New to async or remote work? These tools will help
A rapid transition into remote work back in 2020 left many startups with toothpicks and glue instead of tried-and-true tech. If you want to work in a truly remote-first environment, those solutions won't cut it, especially in times of economic uncertainty.
As we head into 2023, we at Slite wanted to share some of what works for our fully-remote team, and why. This isn't a comprehensive list, but it is a roadmap for other small-to-medium size, remote-first teams to get intentional about the tools they use. With a hardworking toolstack, you'll keep your tasks focused and your budget down, so you can focus on the work that truly matters.
What: General communication tools that facilitate day-to-day messaging across all teams.
Why: As much as we promote async-first work, sometimes you do need to check in live. Where do you go to say hello in the morning and goodbye in the evening? How can you share your weekend activities? What if there's an issue and you need all hands on deck?
Remember: as you add to your ecosystem, check for integrations with your core communication tools!
What: You need a space to track deadlines, assignments and progress. If you can, use the same tools across teams to promote transparency and collaboration.
Why: Remote teams face challenges keeping track of progress as team members don’t talk face-to-face every day –– but a dedicated tool provides insights no matter what.
What: You need somewhere to make important decisions, brainstorm process and build a knowledge base for your team.
Why: Companies do not run without a place to store and update key information. This is just as true in the office as with remote teams. However, on remote teams there is no safety net of asking the friendly person next to you that’s been there longer. You need a central, up-to-date platform.
What: Asynchronous video tools allow you to communicate in a different way than text, but still on your own time. You can record meetings, provide transcriptions and even embed videos into docs or on your website.
Why: Chances are that at least once a week you have a scenario where video is better than text. It opens up possibilities like new feature walkthroughs, QA, and presentations, without forcing a synchronous meeting.
See above for how we used Loom to demo Collections in Slite.
What: An app that makes it easy for distributed teams to schedule synchronous events and block out working hours across time zones.
Why: Keeping track of everyone’s working hours, workflow and free time is a challenge that gets harder with every new hire.
While task managers and schedulers work for the every day, 1:1s and performance reviews are more special. Consider an app that supports keeping performance goals, people ops and meeting notes together.
What: An app that keeps all feedback documents in one place, and makes sharing sensitive information privately a breeze.
What: While internal tools are where remote teams live, sometimes you need to talk to people that don’t work at your company –– especially leads and customers. Email works great but…
Why: You need a tool that works specifically for remote teams, so you can keep track of messages and collaborate right in the inbox.
What: Software that helps keep team wellness and people operations running smoothly.
Why: If you have covered all the bases above, you’ll be in a good place on a weekly basis. But the team-centric parts of the business that happen weekly or monthly need attention, too.
What: It’s worth considering a software or integration that encourages people to congratulate each other on growth.
Why: When you work in an office, it’s easy to say “well done!” during the course of the day, after a big meeting, or when you’re all at team lunch. Remote, even day-to-day praise takes more work. But praise is key to keeping employees feeling engaged and seen by their teammates.
What: These tools help keep money flowing exactly as it should, across borders.
Why: Remote teams need to think about how to handle international payments smoothly, and also face more difficulties approving expenses.
What: A software to coordinate all the different people involved in hiring and all your candidates, no matter what timezone or team you are hiring for.
Why: Hiring is a difficult process for any company. As an all-remote team, you need someplace that is secure, easy to manage and handles everything from scheduling to candidate decisions.
From 2020-2022 many companies learned that doing remote work takes a lot more software than being in an office does. For us at Slite, it’s important that we have a workflow that supports fully remote work and is tailored to distributed teams.
Further, we believe that remote opens the possibility to better ways of working. Software is what makes this possible, and it’s the heart of our company in every way.
Lauren Christiansen is a freelance marketer with a passion for content that helps teams work better, together. While she specializes in B2B SaaS professionally, in her spare time you can find her unplugged and hiking in the woods of New England.