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It’s becoming more and more common for companies and small business owners to reap the benefits of remote teams and virtual workers – from virtual assistants who handle your mundane and time consuming  administrative tasks to freelancers hired to consult or help with specific projects.

By utilizing remote and virtual workers, you are able to recruit the right person(s) to work on any task or project, dramatically cut costs, and not surprisingly, improve the productivity of existing teams and employees.

Benefits aside, it’s challenging to manage remote teams and virtual staff. In order to succeed, everyone must be able to collaborate, communicate, and share ideas with relative ease and efficiency. 

That said, here are 10 essential tools to help keep your virtual assistants and remote team of freelancers harmoniously integrated. Essential Tools to manage virtual assistants ans remote teams

Sharing And Collaboration

1- Google Docs is without a doubt the go-to tool for organizing your teams files, documents, spreadsheets, or any other documentation, into one easily accessible location. 

With Google docs, there is no need for endless emails or attaching modified documents. All your documents can easily be shared with anyone anywhere with the clck of a button. 

2- Jing is a simple way to share images and short videos which you capture on your desktop along with voice recordings. Easily create  instructional videos for virtual team members or relay ideas to a designer or developer. 

3 - Confluence is a team collaboration we swear by at Prialto. We have built an internal company wiki to document all our processes, maintain meeting agendas and create a member manual for every Prialto member. With Confluence, all your work is on one place. Capture the knowledge that's too often lost in email inboxes and shared network drives in Confluence instead – where it's easy to find, use, and update.

4 - LICEcap animated screenshots are a perfect compliment to Confluence. We create custom gifs to demonstrate and document a quick process. Recording them is painless and saving them in our wiki is as easy as copying and pasting a picture. See an example of a gif we have to demonstrate how to create a calendar invitation in google mail:

createevent

Communication Tools

5- Skype needs no introduction. It’s a reliable tool to communicate through text, phone, and video. It also allows you to share your screen as well as conference face-to-face with up to 9 members of your team at once. If you need to record sessions , you can get an inexpensive third party ad-on to do so- handy if a team member can’t make a call but needs to know what happened during the call. 

6- Join.me is another great tool for remote teams to screen share presentations, workflow or  anything else you may visually want to show on your screen. 

7- Trillian is an instant messaging application which allows you to chat with other Trillian users or use it to connect to multiple IM services such as Facebook, Google, AIM, ICQ, XMPP, Yahoo! Twitter, and more. 

Project Management

8- Asana is a project management tool that lets you run your day, your team, and your company from everywhere you work. Create tasks for work you plan to do or need a teammate to do, instead of sending an email. Organize your tasks into shared projects for your initiatives, meetings & lists. Keep conversations with tasks, instead of scattered across email. Never read a status email again; get automatic updates about tasks.

Time management

9- Time Doctor  will not only track the total time worked by every person on your team, it will also provide a breakdown on how much time is spent on which projects (or clients) and tasks. Time Doctor’s data is accurate to the second. If your business is client-focused, this tool can also help you easily monitor how much of your company’s work is billable to each client. 

Password Management

10- Bitium provides a secure single sign-on solution which makes it easy to manage and collaborate…without lists of passwords ever needing to change hands.

Related: Best Practices for Remote Collaboration 

Related: Best Practices for Leading a Remote Meeting 


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 “This article was originally posted by Prialto: The Virtual Support Service for Executives. Prialto Virtual Assistants are geared to actually pull your business forward and make delegating easy”

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