Over the past two years, the Scoop team has spread out. We're in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Atlanta...just to name a few. And while we firmly believe that the office still serves an important purpose, we're not in the business of forcing our employees to show up "just because".
This means that some team members very rarely (if ever) end up coming into the office. So ensuring that they feel as connected to the rest of the company is crucial. And given that there are plenty of other hybrid companies that also have remote teams or employees, we figured sharing the tools our own remote employees love might really be helpful.
Let's dive in!
Must-Have Remote Team Collaboration Tools for the Hybrid Workplace
Slack: Best team communication tool
Slack is today's answer to the water cooler. It's where teams come together to brainstorm but it's primarily a place for conversations to take place organically. Even better than the water cooler, however, is the fact that Slack archives the outcomes of those convos so they can be referenced later. Slack channels can be organized by topic, team, or company-specific categories and enable easy file sharing as well as video chat options. It's highly customizable and intuitive, making it easily one of the most beloved online collaboration tools.
Here's a tip: we connected Lattice to a shared Slack channel (#kudos) so that any time a member of our team gets a shoutout, everyone at the company can join in and celebrate together. And given how easy it can be to unintentionally overlook a remote team member just because they're not physically in the same place as you, having an easy way to ensure they're getting the recognition they deserve is a huge win.
Asana: Best project management tool
Asana is not only a fantastic project management tool, but it's also boomed in popularity since the pandemic because of its collaboration-enhancing features for fully remote employees or hybrid workplaces. Asana keeps projects organized by notifying participants when it's their turn to advance the work, keeping all project details updated in real-time, and storing all the assets involved—all in one place.
Bonus shout-out: Airtable
Airtable is like an amped-up version of Excel. It allows users of all experience levels to quickly build out beautiful, user-friendly charts, calendars, and tables. It's highly shareable and offers integrations with Asana (as well as many other popular project management tools). It's often the tool of choice for those who work with large data sets or those who create and manage content.
Zoom: Best video conferencing & screen sharing tool
Zoom dominates the industry when it comes to connecting remote workers through video. In addition to the screen sharing and file sharing options, Zoom's platform also offers video chat, break-out rooms, and a number of video filters for when you're looking to touch up your appearance just a bit (hey, no judgment).
All meetings, audio calls, and chat logs can be recorded, making meetings inclusive for those who can't join at the time of the meeting but want to catch up later—perfect for team members distributed across multiple time zones.
Bonus shout-out: Google Meet
A solid alternative to Zoom, Google Meet provides user-friendly video conferencing straight from your web browser. As with many of Google's collaboration tools, the UI is straightforward and incredibly easy to get started. Google Meet is automatically included as part of the Google Workspace platform and works seamlessly as an online collaboration tool when paired with Slides, Docs, or Classroom.
Team Sync: Best hybrid team coordination tool
We'd be remiss if we didn't give a little shoutout to our own hybrid team coordination tool, Team Sync. By instantly surfacing the work status of team members right in the tools they're already using (Slack, Chrome, Google Calendar), there's never a question of if or when a trip to the office is worth it.
For remote employees, many of whom would need to make special arrangements to come into the office, having that level of visibility into who's actually planning on working from the office vs working remotely isn't just a "nice to have" —it ends up saving some serious $$$ when it comes to commuting back and forth to the office or trying to find a babysitter or arrange daycare.
Loom: Best video messaging tool
You know the saying, "That meeting could have been an email"? Loom makes meetings even more efficient by allowing project stakeholders to quickly share updates through brief video snippets, like a voicemail with visuals. Being able to easily make and share five-minute updates exactly when the need arises can reduce those longer meetings that sometimes need to be scheduled weeks in advance in order to accommodate everyone's schedules. Product Lead Matt M. says in his 5-star review on G2, "As someone who works across major time differences, a Loom can often be a lifesaver to get a point across and keep the number of meetings down."
Timezone.io: Best time zone coordination tool
Picture one of those beautiful, old-fashioned train stations with a wall of clocks displaying the times in major cities all over the world. Wouldn't it be useful to glance at something like that every time you're about to send a calendar invite? Welcome to Timezone.
Thanks to remote work options, even hyperlocal companies seem to have some type of distributed team. Timezone.io helps ensure you know where all of your colleagues are based and what timing makes sense for them—in fact, is ideal for them—to meet and be at their most productive. It also allows you to quickly reference this information while proposing and scheduling meetings, making this usually aggravating task a breeze.
Notion: Best workflows/processes/document storage tool
Notion prides itself on bringing together the most important tools and documents your business relies on day-to-day in one clean workspace. We use it to store workflows, processes, wikis, and documents of all kinds. What's great about Notion is it can easily consolidate virtually all kinds of deliverables from any department, or any campaign or client, such as tasks, meeting notes, company policies, onboarding documents, and much more in one single space that can be shared with your team for real-time collaboration.
The possibilities with Notion appear to be endless. Small-business owner Fabian R. says, " Notion has to be by far the most versatile and useful tool that I know of in the 'productivity tools' category. It has so many features and functions and combines all the best parts of Google Docs/Sheets, Airtable, and Apple Notes all in one well-designed app."
Krisp: Best call quality tool
With remote work, meeting attendees aren't limited to taking calls from one specific place. The local coffee shop, their kid's playground, or the gym are now all fair game.
And maybe because of that fact, most remote video call attendees end up staying muted to eliminate background noise and interruptions.
Instead of having those remote employees constantly mute/unmute whenever they want to add in their two cents (which actually may deter them from speaking up), they can nix the background noise of any environment with a tool like Krisp.
Krisp's audio-adjustment software eliminates background noise and ensures the featured speaker is always prominent. Their voice is highlighted, volume-adjusted, and clarified to best accentuate what is being said at every given moment so that no important detail is missed. It also provides a post-meeting analysis of how much time was spent talking, and by whom, to help maximize future productivity.
FigJam: Best virtual whiteboard tool
You might remember the days when teams would gather in conference rooms to brainstorm on dry-erase boards or jumbo post-its. It was often someone's job to collect all those notes afterward and type them up into an email. That's simply not needed when you work directly on a digital whiteboard that auto-saves the work. Best of all, you don't actually need to be in the same room, because that whiteboard can be screen-shared or linked out for asynchronous team contributions. Our pick for a job like this is FigJam—specifically because it was designed with remote team collaboration in mind.
Finding the right remote team collaboration tool
While the number of choices for remote team collaboration tools can be seemingly endless, we hope that this list gives you a jumping-off point for your own needs. The good thing is that most of these tools offer a freemium option, so you can play around a bit before having to commit to a purchase. Regardless, any investment in collaboration tools, whether your team is hybrid or fully remote, is what ultimately leads to happier, more engaged employees. And who doesn't want that?