“The great growling engine of change - technology.” - Alvin Toffler
2020 has witnessed the biggest change in the history of how businesses function. With the entire world shut and locked inside their homes, businesses were left with no other option but to somehow manage their operations with their teams scattered in different places. This led to the biggest experiment of remote work that the human race could ever imagine.
And, what helped them in this experiment? Well, we all know the answer.
Thanks to technology, it was possible for businesses to function remotely after a few initial hiccups of setting up remote teams. The wave of online collaboration tools that had already started in the past decade emerged as saviors pre-designed to suit today’s needs. With the help of these remote collaboration tools, businesses managed their functioning, no matter where their employees were.
This shift to remote collaboration tools has become an essential item for businesses in today's times. Since the future will revolve around the 'work from home culture,' companies need to examine the best options to keep business afloat seriously.
Additionally, with the market flooded with options, it is virtually impossible to try every tool and then find the one that fits your business needs. To help you, we've compiled 7 must-try remote collaboration tools for small businesses in 2021. (Trust us; they are definitely worth a shot!)
Top 7 remote collaboration tools for businesses in 2021
ProofHub is one of the best online collaboration tools available in the market today. It comes with a built-in chat app to bring all communication under one roof. It also comes with a dedicated space to carry out real-time discussions.
ProofHub also has an online proofing tool, which has been designed specifically for teams to streamline collaboration over creative works. You can instantly share files, add collaborators to proof, review and approve files. Users can also add comments to them, highlight changes using markup tools, and more!
Here's a list of features that make ProofHub an excellent option for small businesses:
- Effortless task management
- Simple workflows and kanban boards
- Ability to customize roles and reports
- Comprehensive Gantt charts and project timelines
- Supports file sharing and online collaborations
- Easy third-party integrations
Fyle is an expense management software that can make expense reporting and reimbursement collaboration seamless between the finance team and employees. The software is cloud-based, which means even if a business's workforce isn't co-located anymore, they can still have access to all expense data.
Fyle takes care of all the mundane expense reporting, tracking, and management tasks. It enables employees to report their expenses, such as cell phone bills, subscription fees, etc., in real-time. With Fyle, Finance teams and approvers can also access all employee expense reports and necessary documents to complete the reimbursement process.
Fyle helps finance teams enforce company policies rigorously. It can also curb potential fraud and help increase expense policy compliance. It also automatically reconciles credit card transactions, expenses, and receipts to reduce manual work for your finance team.
Why Fyle is perfect for expense reporting and employee expense reimbursements:
- Multiple easy expense reporting options
- Instant receipt scanning feature with OCR technology
- Effortless expense tracking for mileage, per diems, and cash advances
- On-click corporate credit card reconciliations
- Complete digital audit trails for all expenses and expense reports
- Real-time policy checks to ensure all expenses comply with set business rules
- Direct and seamless integrations with major HRMS and accounting softwares
- Automatable and customizable expense approval workflows
- Accurate spend insights and expense data analytics
Simple, powerful, and effective - that’s what describes Chanty the best. Chanty is a simple app designed for small businesses to streamline the way their teams communicate. One of the highlights of the Chanty app is the AI algorithm that predicts response while you chat.
Additionally, you can use Chanty to make audio and video calls. It also has an inbuilt task manager that lets you plan your tasks like a pro. Here are some of the other features that make Chanty an excellent option for small businesses:
- Teambooks for tasks, messages, and other important information
- Pins and @ mentions
- Code snippets
- Board-view for tasks
- Permissions and roles
- Threaded discussions
- Voice messaging
Within a short span of time, Monday.com has become one of the most popular collaboration tools for businesses. Winner of numerous awards, Monday.com is unique in its capacity to automate repetitive tasks. Further, project templates work as a great time-saving solution for teams.
Monday.com comes with various features like the discussion board to boost team collaborations. It comes with a time tracking tool that tracks task dependencies and project deadlines. It also comes with several useful integrations that help automate all things mundane. All these aspects put together make Monday.com a great, cost-effective option for small businesses.
Here is a look at some of Monday.com’s winning features:
- Dashboards and project overview
- Deadline views
- Team assigning
- Group messaging
- Third-party integrations
Over the years, Slack has become synonymous with office communication. Today, Slack is known to be a simple, no-nonsense tool built to improve team productivity and collaboration.
Slack lets you create channels and organize your communications as you want to. It also has automation features that let you streamline your communication and routine activities. Besides this, it also has a powerful search option so you can search through your conversations and find everything fast
Major highlights of Slack include:
- Automation options
- Audio and video conferencing
- File sharing
- Real-time notifications
- Search feature
- Call routing and recording
Trello is one of the most famous collaboration tools on this list. What separates this online collaboration tool from the others is its simplicity and ease of use. Trello brings into practice the kanban methodology of collaboration in projects.It also comes with beautiful and visually appealing boards.
It lets you create boards representing different stages of the project. You can add tasks and assign them to team members to know their assigned work. As you progress in the project, you can move tasks from one stage to another.
Here’s a look at some of the features in Trello that make it popular:
- Easy drag and drop for task management
- File management
- Labels, tags, and comments
- Progress Meter Checklist
- Cards record archive
- Data filters
- Activity logs
For small businesses, time is money. Filestage helps teams save countless hours that employees earlier spent on emails and switching from one app to another. Filestage, as the name suggests, is a collaboration app specifically designed for making the review and approval process of files more streamlined.
With Filestage, you can collaborate on images, audio files, videos, and even PDF documents. It comes with task management functionalities, so you don’t need multiple apps. It also has Google Sheets integration, which helps organize the storage and transfer of data properly.
Here’s a peep into the most amazing features that Filestage has to offer:
- File version management
- Integrated to-do lists
- Real-time collaboration
- Comment without registering
- Export comments
- Custom branding
- Approval workflows
Flock is a fantastic collaboration tool for small businesses. Screen sharing, audio and video conferencing, universal search, and whatnot! Flock promises to bring together all the aspects of team collaboration under one roof.
Flock makes teams more productive by giving a central place for task management, note sharing, conducting polls, and more. Besides this, here are some of the features that Flock brings to boost a culture of collaboration and productivity in small businesses:
- Voice notes
- Integrated search
- File sharing
- User permissions
- Admin controls
- Channel messaging
On A Concluding Note
This sums up our list of remote collaboration tools that are extremely handy for small businesses. Apart from bringing together remote teams and making them more productive, these tools are highly cost-effective too.
If you are an SMB looking to get over the aftermaths of COVID-19, just like countless others, investing in any of these remote collaboration tools is ideal.
Go ahead, give them a try, and see which one fits the best for your team. Good luck!