The past year changed the way businesses operate. Organizations across all industry verticals adopted remote working. From being a niche decision to become an inevitable choice to ensure business continuity,
Up until last year, communication and collaboration were the biggest struggles with working remotely, with 20% of those surveyed by State of Remote Work 2020 facing this challenge. However, this percentage dropped by four points in 2021, and only 16% faced the struggle of communication and collaboration.
A lion’s share of the credit goes to the countless number of remote working tools being launched to overcome even the slightest issue faced in remote work. Businesses adopted remote working tools, trained employees of best practices, and even got remote product development to lighten the blow that the sudden transition may have caused.
2020 became the year that remote working tools saw a huge increase in their demand. While behemoths like Zoom, Basecamp, Slack, Trello and other popular remote working tools saw a spike in demand, many new remote working tools also entered the market.
This post lists down some of the new entrants in the market of remote working tools, as summed by their founders or other representatives.
Carbonfreeconf.com was created by its founder Quentin Kral during the pandemics to help researchers to share their research virtually rather than face-to-face (which was the standard back in the time but is difficult now).
The CarbonFreeConf platform can be used to organize complex virtual meetings between researchers, including many useful tools to share their research more efficiently and in only a few clicks.
The tool is carbon-free because we offset the CO2 emissions created by the virtual conference. The original idea was indeed to drastically reduce the carbon footprint of researchers by not flying to far-away places to give a 10 min talk. It is an all-in-one tool, allowing researchers around the world to create the conference, manage participants, create a website, host the meeting, record the talks, show the posters, and much more.
The founder of the tool says, “I am a researcher myself (astrophysicist), and the platform has already been used several times to host large events.”
Popwork helps managers work better with each individual remote team member by setting up simple and efficient management rituals: weekly one-to-one meetings, monthly step-back sessions, and long-term goals tracking. Popwork helps prepare, lead and follow up on each ritual.
Johann, one of the founders of Popwork says, “We launched the first version of our web app in May 2020 during the first wave of lockdown.”
“We've built Popwork for managers and teams first, not HRs or exec teams - with a focus on asynchronous actions for remote working. As a result, teams from companies such as PrestaShop, Welcome to the Jungle, Too Good to Go, or Accor have adopted our platform”, the founder adds.
SuperTeam is software for you to automate your workflows in seconds by sending an email. You can securely send emails from any email service on any desktop, tablet, or mobile device to automate workflows to task management and scheduling apps. More apps will be supported in the future.
The tool was launched during the pandemic and allowed users to securely automate their workflows by writing 1-2 sentences in an email and sending it to 'Assistant@JoinSuperTeam.com'. After it's automated, that email address will respond with a link to the automated task in the 3rd-party app for you to validate. One doesn’t need to store the data and it works with any Gmail or Microsoft Outlook on any desktop, tablet, or mobile device.
Nick Swekosky, the founder of SuperTeam says, “I read through over 6,000 reviews for plugins or extensions that integrate with Gmail and Microsoft Outlook and realized a pattern of issues across these services. In addition, when interviewing certified experts with Zapier, they indicated the functionality to automate their workflows from their inbox was "watered down" and didn't support all available functionality.”
Zonka Feedback is a leading employee feedback software that enables organizations to capture employee sentiments efficiently. It offers an effective way to measure feedback, gain digital insights, and optimize web experiences accordingly. Getting regular feedback from employees can help engage employees, increase productivity, retention, and teamwork. This remote tool can help organizations gain real insight into how their employees are working.
Zonka Feedback’s employee feedback software enables organizations to build different surveys for different teams, departments, and even various touchpoints. One can create general employee feedback, post-interview surveys, pre-interview surveys, onboarding surveys, and more. There is a wide range of survey templates for anyone to choose from and build quick and engaging feedback surveys.
Additionally, Zonka Feedback can help you run fun quizzes among the employees to keep the workforce happy and engaged. Acting as a breather for employees, this tool can help inculcate an active work culture and reduce employee turnover.
Video Window is an immersive “always-on” video conferencing portal, fostering collaboration and connection, whilst safeguarding mental health and leveling the playing field for all workers.
This remote working tool was originally created to remove frustration and improve human connection. And this need was magnified during the pandemic. That’s when they developed VW Remote to support the WFH transition.
It was launched in 2019 and Video Window Remote for iOS/Android was developed during the pandemic as a direct response to the issues remote workers were facing.
The tool is majorly designed for office common areas and also acts as a secondary screen of remote workers. It’s unique in fostering those spontaneous conversations that lead to a collaboration like looking through a window to your colleagues. It enables you to be “present” whilst still concentrating on work.
3veta is an all-in-one solution that empowers consultants, creators, and service providers to schedule or get booked, host video meetings in the browser, get paid instantly, build a website, and much more.
Iliya Valchanov, the co-founder of 3veta.com, says, “We came up with the idea at the beginning of the pandemic when we saw that different service providers, whose work requires a meeting, struggle to get paid. Our tool is completely all in one, synchronizing the whole work of a professional in one place, while also providing white-labeling (so they can reinforce their brand or personal brand).”
Ashore is a digital proofing and approval tool designed to streamline the creative review process, add clarity to feedback, and make digital collaboration accessible to everyone.
Ashore is unlike any other proofing software because it was built with creatives’ needs in mind. It‘s designed to add context to feedback, shorten the review cycle, and remove the inefficiencies that used to plague it. Because of this, creatives on Ashore get their proofs approved 50% faster.
Cody Miles, founder & CEO of Ashore, says, “I worked as a creative for over a decade, and I constantly struggled to collaborate with clients; the feedback I’d receive was vague, confusing, and often, unusable. After thorough research, I realized there was nothing on the market that solved the problems I was facing, and I saw an opportunity.”
QuillBot is an AI edtech writing platform that provides students, authors, researchers, lawyers, educators, ELLs, bloggers, and anyone whose work depends on efficiently researching and articulating their ideas, with free online writing and research tools to help them become more effective, productive, and confident writers.
The idea was to make writing painless. For anyone who needs to perfectly articulate ideas, overcome writer’s block & procrastination, the tools are game-changers. Whether you're writing emails, essays, or social media posts, QuillBot has your back.
The biggest difference is that it's a one-stop writing platform that helps users with everything from creative storytelling to language refinement to editing for clarity to extracting important info with tools like a Paraphraser, Grammar checker, Summarizer, and Citation generator. So you minimize distractions and don't have to open multiple tabs to access various writing tools.
The tool is an Incident Alert Management platform used by IT teams, including those in Network Operations and Cybersecurity operations. The tool developed by OnPage is used to orchestrate the distribution of critical alerts to the right team in real-time when critical IT infrastructure issues occur.
Think of it as a separate tool that delivers high-priority mobile alerts to IT specialists when the server goes down, or when a security threat is detected. The right teams receive intrusive, hard-to-ignore mobile alerts for events that require immediate attention. The system automates the process of delivering alerts to the right team member, based on pre-configured alerting policies and on-call schedules. The system also automates escalation of alerts if the first on-call person doesn't acknowledge. The alerts rise above the noise (emails, SMS, other notifications) and ensure that they're delivered promptly.
The tool was conceptualized by the founder and CEO, Judit Sharon. The team says, “We've been in the market for almost a decade now, however, we've experienced unparallel traction during this pandemic. I must mention here that our tool has been instrumental in simplifying incident alert management and relieving stress during the pandemic.”
The tool has accelerated the shift towards a digital-first model during COVID by providing engineers working remotely with a reliable and fast way to resolve incidents that may arise along their digital transformation journey.
Document360 is a knowledge base solution for SaaS enterprises that improve efficiency while your team works remotely.
Document360 helps create a dedicated internal knowledge base for employees. It improves the overall efficiency of the company, be it a traditional, remote, or hybrid model.
This is possible because it enables remote developers or employees to collaborate and create content in a streamlined manner.
Exclusive knowledge bases are crucial in organizations, especially the ones operating in a remote setup. It becomes the main reference point for your teams.
The centralized information management eases collaboration and enhances productivity.
Gowri Ramkumar, VP of Sales and Customer Support, Kovai.co, endorses Document360 and says, “As a SaaS enterprise, Kovai.co (the parent company of Document360) was on the lookout for a powerful software documentation tool during their early years.
When the company couldn’t find a suitable tool that overcame the challenges of traditional documentation software, they decided to build one, with SaaS companies as their target users.
Document360 was launched in 2018 and has matured extremely well in a short period of time. The software facilitates the end-to-end employee onboarding process and their smooth integration with third-party tools improves the quality of remote work.”
In 2010, Tomek and his three brothers decided to establish the first company that offers the production and service of photo booths in Poland. Within a few years, PhotoAiD.com became the leader of the passport photo market in Central Europe. But everything changed with the pandemic. Travel became very complicated, and getting a visa or renewing a passport was a chore you ran away from. That's why they decided to simplify the process as much as possible, developing the world's largest AI-based online service for taking biometric photos of passports, IDs, and visas using just a smartphone.
Tomek says, “We have managed to simplify and reduce the costs, both economic and time, of a process that is as bureaucratic as it is necessary.”
Here is what PhotoAid’s users say about the tool:
"First of all, this is such a needed service and an efficient tool to help you in the process of renewing official documents or IDs. Secondly, the customer service is amazing! I needed a Romanian ID photo for ID through a power of attorney, and the requirement is that the photo must be 3x4cm with a 7mm white baseband .. so complicated! The app did not have this option available, so I emailed them asking if they do offer it. I did not expect a reply, to be honest. I got the reply within minutes, and the photos were ready in just 5 minutes or so... I had to ask for a revision after I got a clarification from the Romanian consulate, and again they were very prompt and helped me revise the photos.. David and Maciej were the people that helped me out, and they are deserving of all the praise. Thank you again, and I will recommend you guys in our community."
Developed by industrial psychologist PhDs, SYNCHRONISTI is designed to help the industrial-age workforce transition into the information age. Synchronisti creates workspaces that are enhanced with productivity tools to improve your focus and efficiency. The program utilizes cognitive research methods, industrial dynamics, and organizational psychology to balance the individual's mental health with their work tasks in today's world of continuous distraction. Beyond an app, it includes cutting-edge design education, so every participant acquires critical design skills for self-sufficiency in a future world without jobs.
InVideo has been used by several corporate organizations and news & media channels to edit videos online and share them on their respective social media handles or present at webinars. InVideo aims at making the task of video creation easy so that anyone without much experience in the field can create amazing videos.
During the pandemic, InVideo has helped several organizations achieve their video marketing goals with 5000+ hand-crafted templates. These templates save you the time and need for detailed consultation before making videos. It allows you to share your creations with everyone on collaborating apps and tools as well.
Features that made it easier to use during the pandemic:
• 5000+ Pre-Made/Handcrafted Templates
• 8M+ iStock Media Library
• 1M+ Premium Media Library
• 3M+ Standard Media Library
• 100+ Foreign Languages
• 24*7 Live Customer Support Service
Businesses can use Blinq to create consistent brand experiences by controlling each card's brand ID and exactly what information can and can’t be shared on a remote developer, manager, or other employee's card. If a company detail changes, this can be updated instantaneously across all cards from a unified dashboard.
Users also have the option to integrate the existing CRM system and internal directory with Blinq so each new contact is automatically logged and each new employee can be onboarded seamlessly.
Here’s an insight from the workers at Blinq:
“At Blinq, we want to arm businesses and teams with tools that help them share who they are, with anyone, wherever they go. To help them grow their networks quickly and effectively while providing a heap of other benefits to nurture those new relationships to convert them into customers.
A digital business card doesn’t just capture your logo and title; you can use your digital business card to share exactly who you are and what you’re all about by sharing accreditations, links to your social accounts, testimonials, calendar availability, and more.”
Avoma is your all-in-one meeting assistant that will make organizing and attending meetings all the more easier. With meeting management, meeting assistant, meeting collaboration, and meeting intelligence, Avoma has it all.
Prepare agendas, collaborate on note-taking tasks, sync events with your calendar, and more. Avoma has AI-generated summary notes that ensure you take away the most important points of every meeting.
Avoma can be used by anyone, if you need to collaborate with teams, generate notes for other participants, gain insights from data within the platform, then this is for you. Avoma has countless integrations, so you never run out of options.
And to emphasize Avoma’s organization, the name is an acronym for ‘A Very Organized Meeting Assistant’, short and sweet, making work life a whole lot smoother.
nTask is an all-in-one project management software used by more than 300,000 teams to manage their work in a productive manner. It is used by Enterprises, government organizations, SME's, NGO's, construction companies, engineers, and many other industries for complete project management. The platform provides users the ability to create tasks, manage projects, organize documents, team chat, risk management, and organize workflows with Gantt charts.
The idea behind nTask is to have a single workspace for anything you and your team do for project management. Whether it is a simple project or a complex matrix project, nTask can help you to manage it all. It is suitable for remote teams to get work done in a timely manner.
This tool has provided distributed teams to communicate on their projects, and to assign, organize, analyze projects to make them a success. Unlike other project management software, this tool is easy to use, and offers a free basic plan to test out its benefits for your team.
CloudDesk software for monitoring work from home employees automatically records all internet activities of all remote employees up to the second. The software comes with all the standard features that you need to track and monitor employees precisely. CloudDesk is a powerful yet user-friendly software for businesses of all sizes that monitors employee activity without violating their privacy.
With real-time activity tracking, time tracking, employee facial verification, optional screenshot, web, and app usage record, GPS tracking. And many more the software ensures you know how your employees are working when they are working from a distributed location.
CloudDesk is a universal, ideal monitoring software for both on-site and off-site employees to optimize workforce efficiency, record working hours, and keep track of employee activities performed on the computer.
TimeCamp is an automatic time tracking software that also offers a free time card calculator, which is excellent support for paying remote employees accurately.
The tool tracks time in the background and seamlessly fills the timesheets with time entries and if the feature is enabled, with daily activities. With just a few simple clicks, users can copy their timesheets to other days, saving them precious hours for what really matters at work.
TimeCamp also offers attendance management features. Managers receive employees’ timesheets; they can accept or reject them, leaving a note of what should be done to change their status. Users can also change the types of days, choosing from a standard one, remote work, vacation, holiday, sick leave, and so on. The attendance panel also shows them their yearly absence stats.
On An Ending Note
These are some of the top remote-working tools that made it easier for remote employees to keep up with their work during the pandemic. While major companies kept their focus on the top remote-working tools like Basecamp, Zoom, Slack, and others, these are some tools that helped tackle smaller tasks.
Whether it was about collaboration, managing documents, proofreading documents, organizing conferences, or other tasks, these remote working tools certainly helped soften the blow on businesses and individuals by the sudden work from home transition.