5 Best Slack Apps for Remote Team Productivity
Remote teams, virtual teams and work from home teams are an excellent way to save on costs associated with renting an office, providing all the necessary equipment and space for the team as well as ensuring transportation to and from work, in most cases. However, since the pandemic has started and we’ve seen an increase in the number of businesses that move their operations to the remote field, there’s been complaints about remote team productivity going down the drain.
More often than not, virtual team productivity relies on job satisfaction and employee well being more than it does on the managers of the projects that are moved to the online environment. Burnout can happen quickly in the online environment, since virtual workers that are new to remote activity may not be able to manage their time and tasks efficiently. There’s a drive in remote teams to get things done faster so that they can move away from the screen.
In order to circumvent this tendency, companies with small, medium and large online workforce should take into consideration that by diversifying their workspace and using specific, well-designed apps on their communication channels could help increase virtual teams’ productivity scores.
Improving productivity of remote teams
There are many fundamental ways to increase remote team productivity. The team at Aircall put together a few tips for increasing remote team productivity that might come in handy.
The responsibility for designing productive teams falls primarily on the shoulders of Founders, Team Leads, Project Managers, and Human Resources. In order to arrive at an efficient solution, stakeholders need to ask the right questions. While not a comprehensive list, here are a few relevant questions to ponder:
- How do you set and measure goals?
- What are the right tools for effective collaboration?
- How could teams communicate effectively?
- How do you prioritize employee wellbeing?
While they form different facets of solving productivity in remote work setups, they converge at a single point when it comes to implementation. Tools. More specifically, software.
Tools of Titans: Software for Productivity
For you Tim Ferriss fans, we couldn't help but borrow one of his books' title for the section header :).
In a modern business environment, you need a software tool for everything - communication, collaboration, employee wellness. More so in a remote setup. Let's take communication as an example. In a remote setup, it becomes more complex given that coworkers may operate in different time zones. While email wasn't the most efficient solution, it was the choice for almost every business until superior products such as Slack started replacing internal communications. Organizations need to adapt to a new way of working.
Best Productivity Slack Apps for Remote Teams
Similar to the example of communication, it is important to determine your remote software stack. Mind you, it isn't an easy task but we're here to lend a helping hand. However, in this article, we'll limit ourselves to the Slack platform since there's a good chance you run your workplace in Slack. We take a look at 5 of the best Slack apps for remote teams that are meant to help with task distribution and follow-up, time management, team spirit and team building, as well as break times and burnout.
When taking on the responsibility of managing a team of remote workers, one must consider that the team members don’t know each other personally and thus, have no accountability or connection to each other. Donut aims to bridge this gap by helping individual online workers get to know each other and forge strong working relationships.
Donut also facilitates building relationships by providing conversation starters and icebreakers to remote workers and new remote team mates. It gives managers and team members the opportunity to learn about each other on a personal level and that will in turn increase productivity.
Remote workers will be more accountable and responsible if they feel appreciated, respected and understood by their managers and leaders. At the same time, productivity of remote teams will increase if they feel personally connected to the leaders they are reporting to - and Donut is a great tool to achieve that.
One of the most important things for remote workers is to be recognized and appreciated for their individual and collective achievements. It has been proven by numerous studies, that recognition and positive reinforcement has many more benefits than always pointing out the flows and the opportunities for improvement.
Bonusly is an app that gives remote team managers the tools necessary to provide appreciation and recognition to their virtual workers and has the benefit of working within Slack, so no extra investment is required. It is focused on employee engagement, rewards, recognition, motivation, retention and company culture.
This is an app that has productivity in the forefront of its design. It is a non-intrusive way to keep track of remote team progress, organize meetings and tasks and to communicate between different roles.
With GeekBot, team leaders and project managers can improve productivity of their remote teams through intuitive surveys, automated reports that are delivered exactly when necessary and much more. Remote teams will appreciate not being interrupted for meetings, because GeekBot will send surveys and questions that are relevant to the upcoming discussion without disrupting the workflow.
It also comes with features that measure productivity and keep it in check. Managers can take a look at AI language analysis to get an idea of remote team mindset and happiness, as well as job satisfaction. They can also keep an eye out for burnout syndrome and intervene when necessary. It also comes with built-in templates, games, achievement tracking, rewards and measurement tools so that remote managers and online teams can focus on what they need to do, instead of getting lost in communication.
This long-standing app is available on Slack and it is one of the best tools remote teams can use in order to automate their processes, get rid of repetitive, useless tasks that encumber online workers and create a seamless workflow that is customized to what the company actually needs.
With IFTTT, remote teams can choose what and how to automate instead of manually delivering tasks. Links can be created so that one action triggers another and it is perfect for teams that use Slack as their main source of communication and task management. It can be connected to outside remote tools so that the processes of a department or company can be streamlined.
It is free and easy to use, so it’s an excellent choice for small and medium online teams and remote project managers. One of the main advantages of IFTTT is that it is highly customizable and while you can’t create multiple sequences, it is an excellent way to start the automation process and get to know how it works. It increases team productivity and provides oversight into how a remote team works and collaborates. More on how to customize and link services through IFTTT here.
One of the biggest hurdles of remote team managers and leaders is task distribution and management. With this Slack app, managers and coordinators can integrate task distribution into Slack so that it is easier for all remote workers to understand who needs to do what until when.
Teamline allows for easy and streamlined task management right in the Slack app, thus getting rid of the need to install more and more apps for remote team management on computers and hardware. Remote team members and managers can create and assign tasks directly from the chat or channel in Slack, which saves time for everyone. At the same time, each task gives multiple options to customize, so that everyone understands it.
The app also provides tools to build workflows and automate tasks, so that virtual teams don’t spend half of their workday reviewing and assigning tasks. Instead, when the day starts, they will know exactly what needs to be done and by whom. It makes delegation and tracking easier and also features reminders and organization tools.