Tech Tools For Remote Work: The Essential Hardware And Apps

Communication and collaboration are two keywords that have become synonymous with remote work, and for good reason. Whether your company is fully or partially distributed, it’s essential to have the right tech tools in your kit if you want your team succeed.

But with the vast array of apps and hardware on the market, it can be difficult to wade your way through and figure out what tools you actually need. After all, there’s no point in spending hours trying to onboard your team with an app if it’s completely useless! The whole point of amping up your tech toolkit is to speed up your internal processes, not slow them down.

So, to help you out, we thought we’d share our favorite tech tools for remote work and give you the lowdown on each one!

Slack

there’s nothing like a bit of banter in the office.

…but what if you don’t have an office?! Or if you only have 10 out of 20 team members working there? This is where instant messaging tools become the fuel that feeds your team productivity and overall morale. We use Slack for setting up different channels around topics within our team that allow us to chat about everything from work projects to customer queries.

Sure, you could email; but do you really want to hang around for an hour until your teammate gets back to you? Personally, I only check my emails a few times a day; but whenever I’m working, I’m on Slack. By sending your messages via this app, you can get replies in real-time within seconds rather than wasting time typing out emails all day.

Skype and Google Hangouts

sometimes you just need that face-to-face interaction.

Here at Buckets, we’re highly skilled in the art of emoji (hats off to co-founder, Eric), so video-calling isn’t really our ‘go to’ when it comes to communications. However, these apps definitely have their place when it comes to those meetings that simply require some face-to-face communication.

If you want to have a team chat, you can just add your members to a Google Hangout or set up a Skype conference call. And if you’re not up for a video call (i.e. it’s 8am and you totally haven’t gotten dressed yet), you can make use of the free US to US calls that are available on Hangouts, or save some cash with the reduced rate for international calls.

A Reliable Laptop

not the kind that likes to give you heart failure with that dreaded white screen.

I’m pretty sure that I survived at least 10 potential heart attacks before replacing my laptop. Picture the scene; you spend hours on an article, finally complete the edits, and get ready to hit ‘publish’, when — BOOM — it’s gone. And not just ‘gone’, I mean gone, gone, i.e. no amount of caffeine and IT hacking can get it back. If that’s ever happened to you, you probably have a new laptop by now. And if not, there’s a word for that… self-sabotage.

As a remote worker, your laptop is your sole activity hub and it needs to be bulletproof. Whether you’re an Apple fan or a Windows geek (I’m not judging, honest), you should always have the latest software update downloaded and upgrade your hardware on a regular basis. Technical difficulties can be tough enough if you’re working in an office, but the last thing you want is for your laptop to break down when you’re on the road. Personally, I’m a fan of the 13 “ Macbook Air; it’s light enough to carry around and has everything I need to do my work. However, if you need a sturdier model, you might want to opt for the Macbook Pro Retina.

A Global Travel Power Adaptor

because not all power sockets are created equal.

Your awesome new laptop won’t be so awesome if you blast it with a power surge it’s not equipped to handle. So, if you’re going to jump on the digital nomad trail for a while, don’t forget to pack your power adaptor. And remember, a standard travel adapter isn’t what you’re looking for, you need the multi-voltage weapon variety. FYI: my hairdryer also died a painful death because of this lack of info (painful for me, that is, for it was brand new).

It’s worth noting that Macbook users are safe enough on this front though; most apple products are compatible with power supplies worldwide,

Buckets

your remote working headquarters!

Working remotely can be a bit isolating at times and you can easily fall out of sync with your teammates or clients; but not when you have Buckets set up. The Buckets platform makes project management, collaboration, and communication so easy for remote teams that you’ll feel like you’re working in the same room — even if you’re a million miles away.

When it comes to our own processes here at Buckets, we use the platform for managing all kinds of projects, from our ongoing editorial calendar to design projects, concepts, and general to do lists.

Buckets makes time zones a non-issue. When you log-in each day, you can easily track the progress of each project you’re working on, do your own work, and leave notifications or set reminders for the rest of your team. There’s no need for everyone to be online at the same time, which gives you the opportunity to work when you’re most productive and at a time that best suits your schedule, rather than hauling yourself out of bed at 6am for the early morning commute.

For example, I’m in Dublin at the moment, so I usually do some work in the morning and then log back in later in the afternoon when the guys in Seattle are up and running. However, if I knew I had something going on in the afternoon, I could do my all of my work earlier in the day and leave notes for the guys to catch up on when they log in later. So in my own personal experience, using Buckets definitely makes the whole remote work thing much easier to navigate. But of course, I would say that — so why not try it out for yourself?

What’s Your ‘Go To’ Tech Tool?

Do you have a secret go to tool that you’ve been hiding away in your toolkit? If so, we’d love to hear about it! Just leave a comment below or send us a tweet @bucketdotco.