEO Sridhar Vembu started running his company remotely since the beginning of March.
Category: collaboration tool.
Offer for remote teams: free 90-day licenses to businesses who are not Webex customers. Also, they expended the capabilities of the free offers and included additional features: unlimited usage with no time restrictions, support of up to 100 participants, and toll dial-in.
The tool provides hassle-free video conferencing and calling.
Sri Srinivasan, SVP and GM, Team Collaboration Group at Cisco, stated that they saw an incredible increase in traffic in China, the number of users in Japan, South Korea, and Singapore, average time spent on Webex meetings, and free sing-ups in overall impacted countries.
Category: videoconferencing and collaboration tool.
Offer for remote teams: free access to the tool. Daily, they include new countries to the list of free users and remove 40-minute limits for schools. In China, they expanded their free plans and made an unlimited number of users and meetings.
Zoom is the recognized leader in the videoconferencing category of working tools with the intuitive interface.
Kelly Steckelberg, CFO at Zoom, didn’t give exact numbers in usage increase, but stated that “at the end of January if you took the run rate of our minutes usage at that point, we were on a run rate of a hundred billion annual meeting minutes and that is up pretty significantly since then.”
Besides, this remote working tool became the most downloaded business app in the first half of March in more than a dozen countries, including the USA.
Despite the circumstances, marketing campaigns should not stop. Moreover, some companies can put even more efforts on running them.
Category: email marketing tool.
Offer for remote teams: free accounts for the next three months starting March 2020 for organizations responding to COVID-19 including healthcare, educational, and governmental institutions.
MailerLite will help create your email marketing the way you want it. You will be able to start and run amazing campaigns, grow your subscriber list, personalize, and optimize campaigns as well as track results.
Category: SEO tool.
Offer for remote teams: up to 45% discounts for Netpeak Spider and Checker until April 24, 2020. To get access and a couple of SEO tips, dive into the blog post and choose your promo code while purchasing.
Netpeak Software company develops desktop tools for SEO specialists and webmasters: Netpeak Spider (day-to-day SEO audit, fast issue check, comprehensive analysis, and website scraping) and Netpeak Checker (SERP scraping and data aggregation from top SEO services to analyze and compare websites in bulk).
No matter where you are, staying connected with your customers should be a priority of the highest level. Otherwise, you might simply lose them and, respectively, your profit.
Category: customer support tool.
Offer for remote teams: free for nonprofit organizations that support communities during this hard time. Other organizations can also apply but if they prove that they support others. Also, they offer an extended trial period for all companies and a 50% discount for the first annual subscription.
LiveChat helps stay connected with customers, stay coordinated, and provide instant information. It allows managing multiple websites with just one LiveChat account.
Chats and messengers
Communication is key for any business regardless of the work nature. However, remote teams heavily depend on communication channels.
Category: team communication.
Offer for remote teams: free for teams with up to 10 people. The 50% discount on the annual business plan. The offer is valid until the end of April.
Chanty is a team communication and collaboration tool used by many remote companies around the Globe. Some features include audio and video calls, voice messages, screen sharing, task management, and many others.
Category: office chat app.
Offer for remote teams: no offers available as of July 2020.
Share your business or new project ideas across your teams with the communication and collaboration facilities of Troop Messenger. The workspace messaging tool allows people of in-house/remote to have transparent office communication with its advanced feature stack.
Rather than making teams stick only to the text communication with its instant messaging services, it enables them not to lose the personal touch with its voice-video conversations through video conferencing and audio messaging features.
Appointment scheduling software
Scheduling and running appointments can turn into a challenge when working remotely. The tools from this category easily help do it virtually.
Category: virtual meeting scheduling software.
Offer for remote teams: free forever plan for small teams. 30-day trial for all paid plans. Free access to the native Zoom integration. 10to8 now also offers a 10% discount for accredited higher education institutions that urgently need to move their classes to a safe virtual space.
10to8 is scheduling software for businesses that need to arrange remote meetings, be it virtual staff meetings or video and phone calls with clients.
The software streamlines collaboration between teams, as it allows you to book in meetings in multiple team members’ 10to8 diary. The bookings are automatically synced into everybody’s external calendar so double-bookings and miscommunication can be avoided.
Thanks to the native Zoom integration, each appointment is assigned a meeting link that attendees can access straight from their calendars.
Category: online design tool.
Offer for remote teams: free account with some basic features and templates. Remote teams can create and download infographics, presentations, graphic organizers, social media images, and more during the pandemic to boost their content marketing efforts.
Visme is a drag-and-drop graphic design tool that any member of your remote team can use. Not only you get several free templates in various categories, you can also access millions of free images, download your designs in high-quality JPG format or share them online. This is an ideal tool for both non-designers and designers to create great-looking visual content in minutes.
Do you know and want to add any remote working tools that offer free accounts under the conditions the world faces? Share with us in the comments below.