Being able to work remotely can potentially be a lot of fun, but it can be equally challenging. You have a good amount of freedom when it comes to when and where you work, but this does come with a lot of responsibility on your own part.
Some of the most common challenges you'll face when you're working remotely are related to communication, collaboration and teamwork. These issues can usually be solved with the help of a few of the many tools that are available, but in most cases you're going to need to to combine a few of these.
Video Chat and Meetings
One of the simpler apps for hosting both audio and video meetings. It's easy to both host and join a conversation and it rarely crashes. The possible number of participants will vary based on your pricing plan, the roof is at 250, which is probably more than you're ever going to need. Definitely a good choice for quick meetings.
Much like join.me, but with better integrations for Trello, Slack and Youtube. This solution is completely browser-based and there is no need for any registrations or downloads. It works great for both desktop and mobile devices, and the screen sharing is all you'll need for remote meetings. Unfortunately there are limitations when it comes to number of participants.
Is pretty default and known by a lot of remote workers. Like Appear.in it have good integrations with Trello, Slack and is probably the best one when it comes to Youtube Live. Hangouts is easy to use, but it feels like it's a little outdated in its layout.
This is a solution if you need to either broadcast live to a larger audience or if you feel like recording a quick video. You can choose to set everything up in a couple of minutes by integrating with Google Hangouts or you can use the more advanced encoding software for better results.
You can't mention team chat without talking about slack. This is the most commonly used chatting tool available, it integrates with almost anything and the number of useful chatbots are incredible. Using slack will cut back on a lot of unnecessary emailing.
A close second to slack from atlassian (the creators of JIRA). You will basically find all the same things that you expect to find using slack: Great integrations with Trello, JIRA, Github and Google Drive, team and video chat, chatbots, and a file sharing system.
Project Management Tools
A great solution for both desktop and mobile devices. It's easy to use and a great tool for project and task management. Delegating tasks, prioritizing and discussing tasks have never been this easy, and it can be a lot of fun to explore some of Trello's many "power-ups".
A robust project and issue tracker that is a good fit for larger teams. Planning and managing agile sprints is incredibly straightforward, tracking and updating tasks are orderly, and the reports you can generate for each sprint are very helpful.
A good tool for smaller teams. It's simple and there are room for a decent amount of customization, managing your team and their tasks is easy.
Is much like JIRA in a lot of ways, but it has placed larger emphasis on integrations. Some of the integrations have been previously mentioned, like Slack and Trello, but it's the ones with the focus on marketing campaigns that really got me excited, like MailChimp.
File Sharing Tools
One of the best tools for storing and sharing files, especially the cloud storage. Much like Google Docs it can be used for collaboration, but I often end up using it as a place where I keep my old presentations and documents. There are also times where I use it to upload a file that I'm going to share with a lot of people. In other words it's just a better version of Google Drive, which I find a bit messy.
An excellent way to collaborate on word documents, excel spreadsheets and powerpoint presentations. You and your team will have all the tools that you are used to, like tracking changes and adding comments. All without having to send x-versions of the documents back and forth. The best part is that multiple people can work on the same document in real-time.
This one is a lot more than a standard cloud storage with different integrations and tools that are fitting for both single individuals and teams. Box comes with everything you're ever going to need and more, but unfortunately there are no free option after your first two-week trial, and all the available functions can make Box harder to get used to.
This is the ultimate site for hosting code and probably will be for a long time. It's also common to use Github for hosting organizational wiki pages, and if you like you can even host simple webpages using Github pages.
A powerful tool for making design prototypes. InVision has a seamless communication channel, making it easy to give constructive feedback directly on the design. It has it's very own design-driven project management system that looks a lot like Trello, but if you don't want to use it you can easily integrate it with other tools like Github, Slack, Trello and JIRA.
An amazing tool for front-end designers and developers. It's both social and a fun way to write and share your work, and the best part is that you can collaborate on the code and get feedback in real time. This is by far one of the best places to build and deploy a website, find inspiration and show of your work.
I think many of you have been introduced to Doodle at some point. This tool makes it incredibly easy to coordinate the best time to schedule meetings, you simply send out a poll and pick the time that works best for the majority.
Chimp or Champ
If you're managing a team and want to know their level of happiness in their job you should check out this amazing tool. Chimp or Champ is very easy to use and it's is incredibly straightforward. It sends out weekly anonymous check-ins where the employees can express how they felt during the week, reflect on the reason and give actionable feedback. And one more thing, Chimp or Champ is completely free if you teams average happiness level is above 75%.
Take a Break Please
Staring at the computer screen for too long isn't good for you, and by using this very simple app you won't forget to take breaks. It can be even easier to forget about your breaks when you work remote and without the constant interruptions of office work. This app does exactly what you'd think and reminds you to take a break.
Every Time Zone
It can be really bothersome trying to wrap your head around whether your clients or co-workers are awake or not if you reside in different time zones. By using this site you'll never have to wonder if it's morning or evening, day or night in a given area again.
This is another incredible tool for remote teams. The team members only need to remember one password (the one for LastPass), opening up the possibility to use LastPass' to create strong randomized passwords for your other logins. This tool comes with advanced multi-factor authentication which you really should use as, no offence, you'd be a moron not when all your other keys are stored here.
Avoiding the Commute
Reducing or completely eliminating the time you spend commuting is going to stop you from wasting a good amount of time every day. Time that most of us would rather want to spend doing something more enjoyable. Not having to commute is not just liberating in itself by wasting less of your time, your money and removing stress; but it also adds a lot of flexibility when it comes to your day to day activities.
More Time with Family and Friends
Having a remote workplace is incredible when it comes to spending more time for your friends and family. You do not just save time by not commuting, but you also have the ability to schedule your day however you deem fit. Something that will be give you the opportunity to be more available to your loved ones. There is also the possibility for you to work where the people you want to spend time with are, as long as you are able to focus on your job.
Having the Ability to Travel
Without a physical office tying you to one location you can easily combine both your job and travel. You will have the ability to visit all the places you have dreamed about going. You may also realize that this can potentially cost less than paying rent for an apartment. Then there are the added benefit of you no longer needing to go on the typical one week vacation to a place - you can stay there indefinitely if you feel like it.
Increased Productivity and Scheduled Flexibility
Working remotely have increased my productivity immensely. I face far less distractions compared to at an office, and having web-meetings are usually way more efficient than having them in-person.
It is usually a good idea to try to work from 9-5 like most other jobs, but some days this isn't going to fit your schedule. Fortunately this is solved by your remote workplace and the flexibility that comes with it. Some days it may be more fitting to work from 8-12, take a break, then do the rest of your work later in the day.