According to Finance Online, 35% of employees are willing to switch careers to work fully remotely. So, while remote working has grown substantially in recent times, there is still plenty of room to attract the growing cohort of potential remote workers to your business.
At NoHQ, we know a thing or two about what it takes to grow a remote working company effectively. Our educational platform is essentially a wiki of remote work tools. Our always-advancing resources help remote work companies take the next leap forward in their journey!\
In this guide, we’ll discuss why your business needs remote work software and what to consider when choosing the right virtual software for you. Then, we’ll break down the best remote work software on the market. Let’s go!
What is Remote Work Software?
Remote work software (i.e., virtual work software) can help remote teams succeed by supporting communication, even if teams are states or nations apart.
Remote work software may refer to (but isn’t limited to):
- Communication software
- Collaboration tools
- Development tools
- Organization tools
- Project management tools
Ideally, you’ll want your remote work software to establish a shared online workspace that can benefit your remote workers and company employees as a whole.
Why is Remote Work Software Important?
Here are several ways in which remote work software can benefit you:
- Provides clarity to all team members, regardless of location.
- Allows you to reduce or even eliminate communication gaps.
- Can make project management much easier.
Criteria to Consider When Choosing a Remote Work Software
When looking for the right software for your virtual team, you’ll want to look for specific traits that can distinguish it from competitors.
How Easy is it to Use?
Of course, your remote work software should have the right level of complexity. While you want to ensure the software has tools with an adequate degree of sophistication, you won’t want one that’s especially difficult to use or administer. Suitable software will offer good security and access control without becoming a headache to use.
How Secure is it?
Ensure you choose a software that offers encryption and secure sharing for file storage. For example, email tools must include spam control and phishing control, as a minimum.
Further, you’ll want tools that allow you to create lengthy and complex passwords with the help of multi-factor authentication. It goes without saying that cyber security is a must for any business in the 2020s.
How Scalable is it?
Scalability is key for any business expecting significant growth in the near- to -mid-future. As your company scales, adding more users and functions will prove essential to keeping things running smoothly.
Certain remote work software may scale in a more suitable way for your business than others, depending on your hopes/expectations. Scalable software can deal with increased workloads easily (e.g., you can pay a relatively small fee to increase your storage or the number of users with access to your account, channel etc.).
How Does it Work With Other Software/tools?
Integrations also matter. Be sure that the virtual work software you have in mind will work well with other tools. In some cases, remote work software comes with native integrations (i.e., applications can directly integrate through APIs). However, many rely primarily on third-party integrations.
Naturally, you’ll want to consider what native and third-party integrations a virtual work software tool offers. Consider what integrations your company might need for its day-to-day operations and even those that may prove useful as you expand.
Top Remote Work Software
We’ll now take a look at the six best remote work tools on the market. First, here are the key takeaways:
- NoHQ - Perfect for those who want access to all the best remote work tools in one place.
- Gmail - For businesses who like email and the more conventional working approaches offered by this household name, consider Gmail.
- Slack - Great for remote work collaboration with direct communication.
- ClickUp - Ideal for businesses seeking flexible and effective project management solutions.
- Trello - Wonderful solution if you’re a small business with tasks that don't require much or any customization.
- Asana - Great tool for small teams with limited financial resources or/and those seeking customizability.
NoHQ helps founders develop and implement remote strategies. Along with our Toolkit (wiki of remote work tools), we offer actionable guides and advice from top-of-the-market remote-first organizations.
NoHQ provides a comprehensive toolkit (think of it as the wiki of remote work tools) ranging from admin to communication to task management tools.
We also post a plethora of guides covering everything remote work-related!
Access our community site to connect with industry leaders. Through our hangout spot, members can engage with similar-minded individuals.
NoHQ is free to use as standard, meaning you can access our remote work toolkit and many remote work guides without spending a penny. However, paid content is available (e.g., sponsorship).
Pros and Cons
- Free to use
- Allows you to connect with other remote work enthusiasts, including industry leaders
- Acts as a wiki of remote tools
- Less features than some other options
Everyone knows Gmail. And, it goes without saying that it’s often an indispensable tool for companies with remote workers.
You can use Gmail to keep in regular contact with employees and exchange important documents. Also, making use of Google Drive can go hand-in-hand with your Gmail use.
- High-grade security and spam filtering
Along with filtering spam effectively, Gmail’s use of the Google Cloud Platform enables it to offer a very high standard of online security.
- High degree of customization
Most people use Gmail’s interface as standard but for companies, its high degree of customization can prove very useful.
- Plenty of storage space
Gmail offers 15GB of storage as standard. So, unless you’re sending large image or video files regularly, you needn’t worry about running out of space any time soon. Paid plans allow you to save more files.
Gmail is free as standard. However, there exist four paid options, increasing in increments of $6 per month until you reach the Enterprise package. You must contact Google to receive a quote for a tailored Enterprise plan.
Pros and Cons
- Free edition is advanced and customizable
- High level of security
- Mobile access
- Advertising appears on Gmail
- Help from the help center and support team can be limited
- Free edition may not be sufficient for some businesses
Slack is a widely popular tool in the remote workspace. This instant messaging platform enables direct messaging with fellow employees and management within a company, as well as group chats. Slack also lets you send attachments and utilize notifications.
Slack channels can act as professional group chats for teams to collaborate, communicate, share work, and much more.
As opposed to simulating full work meetings, huddles help you recreate short, informal work-related office discussions. You can work with colleagues in real-time using multi-person screen sharing, a notes thread, and more.
Record clips directed to your colleagues/employees to provide updates and announcements. Aside from posting video or screen recordings, you can also post audio.
While there is a free edition, most companies will want to consider the Pro or Business+ editions. As with Gmail, there is an enterprise option too.
Pros and Cons
- Fantastic for communication and organization with remote workers
- Make quick calls with ease (i.e., huddles)
- Public and private channels available to help meet a range of business needs
- Searching for a specific word or file can be challenging
- Glitches can occur sometimes when uploading/saving photos
- High battery consumption
This cloud-based collaboration/project management tool is well-suited to a range of businesses from various industries. You can use ClickUp to plan, track, and manage work with flexible and effective project management solutions.
You can plan, organize, and collaborate on your projects with advanced and customizable task management.
You can use ClickUp to create trackable goals related to your company’s work. By setting and monitoring goals with clear timelines and specified targets, you’ll improve your chances of hitting goals on time.
Whiteboards enable visual collaboration to bring team ideas to life. Promoted as the world’s only digital whiteboard, this feature may prove a huge asset to growing your business internationally.
As you can see, ClickUp offers a similar set of pricing options to the other remote work software on this list. The $12 business edition is the most popular, although rapidly growing or medium-sized businesses may want to consider a higher-paid option.
Pros and Cons
- Ease of use
- Powerful features
- Great overall design
- May be considered too complex for some businesses/individuals
- Errors can occur when making a new list
- Recurring tasks can be buggy
Trello is a well-suited list-making application for individuals or small businesses with tasks that require minimal customization.
Use Trello to view team projects from any angle namely Board, Calendar, Dashboard, Timeline, Table, Map, and Workspace views. These views can give you fresh insights into each work task.
You can use Trello to automate tasks. Trello uses powerful automation with each Trello board.
Benefit from a whole host of power-ups ranging from analytics & reporting to developer tools and file management, to name a few.
Along with a free edition, there is a $5 Standard and $10 Premium package. The Enterprise package begins at a peak of $17.50 per user/month for 50 users. However, as the number of users increases, the cost comes down, reaching $7.38 per user/month for 5,000 users. That said, you’ll need to inquire about a quote if you want software for over 5,000 users.
Pros and Cons
- Top-notch search ability
- Well-designed and easy to use
- Great for maintaining progress and hitting targets
- Risk of accidental drag/move/delete of cards can be a concern
- Archived tasks not visible on the calendar
- No free trial for paid options
Asana is a fantastic project/work management tool enabling remote teams to communicate asynchronously. Asana’s templates make it simple for employees and management to keep track of project and work progress.
Use shared projects to organize work in the form of lists or kanban boards.
Among the very helpful reporting features offered by Asana is the goal feature that you can use to set, track, and manage business goals.
Creating Asana teams can help you organize projects while also connecting teammates through a shared calendar and discussions. Teams also let companies determine team privacy settings.
A basic, free edition exists. However, businesses should consider the Premium or Business packages or even the Enterprise option for larger businesses seeking greater security, control, and customer support.
Pros and Cons
- Ease of use
- Superb functionality additions with the paid editions
- Helps businesses reduce their reliance on Email and other unnecessary communication
- Tickets can become lost or buried
- Inability to copy tasks to another project when using mobile
- Notifications can be delayed on occasion
In today’s guide, we’ve explained what remote work software is, why it matters, and what criteria to consider when finding the right option(s) for you. We’ve also explored the top six remote work software options in 2023!
While talent is everywhere, opportunity is not. NoHQ can help you build successful remote strategies not only with our toolkits but actionable guides and advice from high-quality remote-first organizations!