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3 Tools to Manage Remote Staff

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Tools to Manage Remote Staff

As a young professional who helps to manage hundreds of remote staff for dozens of companies all over the world, I have a unique take on the ideal tools that should be in your arsenal to manage remote staff.

In today’s environment with lockdowns worldwide, economic hardships, and the COVID-19 pandemic, it would be smart to start thinking and planning for what your business will look like in a post-pandemic world.

Being sustainable while reducing risk for the future is going to be the determining factor between success and closure for most businesses.

The answer may be downsizing and increasing margins and limiting growth for a slightly simpler company vision. But if you are anything like us, this pandemic only makes you stronger and smarter by teaching us that vulnerabilities are real and we should be better prepared.

There are tons of tools that are out there that are helpful and can help manage remote staff, we use more than three of them, but this is our list of the Top 3 to Manage Remote Staff:

Our list starts with Slack. Communications are critical with any successful business; interdepartmental collaboration is something that no business can live without. Here at ClarkStaff, we used to be a Skype company. Meaning we could not live without the use of a free online chat and call tool that allowed us to collaborate via group chats and personal messages to one another. Sorry Skype, but Slack has you beat and here is why:

  • Managers can manage groups and department heads. Which means no more accidental miss communications, or the passing of outdated policies and procedures on group chats that crucial personnel are unintentionally not present in. Ensure communications lines are in the correct group settings, and everyone needed is involved.
  • Threads, which are a game-changer. Imagine inside a group chat as a manager when you take a long weekend you could come in the next day and have to scroll 2 miles and read 100 messages to catch up. With Threads, your team posts a “subject” and creates a thread within it to communicate back and forth. This feature allows you only to open “subjects” that you want to see and skip the rest.
  • APIs are key. API is a fancy acronym for techies, but the simple explanation is this allows you to connect multiple software within one interface without having to leave it. Like, connecting Trello which is next on our list.

Trello comes in as our second, must-have tool for every business. You can start using the free version, but eventually, as your team grows and becomes more automated, you will see the value of the paid version. We love this tool so much that if it were to go out of business, we might just die too. It is a super simple project and task management tool that allows for genuinely fantastic collaboration. Here is what we love about it:

  • User Friendly and intuitive is likely a colossal understatement. Once you create an account, you simply create a “board,” which is either a project title or process title. Then you create “cards,” which are either tasks and or steps to complete a project/process. Assign them to teammates, and they will take action while updating statuses and more.
  • This integrates (APIs) with almost everything on the internet nowadays. Plus, if you are or have real programmers, as we do, they can build some incredibly impressive projects and processes that are fully automated with checks and balances that create automated reports and more. This tool is crazy useful. We have reduced staffing by almost 10% with one tool.

Google Drive is last on our list, and I know that feeding the beast named Google may not be everyone’s go-to tool because, well, it’s Google, and they already own the world. That being said, I cannot deny that Google Drive is the heart of our company; and many other corporations and partners we work with. People talk about operating on the cloud and wanting a secure place to have their intranet and more, well, Google Drive and GSuite is the answer for you, hear us out:

  • GSuite for business is super secure and can be managed by administrators who have full control of company data, emails, documents, sharing capabilities, and more.
  • Live collaboration on excel, word, presentations, and a ton of other Microsoft Office-like tools. What I mean when I say “live collaboration” means just that. Imagine a web-based excel sheet, and as your bookkeeper is updating the expense report for the month, you can literally watch them work and see precisely what cell they are working on and what they are typing. This is not meant for monitoring; although that is just another benefit, it’s about being able to update and have multiple people working on a single item at the same time without having to send it via email/intranet back and forth until the file is complete.
  • This tool is truly priceless once you see it in action and feel the benefits of having your entire company accessible from anywhere in the world and still be secure and compliant with everything you do.
  • By the way, this also integrates (APIs) with both Slack and Trello. Game, set, match, #BusinessHack.

The reality is there are a million and one tools out there at the moment that do exactly what these three can do. As a company that has used these tools for years, manages hundreds of remote employees, operates 24/7 365 days a year, has offices and clients in every corner of the world, I believe we at ClarkStaff.com have a unique perspective. Our experience allows us to honestly say these three tools alone, could run many businesses almost entirely without the need for dozens of other monthly subscriptions.

I wrote this article to give small-medium enterprise businesses a starting point on which tools will help them operate in the new world we all face. The remote staff, teleworking, diversification, and redundancy needs that is practically now required for companies to survive is real.

Feel free to contact me for more advice, remote staffing needs, and cutting edge services that can help save, sustain, and even grow your business. While your competition stays in 1991, with a tombstone date of 2020, we’ll help you survive this new business environment. In the world of business, this pandemic is the economic-mother-earth’s way of natural selection, only the strong and unwavering will survive.

Russell Meiselman
President & Managing Partner
Russell@ClarkStaff.com
+1 910 795 2888
http://www.linkedin.com/in/russellmeiselman

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