Modern man has become dependent on technology due to several reasons; the primary one being the fact that technology makes everything easy. It is for the same reason that we find productivity tools essential for our daily office work because they make working with a team accessible and easy.
As a business owner if you don’t keep yourself updated with the latest technological developments, staying relevant in the market can become a challenging task.
To stay afloat, business leaders must continuously upgrade their collaboration channels as they help communicate better, stay organized, and streamline work leaving no room for chaos. These tools happen to be indispensable for teams.
The current situation around the globe was not predicted by anyone, and no one had even dreamt of working remotely for such a long time. Had it not been for these tools, remote work would not be smooth or accessible.
In this post, we’re going to review which modern tools you need in your toolbox to improve collaboration, communication and performance tracking in your company.
Project Management Tool: ProofHub
Project management tools are designed to make handling a team easy, and accessible, which is why they are a boon for managers. Such tools enable managers to quantify, sort, delegate, and complete tasks based on priority and preference. Project management tools enable teams to stay on top of deadlines, stay organized, and impart clarity to the team as a whole.
A great example of a wholesome cloud-based project management tool is ProofHub. It enables teams to streamline and organize their work in one place while also being able to communicate with simultaneously. Such tools also promote transparency and accountability in teams by giving managers access to an individual’s progress and performance. With plenty of features for users, ProofHub is an indispensable asset for organizations.
Here is a list of the top features ProofHub has to offer:
- Group & Individual Chat
- Dedicated space for announcements and notifications
- Inbuilt timer and time sheets
- Kanban Boards
- Online proofing tool
- Third-party integration
- File and document sharing
In a nutshell, the best part of project management tools is that they help track all the developments in a project from its inception to its successful completion. They help teams collaborate, communicate, and work cohesively whether it is remote work or working out of an office.
Collaboration & Communication Tool: Slack
Communication is the primary prerequisite for a team to succeed and collaborate. Whether your team is working out of a designated office space or from remote locations, a proper communication channel must be established between all the members of a team. This is possible with the help of state of the art collaboration and communication tools that help optimize the overall productivity of a team by improving connectivity.
The corporate market is full of abundant collaboration and communication tools which make working together a wonderful experience. One such tool is Slack – a business communication platform that helps teams connect through channels and streamlines professional communication effectively. The major features offered by Slack are:
- Public and private communication channels
- Audio and video calling
- File sharing and transfer
- Call routing
- Calendar management
- Multi-user collaboration
- Simple and fluid interface
Furthermore, these tools help in resource management allowing teams to re-allocate overused and underutilized resources. This saves time, effort, as well as resources, and increases coordination among team members. Therefore, collaboration and communication tools are indispensable for teams looking to heighten their productivity and connect better with their colleagues.
Performance Assessment Tool: Factorial
Workplace performance assessment is imperative for employees as well as organization and must be carried out every now and then. Every organization has its parameters to assess employee performance, behavior, qualities, and knowledge, and lucky for them, performance assessment tools simplify things for them to a great extent.
Performance appraisal tools are generally used by companies to eliminate bias when assessing an employee’s performance and productivity. They help streamline the whole process without any confusion or second thoughts, and provide constructive criticism which helps individuals grow exponentially.
One such performance appraisal tool is Factorial. It simplifies all HR and administration related work and offers several other functional uses as well. The top features offered by Factorial are:
- Customized questionnaires and reviews to assess performance
- Add constructive feedback to an employee’s portal
- Integration with collaboration and management tools
- Available as a web-based tool as well as android and IOS application
There is a vast variety of features to consider when selecting a performance monitoring tool such as key performance indicators, performance appraisal, lean management, etc. These tools help employees feel valued and motivated, and also help identify their grey areas which they need to work upon.
Time Tracking Tool: Harvest
Time tracking tools are hugely popular among organizations of all scales, large or small. Every year the industry suffers a cost of $ 11 Billion in the name of time theft and unrecorded activities. Time tracking in no way means that an organization wants to put its employees on surveillance. Rather it gives the managers a chance to assess what the employee is doing and will give the employee a chance to understand where and for how long they are spending their time.
With remote work becoming the new normal, monitoring time becomes more important than ever. Accountability among employees for their performance is a given for they must give their cent percent commitment to work during official hours. To monitor employee performance and keep a tab on their timing there are plenty of great tools.
One such tool is Harvest – a time tracking and management tool that ranks among the best especially for teams. Here are the top features that make Harvest the best time-tracking platform for working teams:
- Track time and expenses
- Visual summary of time spent through timesheets
- Generating invoices
- Integration with external applications
Several employees themselves believe that time tracking tools are quintessential for their productivity at work. A recent survey, conducted by Finances Online shows that over 81% of professionals believe that time tracking tools increase their productivity and the overall quality of work. Thus, time tracking tools are key for teams looking to increase efficiency and optimize performance.
Customer Support Tool: HubSpot Service Hub
Customer support tools also known as customer relationship management tools are highly popular among corporate organizations. CRM tools allow professionals to log and track details about any customer relationships you build. Customers want to work with proactive organizations that have a faster response time and transparency, and Customer support tools ensure just that.
To keep with the growing demands of customers, organizations have to turn to such tools a prime example of which is Hubspot Service Hub– Help Desk Software. It has a wide variety of functionalities such as:
- Shared inbox
- Ticket organization
- Help desk and ticket automation
- Power proactive service
- Live chat
All these features make Hubspot service hub a highly popular choice among customers as well as employees.
Along with being a customer provider, good CRM software is easy to use, highly secure and is constantly updated as per industry standards. With countless users across the world, CRM tools have become indispensable for corporations as they promote customer relationships and help organizations outperform themselves.
Video Conferencing Tool: Google Meet
The last few months have transformed video conferencing tools from an option to an essential tool with most organizations working remotely. Thanks to amazing video conferencing tools in the market, connecting virtually via videos has become super easy especially for remote working teams.
Statistics show that companies worldwide save $11,000 annually per employee by actively using video conferencing tools to connect. These tools are built with all the major requirements of users like group calls, screen sharing, text messages, VoIP (voice over internet protocol), and many more.
Such features make these tools vitally-important for teams looking to enhance their collaboration and communicate effectively. These tools also make cross-functionality possible by allowing teams to connect and collaborate even when they are not physically together.
One such excellent video conferencing tool is Google Meet – a real time video conferencing and collaboration tool that is used to connect virtually by teams worldwide. It has great features that facilitate wholesome communication between teams, such as:
- Video & audio calls
- Live streaming
- Unlimited number of meetings
- Live captioning
- Compatible across devices
- Adjustable layouts and screen settings
- Screen sharing
- Third-party integrations
To cut the long story short, your team must have the right video conferencing and collaboration tools for they help you organize or be a part of dynamic and constructive meetings that will amplify their overall productivity.
Storage & Access Tool: Dropbox
Organizations around the globe rely greatly on storage and access software to work cohesively with their team members whether working out of an office or from remote locations. Online file sharing, syncing, third party integrations, cloud storage, and several such features determine your hot favorite among a vast array of storage tools.
Storage management software helps to unify data storage, take care of backup storage, controlling the entire data center, and promoting virtualization services. Once you begin using these tools, you do not have to go through the hassle of plugging and unplugging USB drives, rather these tools aid in disaster recovery of data in case of an untoward situation.
A prime and very common example of a storage and access tool is Dropbox – a file hosting service that specializes in cloud storage and transferring files. It is hugely popular among corporations of all sizes and offers plenty of features:
- Centralise team content
- Integration with external software
- Bring files and clouds under a central space
- Dropbox Paper helps everyone stay on the same page
- Disaster-proof your files
Most of these tools offer a free trial period for users, so they can experience it first hand before getting a subscription. As a user, you must not undermine the potential of these cloud-based tools as they are extremely powerful and can make or mar the smooth working of an organization.
Data Management and BI Tool: ClicData
Now that you have a complete tool set to manage your project, track your employee’s billable time, or even manage your company documents, you still need one more tool to tie them together: a business intelligence platform.
All of these tools generate a high volume of data that can be leveraged and used to manage your business operations more efficiently. Some of them provide you with built-in analytics modules to report on your project progress, storage left, or unpaid invoices, etc. which is great to run the day-to-day operations. But data analytics isn’t the core value of these tools.
Business owners and managers need to get updated reports on their team’s activity, which often means collecting and combining data from multiple tools. And if you’re thinking that doing the data cleansing and prep in Excel, you should read this post before proceeding.
With a business intelligence and data management tool, you will be able to create a hub where your data can be stored, prepped, and accessible to your employees. That means your entire organization will be aligned on a single source of the truth.
ClicData is a cloud-based business intelligence platform including the following key features:
- Data connectors to hundreds of applications, systems and databases
- Built-in data warehouse to store, manage and share data across the board
- Data management features to cleanse, merge, combine, aggregate data from multiple sources
- Automation features to keep your data up-to-date, and send automatic alerts
- Drag-and-drop dashboard designer with over 70 visualization options
- Mobile dashboard app
- Sharing options including live links, embeddable dashboards, exports and dashboard delivery by email
- White label option for consultants and agencies
ClicData offers a 14-day trial period including a free demo with Product Specialists. The Premium plan starts at $71/month and includes 10 users, unlimited dashboards, 5GB of data storage and thousands of data refreshes per month.
More information on ClicData’s pricing.
Any organization needs a definite plan to succeed in its endeavors, and that is only possible if there is transparency and accountability within its teams. This is precisely why entrepreneurs and business owners need to use productivity and management tools. These tools help streamline and organize work, while constantly allowing managers and leaders to evaluate their team’s performance.
Countless statistics go on to prove that the aforementioned tools have proven to be a game-changer for the way organizations work. They have helped teams communicate, collaborate, work cohesively, and execute projects with great ease.
I hope this article helped you gain insight into the functioning and uses of such tools and why organizations must work with such tools.
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About the author
Vartika Kashyap is the CMO at ProofHub and has been one of the LinkedIn Top Voices in 2018. Her articles are inspired by office situations and work-related events. She likes to write about productivity, team building, work culture, leadership, entrepreneurship among others and contributing to a better workplace is what makes her click.