Remote work tools for small businesses
It’s important for small businesses to use the best tools for the job. Many remote collaboration tools are available, and In Time Tec is fond of Microsoft Suite, Zoom, Teamwork, and Atlassian software. Here’s how we use these tools to enable collaboration, increase productivity, and create more abundance.
Microsoft OneDrive and the Microsoft Review Panel are easy ways to effectively collaborate long distance. Save documents to OneDrive to enable remote access by both you and your coworkers. Plus, OneDrive automatically saves your changes and progress as you go, preventing documents from being lost.
Most Microsoft programs offer a review panel to allow you to easily document changes made and questions people have. Go to the review panel, hit tracking, and enable track changes. From there, you can easily see the edits made, who made the changes, and undo any unwanted alterations. The review panel also allows you to leave comments on the document, highlighting particular areas of question or concern.
The use of both OneDrive and review panel together has allowed In Time Tec product teams to collaborate effectively when working remote. It’s easy to write a document in One Drive, turn on Track Changes, and send the One Drive link to a coworker to review on Zoom. The process is so easy and effective, we even use it when working together in an office.
The obvious benefit of Zoom is allowing for remote video conferencing. But the software also offers many more features to improve your meetings. Use Zoom Chat to share documents and messages during a meeting. Collaboratively take notes with a Zoom Whiteboard and save the results for after the meeting. Record the meeting and review it afterwards, saving valuable time and ensuring nothing is forgotten. The Zoom Meeting Toolbar offers many options and it’s worth exploring what they can offer your business.
Zoom can be used for much more than scheduling meetings. Zoom chats allow you to keep in contact with coworkers, no matter the distance. Set up chat rooms for different activities, interests, and even lunch groups. Star chats, so you remember to come back later and respond, while not losing the chats among many.
In Time Tec uses Zoom as our social hub. We have a 44-person lunch Zoom channel, so people who wish to eat together can coordinate lunch plans. There’s a hiking and outdoors channel, so employees can schedule things in the great outdoors. Use different Zoom channels to give employees the chance to connect and bond.
This software allows for general project tracking among teams, hosts meeting notes, and allows you to get live updates of who’s working on what. Easily see project assignments, what has been completed, and what timelines are assigned. Clear up who is working on what by publicly assigning tasks to team members.
In Time Tec Marketing tracks all Marketing projects through the software and uses it to share meeting notes. This way, only one person has to take notes at a meeting. Teamwork enables us to collaboratively benefit off of each other’s work and clear up any potential miscommunications.
Atlassian offers cloud-based tools aimed at software developers and project managers, which helps with collaborative coding projects. In Time Tec developers use Jira, Trello, Confluence, BitBucket, SourceTree and OpsGenie, for easy cooperation and to ensure the resulting code runs smoothly. A major benefit of Atlassian products is great product integration. For example, Jira users can easily link to documents on Confluence.
Jira allows agile programmers to easily track projects, tickets, and calendar planning. Trello is a free version of Jira, for certain users. Jira allows easy access to who was assigned a ticket, who reported the initial issue, and who is working on a ticket. With Jira, you can even track programming branches off of a specific ticket. Comment on tasks, so you can easily ask questions and discuss potential issues. We use Jira to track trouble shooting tickets and to document our hiring process.
Confluence allows for document storage space for teams and projects. It allows you to track who created what, can handle multiple people editing at the same time, recover accidental deletions and much more. The software also integrates well with third party software like draw.io. Use templates to quickly recreate documents you use often. Confluence even has template options for common projects, like HR documents. Confluence houses In Time Tec’s project documentation, for everything from Marketing Assets to software client projects.
Bitbucket is code repository that allows for code management. The software allows users to program actions to automatically take place. Bitbucket also handles branches created from Jira/Trello cards. The program reduces the number of clicks needed, by linking directly to Jira and offering templates for common projects. Bitbucket stores the code we need to address troubleshooting tickets on Jira and allows for process automation.
Sourcetree is a free Git GUI that visually tracks coding changes. Quickly see the changes to the code, instead of trying to follow complicated branches. You can also review changes, get information, and make your developmental process much easier. The visuals also prevent the two people from submitting the same code, since you can easily see what changes have been made. Sourcetree helps our programmers by visually assisting them in their day-to-day job.
Opsgenie allows alerting for software response, tracking incident response, and on-call management. The software notifies you to critical DevOps problems, and who is accountable for responding. Opsgenie tracks scheduling for the team, allowing you to see who is available to respond to any crisis. In Time Tec uses Opsgenie to monitor our many development projects and alert us to any major issues.
Businesses thrive or collapse on adapting to new technology tools. Ensure your small business is able to adapt and grow easily by utilizing remote work tools.