Tips on Managing Your Workforce Remotely

So many people are now working at home (WFH) 100% of that time period. Hopefully if this is actually the case for you, it is possible to maintain productivity and stay positive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While a lot of us are accustomed to living the entrepreneur life from the home office, it’s still a big adjustment to have to self-isolate and stop all face-to-face interactions with coworkers and clients.

I encourage you to use this time to take a closer look at your current business goals, focus on your health (both physical and mental) and self-care, and revel in some family time at home.

I think many small business owners are having to pivot their online marketing strategy, and what they do when the coronavirus passes could look quite different from what they did before.

I wanted to share some useful tech tools that can make your day-to-day WFH life much easier.

Team Communication Tools

This is most likely the biggest WFH product decision you’ll have to make. Your team requires a reliable and easy-to-use tool that lets them instantly message coworkers. The correct one for you depends on your organization needs and challenges, team size and budget.

1. You may have heard of Slack. This tool gives you the ability to create channels around multiple topics and invite users. From marketing content ideas to social media tactics to office dog photos, your team can make relevant channels for easy chat and collaboration.

In addition, it integrates with many useful tools, including Outlook Calendar, Twitter, HubSpot and Salesforce, so you can see what’s going on constantly right in the Slack app (you don’t need to click in and from the daily calendar or Twitter feed, for example). You can find SO MANY fun and creative emojis you may use too, making remote messaging in a challenging time like this a little more lighthearted.

2. Another popular platform is Discord. Favored by gamers, this voice, video and text tool is not only for talking to coworkers, but also for finding like-minded communities and new friends. You can create “servers” and “channels” for specific topics, similarly as if you do for Slack channels. While Slack has more business integrations, Discord has voice channels, to help you easily chat with team members. Discord also lets you set user roles and permissions.

3. Flock is a cloud-based team communication tool with video and audio calling, screen sharing, text chat, integration with other business applications and much more. You can tag colleagues in comments and to-do lists, upload documents, images and videos and set reminders and due dates. Polls, code snippet sharing and group discussions are available, and it integrates with other apps such as Trello, Github, Google Drive and Asana.

Team Collaboration Tools

Your employees must be in a position to share their work, whether they’re creating on a marketing strategy or editing a press release. Here are a few that might fit your small business needs.

1. G Suite is really a Google product that’s made up of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products. In a single suite of tools, it includes email, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation decks, shared calendars, cloud storage, and more.

You can comment and make suggestions about specific documents through Google Sheets and Docs, edit documents online simultaneously and collaborate on projects and documents. You can give users permission to specific files.

2. Evernote: This is more than a note-taking app. Evernote helps you capture, prioritize and share ideas, track projects and to-do lists. I think it is super ideal for note-taking, obviously, but also as sort of “digital filing cabinet” that simplifies organization. There is a free, basic and business package available.

CRM Tools

CRM stands for “customer relationship management,” and CRM tools help you with things like inbound lead management, sales tracking, social tracking and eNewsletter delivery. Here are three to consider:

1. MailChimp can be an all-in-one marketing platform with tools to generate from emails to postcards. They will have a great selection of templates to choose from that can then be further modified to fit your brand. Their intuitive interface and thorough reporting are excellent, but things will get expensive as your subscriber list or amount of emails increase. It is possible to compare their different plans on the website.

2. Constant Contact has always been a big rival with MailChimp to function as brand name in email marketing. It is a huge company and an excellent option if Facebook is really a big part of your online marketing strategy. Constant Contact has an email option that is designed so users can simply share your newsletter on Facebook.

This option can be viewed as the most social media-friendly and has all the major top features of the others noted. If your web marketing involves Hootsuite (it is possible to integrate this into Hootsuite) and you focus your efforts on gaining traction on social media marketing then this is a good newsletter tool for you.

3. AWeber is an extremely popular option and recommended by many professional marketing companies. It gives you five plans available and a long list of features such as unlimited email marketing campaigns, follow-ups, lists and Auto Responders.

Many people believe their Auto Responder platform is more advanced than others, allowing businesses to automate the procedure of delivering personalized emails to customers on a schedule.

Project Management Tools

A collaborative task management tool lets everyone track and manage all of their projects. Think of it as an online scheduler, taskmaster, and collaboration tool to manage your team’s workflows.

1. Asana is probably the leading tools and gets many positive feedback. It allows everyone on your own team to follow the whole workflow of a project in an easy visual tool. You’ll always know where your team is at and who’s responsible for what and when.

From daily reminders on a task that’s due, to the ability to easily add collaborators or assign teammates a sub-task of a project, Asana makes it simple to see what everyone’s day, week and month appears like (but you can simply move things around if plans change).

2. Monday.com is really a pretty simple, intuitive visual team management tool (it’s really a project management platform). It runs processes, workflows, and projects in one digital workspace. Visually, it looks the same as an accumulation of very customized spreadsheets, where every team member can log their tasks and update them with status reports along with other relevant information.

That means that every person can easily see all active tasks and keep count on their progress. Team members can work on multiple projects without getting lost through the use of Monday’s weekly overview. The workflow could be customized just about any way you want it to communicate priority, what’s done, not done and so forth. The colourful designs and big buttons don’t hurt either!

Social Media Management Tools

Many small businesses will already have a social media management tool set up. A social media marketing management tool allows you to manage all your accounts in one dashboard, which saves you both time and frustration. These tools share your content at the best possible times throughout the day, so your followers and fans see your updates more regularly. It’s a smarter and much more efficient solution to schedule and share your social media posts.

The very best part about these tools may be the built-in analytics system, which will give you a glimpse into what’s performing well, and when your social media marketing posts are making the most impact.

Here are two social media marketing management tools I take advantage of:

1. Buffer shows your scheduled posts and analytics (how in-depth those analytics get depends upon the plan you choose). Many small business owners choose Buffer because of its sleek, clean interface that’s easy for beginners to find the hang of.

2. I find that while Buffer is ideal for less demanding social media marketing needs, Hootsuite is where it’s at if you want to see your timelines, replies, and much more across all your social networks.

Both Buffer and Hootsuite offer free and paid plans, so you can always try them out and see which one feels like an improved fit for your small company.

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And while it’s not an instrument your complete workforce might use, I’m liking MoneyMinderOnline during these uncertain times. It not merely gives you a location to track your spending, but you also get insights into your spending habits, and you can look ahead to enhance your cash flow, clear your financial troubles, and start saving for the big goals.

I am hoping I’ve given you a synopsis of some tools that will help increase your team’s productivity and morale as long as you’re all working from home. You may also reap the benefits of our article on boosting business efficiency on our website.

Leveling bot , founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the insufficient knowledge, skill and support needed to create their web business presence.

As a result of dealing with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands to allow them to focus on building their business with reassurance at having a perfect support system in place to steer them every step of just how.