33 Must-Have Remote Work Tools

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33 Must-Have Remote Work Tools
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  • Post last modified:April 18, 2021

In the last few months, hundreds of thousands of companies rolled out mandatory work from home policies amid the spread of Covid-19. It’s realistic to assume that shifting to remote work will become the new normal for many of us for a while. But to maintain or even improve your productivity, you need the right remote work tools.

Remote Work Tools

Here at MediaDigi, we are working entirely remotely for over three years. I’m Daniel. I will help you figure out which remote work tools your company needs to set up a remote working arrangement, with essential remote work tools and products that will keep your remote employees engaged, productive, and most important, safe.

1. Team Communication Tools

1.1. Slack [Get Slack]

Slack it’s a team messaging app on steroids. You can centralize all your team conversations, including document attachments, calendars, and other information through what Slack calls integrations.

We are using Slack for all day-to-day communications between team members. It has apps for Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, macOS, and it can also be used in the browser. Here is a step-by-step guide for installing and running Slack.

Slack - Team Communication Tool
Slack – Team Communication Tool

The slack free version includes:

  • Search and browse the 10000 most recent messages
  • 10 integrations (like Twitter, Google Calendar, Dropbox, and many more)
  • Free native apps for iOS, Android, Mac Desktop & Windows Desktop
  • 5Gb storage space for messages and files in the Free version
  • File sharing – All the public files your team shares are kept in one place
  • 1:1 voice and video calls between teammates

1.2 Microsoft Teams [Get Microsoft Team]

Microsoft Teams - Team Communication Tools
Microsoft Teams – Team Communication Tools

Microsoft Teams is the main competitor of Slack. If you are using Office 365 in your organization, I recommend you go with Microsoft Teams as the integration is seamless.

According to TechAgainstCoronaVirus.com, Microsoft is offering a free six-month trial globally for Microsoft Teams’ premium tier. The tier was originally designed to enable hospitals, schools, and businesses in China to get up and running quickly on Microsoft Teams, and that tier is now available globally.

1.3. Skype [Get Skype]

Before going with Slack, we’ve used Skype for all our team communication and conference needs. Now we are using it to keep in contact with external contractors and customers.

You can use Skype for free or purchase “Skype credits,” which allow you to receive and make calls to landlines and cell phones from your Skype account. It comes with apps for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android, or you can use it from the browser with some functions limited.

Skype - Team Collaboration Tool
Skype – Team Collaboration Tool

Other team communication tools you can use: Facebook Workplace, Whatsapp for Business.

2. Conference Tools

When working remotely is important to keep your team aligned with the organization’s goals.

2.1 Zoom [Get Zoom]

Zoom comes in handy for multi-participant meetings that work remotely.

With a free Zoom plan, you can host conferences with up to 100 participants and have 1 to 1 unlimited meeting but come with a 40 mins limit on group meetings of three or more participants. This limit goes away on Business and Enterprise plans.

Zoom Conference Tool
Zoom Conference Tool

Image Source

2.2 Whereby [Get Whereby]

Whereby Conference Tool
Whereby Conference Tool

Image source

The Whereby app is a nice little tool for videoconferencing and remote meetings. It can be used entirely in your browser without installing an app, just a small browser extension.

You can hold a video call with up to 4 people and even share your screen with the participants.

Other video conferencing tools: Cisco Webex, Google Meet, Google Hangouts, Skype.

3. Office Suite Tools

There are plans, projects, and documents in each company that you need to share with your coworkers. Office Suite remote work tools allow you to work remotely and collaborate on sight without having to email documents back and forth.

3.1 Google Suite [Get Google Suite]

G Suite is a suite of cloud computing, productivity, collaboration tools, software, and products developed by Google Cloud. You have Business Email, Docs, Calendar, Meet, Drive, and other useful tools under one account.

You can easily create, share and collaborate with your team on documents. This is the solution we are using for over 3 years, and we are thrilled with it.

G Suite offers three main plans: Basic, which costs $6/user/month and comes with 30GB of Google Drive storage; Business, which costs $12/user/month and provides unlimited storage and extra security and admin controls; and Enterprise, with unlimited storage and advanced controls, which costs $25/user/month.

Google Suite Office Tools
Google Suite – Office Tools

* We have 20% discount codes for Google Suite on the 1st year of usage. Contact us as we can not share them publicly. 

3.2 Office 365 [Get Office 365]

Office 365 is a cloud-based subscription to a suite of Office programs like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive Outlook, Publisher, and Access.

Microsoft provides Office client apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, and its web-based apps work across browsers.

Office 365 business subscriptions range from $5 per user per month for the most basic version, Office 365 Business Essentials, to $35 per user per month for Office 365 E5, the most feature-packed version enterprises. You may read a head-to-head comparison with G Suite here.

Office 365 Suite -Remote Work Tools
Office 365 Suite – Office Suite Tools

Other office suite tools you can use: Zoho.

4. Time Tracking and Productivity Tools

Employee time tracking software allows your team to track work hours spent on every single project and task. As a project manager, you can see exactly which member is productive and stay focused and which one needs help.

It would help if you discussed these tools with your teammates about privacy matters (you can configure them to take screenshots at given intervals, track visited websites, etc.).

4.1 Hubstaff [Get Hubstaff]

Hubstaff is a time tracking remote tool that utilizes a desktop app to record time. Users select the project they are working on and begin the timer.

The app will then record various information, capture random screenshots (an option that can be customized or turned off), track activity (based on keyboard and mouse usage) along with applications used and URLs visited.

Hubstaff is free for one user. For team plans, it starts at $7/user/month. The Hubstaff client can be installed on Windows, Linux, macOS, Chrome OS, iOS, Android.

Hubstaff - Time Tracking and Productivity Tools
Hubstaff – Time Tracking and Productivity Tools

4.2 TimeDoctor [Get TimeDoctor]

TimeDoctor is very similar to Hubstaff. It gives you detailed insights into how you spend your time to know where your weaknesses are and can improve them.

We haven’t used TimeDoctor in our organization, but we know others who are happy with the results. Regarding price, it starts at $12/month for a user, goes up to $49/month for up to 5 users, and continues based on your needs.

TimeDoctor can be used on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and Google Chrome extension.

TimeDoctor - Time Tracking and Productivity Tools (Remote Work Tools)
TimeDoctor – Time Tracking and Productivity Tools

Other time tracking and productivity tools: Toggl.

4.3 Frevvo [Get Frevvo]

Frevvo Workflow Designer
Frevvo Workflow Designer

Frevvo is a workflow automation tool used by organizations worldwide to automate routine workflows such as travel authorization, leave approval, and purchase orders using simple, visual designers and wizards. … Forms and workflows automatically work on all mobile devices and can be customized by designers.

5. Project Management Tools

Many project management tools come in different flavors. Over time we tested many of them, but we decided to use only 2: Asana and Trello.

5.1 Asana [Get Asana]

Asana Project Management Tool
Asana Project Management Tool

Asana has been servicing individuals, small and big firms with easy communication and work style. It helps employers effectively monitor work progress and ensure that workers stay on track.

With Asana, teams can monitor workflow, stay organized, and be informed on available or pending results. The application allows for posting or revisiting past work and making comments or reviews on tasks.

5.2 Trello [Get Trello]

When it comes to projects that are not complex, you might want to take a second look at Trello. With its design set around cards and boards, you can hardly miss anything.

It helps you keep all your work in check and share them easily. The application makes working with it not only easy but also allows integration with other services and applications.

You don’t have to install anything as you can use Trello in your browser, but it comes with iOS and Android apps if you take it to go.

Trello Project Management Tool
Trello Project Management Tool

The free version allows unlimited personal boards, cards, lists, and 10 team boards. On a business plan which is $9,99 per month for each user, you get unlimited team boards and other features.

Other project management tools: Monday.com

6. Password Management Tools

As most of the services move into the cloud, we get more and more passwords we have to remember. If we consider that we use these tools on our computers, laptops, and mobile phones and share them with our coworkers, a password manager is mandatory.

6.1 LastPass [Get LastPass]

LastPass - Password Management Tool (Remote Work Tools)
LastPass – Password Management Tool

With LastPass, you do not need to bother about your passwords. Not only does it help you create strong, reliable, and safe passwords, it also saves them for you. Now you can easily do what you have to do and not bother about passwords across your many applications. Or you can share a password with a coworker in seconds.

That not being all it offers, amazingly, it can recall information and help you avoid the stress of filling forms or handling payment details.

The free plan comes with a vault for every user, one-to-one sharing access on all devices, and almost any other feature you need. Business plans start at $4/user/month and are suitable for up to 50 users.

6.2 Keepass [Get KeePass]

KeePass is a free, open-source password manager, which helps you to manage your passwords securely. You can store all your passwords in one database, which is locked with a master key.

Keepass - Password Management Tool
Keepass – Password Management Tool

The big difference between LastPass and KeePass is that KeePass stores the passwords in a local database and not in the cloud. However, you can have the passwords available on all the devices if you store the database in a cloud service like Dropbox, but it adds a security issue.

Other password management tools: 1Password (they removed the 30 days limit to a business plan), Dashlane, RoboForm.

7. Cloud File Hosting Services

If you don’t yet have a service for storing and syncing your data in the cloud, you should seriously consider one.

Which you choose depends on the kinds of files you store, how much security you need, whether you plan to collaborate with other people, and the devices you use.

7.1 DropBox [Get DropBox]

Dropbox is a cloud storage service, which means you can copy your files to the cloud and access them later, even if you’re using a different device. Also, you can share and synchronize them with your coworkers.

The Free plan comes with 2GB of storage, limited sync, and no viewer history. The next individual plan is Plus, which costs 11,9 euros when paid monthly and comes with 2TB of storage.

If we talk about business plans, the standard one is 12 Eur/user/month and comes with 5TB of storage and sharing and collaboration tools. I consider DropBox to be a must-have remote work tool. More details here.

DropBox - Cloud File Hosting Service
DropBox – Cloud File Hosting Service

Image source

7.2 Google Drive [Get Google Drive]

Google Drive - Cloud File Hosting Service
Google Drive – Cloud File Hosting Service

The personal plan of Google Drive allows you to store, share and access your files from any device, including the browser, and comes with 15GB free storage.

The business version is part of Google Suite and comes with Google Docs and other tools. It starts at $8/user/month for 30GB storage space.

Other cloud file hosting services: OneDrive from Microsoft, Sync.com, Box.com, Mega.co.nz

8. Remote access Tools

When you transfer your work remotely, your access to other devices is mandatory. Maybe there are files on your computer in the office or tools that work only on that particular computer etc. That’s where remote access tools come in handy, helping you access and use the devices like you were in front of them.

8.1 TeamViewer [Get TeamViewer]

TeamViewer - Remote access Tools (Remote Work Tools)
TeamViewer – Remote access Tool

TeamViewer is a handy all-in-one solution for remote control & support. You can use it to access your colleagues’ own devices or devices remotely when they need help and grant you access.

TeamViewer is free for non-commercial usage. With a Remote Access Annual Subscription plan of 119 euros, 1 user can access 3 assigned computers or servers.

With a Business license that costs 335 euros, one user can access up to 200 devices. More about prices here. You can install TeamViewer on the following operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome OS.

8.2 AnyDesk [Get AnyDesk]

AnyDesk is a popular remote desktop application that allows you to access all your programs, documents, and files from anywhere. You may read here a full review.

It comes with a built-in address book that keeps track of contacts/connections and enables users to view online status for collaborators.

AnyDesk can be installed on Windows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD, ChromeOS, iOS, Android.

AnyDesk - Remote access Tool (Remote Work Tools)
AnyDesk – Remote access Tool

Other remote access tools: Microsoft Remote Desktop, RealVNC, Chrome Remote Desktop

9. Cybersecurity Suite

The security of your data is mandatory, so don’t take any risks. Install a security suite that will keep your computer and your data protected.

9.1 Bitdefender Small Office Security [Get Bitdefender Small Office Security]

Bitdefender protects your business against ransomware and all new and existing cyber threats, prevents data breaches, and secures your clients’ personal and financial data.

Bitdefender costs you $99 yearly (with a 33% discount), and you may install it on up to 10 devices. You may install Bitdefender on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.

Bitdefender Small Office Security - Cybersecurity Suite
Bitdefender Small Office Security – Cybersecurity Suite

9.2 Kaspersky Small Office Security [Get Kaspersky Small Office Security]

Kaspersky Small Office Security - Cybersecurity Suite
Kaspersky Small Office Security – Cybersecurity Suite

Kaspersky Small Office Security has been specifically designed for small offices. It combines the simplicity of home PC protection with special capabilities to keep your business safe. It costs $230 annually for 5 desktops and 5 mobile devices along with 1 file server. You can install it on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices.

10. Maintenance Tools – CCleaner [Get CCleaner]

CCleaner Professional Plus is a PC and Mac-enhancing toolkit that breathes new life into heavily used machines. Clears many areas of your computer, including system area, browser cache, and apps cache.

CCleaner - Maintenance Tool
CCleaner – Maintenance Tool

Conclusion on Remote Work Tools

So here are 33 remote work tools you can use to transform your organization into a remote one. It doesn’t matter if this is temporary due to COVID 19 pandemic or you are considering going fully remote to make your team more productive and save funds on office rent.

I will list them once again:

[infobox maintitle=”Need help?” subtitle=”If you need help with the remote work tools transformation you may contact me and I will gladly help.” bg=”orange” color=”white” opacity=”off” space=”30″ link=”https://digitalmediaintelligence.com/contact-us/”]

Disclaimer: As we are happy customers of most of these remote work tools, I’ve added our affiliate links. If you don’t want to purchase through us, search the tool name in Google.

Daniel Stanica

Daniel is the founder of Digital Media Intelligence digital agency. For over 15 years he has helped hundreds of digital businesses to win the digital race through SEO, Marketing Strategy, Competitive Intelligence and Affiliate Marketing.

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Julia Huber

    Restyaboard is a very good choice for this. It’s a productivity and management tool specifically built around a Kanban-style workflow. It is widely used as a great free tool for Project Planning and Management, Task Management, Team Management, CRM, Bug tracking. Also a very good Trello alternative.

    1. Renee Teng

      ZenTao is open source ALM tool for agile teams. It also has free trial for cloud service.

  2. Ivan

    If you plan to update this post, make sure to include Bitrix24.com on the list. It’s the world’s most powerful free project management solution used by over 6 million companies.

  3. Alicia

    I actually like when one tool serves multiple purposes, so I chose an app for myself that does it. Its name is kanbantool.com and it’s a good productivity tool, a project management tool and a time tracker. I appreciate that it has an intuitive interface and only sends me necessary notifications.

  4. Rewari Haryana

    Great read! Very well described About Best Remote Working Tools You Simply Need. I have been using Slack it has great features.

  5. Kate

    I would add one more tool to the list: kanbantool.com . It’s a great project management tool. It makes work smoother and is quite cheap (and if 2 boards for 2 people are enough for you, you can even use it for free).

  6. Anthony Rogers

    Hi, great article, Daniel.

    Please tell me why you do not consider VoIP as one of the tools for remote work? Indeed, in some areas of activity, this is a necessary tool. There are also a lot of analogs, but you can at least give a few examples: Hottelecom (https://hottelecom.biz/), Zadarma (https://zadarma.com/), Grasshopper (https://grasshopper.com/).

  7. TJ Jung

    Hi Daniel! Thanks for the compilation. Hope I’m not overstepping but I’d like to share our company’s free remote access solution: https://v2.cloudbric.com/remote-access. Our solution is a cloud-based remote access solution that allows any business or organization to gain secure access without the use of a traditional VPN.

  8. ChrisM

    You need to focus on quality not quantity on your work. I double check my work and address problems immediately.

    Owner CEL Financial Services
    IRS Registered Tax Preparer
    Registered bonded California CTEC Tax Preparer

  9. Christina

    I liked your article. Thank you.
    I’ve heard of Asana before, but I never worked with it. I think I’m going to try it soon. I agree that remote access or monitoring is crucial for productive work and to keep work processes going in a pandemic. I would also like to mention that we use employee monitoring service and also Trello at work. They are very useful and help increase the productivity of work throughout the day and track the progress of current tasks.

  10. MicahMakenzie

    We don’t use many product management tools at work, but the few ones we use are really handy. Trello is a very good choice for this. It’s a productivity and management tool widely used as a great free tool for planning and management (time and task management, CRM). I would also like to mention worktime(https://www.worktime.com/). It’s an excellent remote access software that helps you monitor your productivity.

  11. janeking12

    I haven’t read previously such a detailed article. Thanks for that. It’s really so difficult to work at home but have hope that the pandemic will be finished soon. We are at home 24 hours every day, so it’s very important to diversify our workplace. I guess these tools help a lot of companies. 

  12. Gaia

    Thank you for your article. Nowadays Zoom is the most useful tool and also Teams 🙂 I think remote work would never exist without those two- but from my point of view, there is one more – kanbantool.com. Kanban always controls and checks my tasks- I have an impression that I don’t need to stress out what else is to be done 🙂 because Kanban knows better. Of course, not everybody might like it, but for me works perfectly fine.

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