Today, I did business with the United States, Japan, and Canada, all from my laptop in South Korea. For the past two years, I've run my business entirely remotely from anywhere I could find an internet connection.
And it's not just me--remote work is on the rise, increasing 115 percent over the last decade. When surveyed, a whopping 37 percent of American workers said they have worked virtually at some point in their careers. Working remotely has become a way of life for me and many business owners who are building their businesses from around the world.
Remote work wouldn't be possible without a number of great tools that help businesses communicate and work virtually. Here are my favorite tools and applications that I can't live without while working remotely.
1. Team messaging platforms for collaboration.
From Lebanon to Malaysia, my team is located all around the world. We use a messaging platform called Slack to stay connected and collaborate on projects in real time. Slack enables us to communicate quickly across borders and varying time zones. Slack, Hipchat, and Jostle all can be great platforms to seamlessly connect with your team in minutes.
2. Video conferencing for meetings and team updates.
For meetings with clients, partners, and team members, we use video conferencing to stay in touch and talk face to face. When working remotely, it's important to message each other but also to spend time communicating verbally. I've loved getting to know my team and clients better though virtual video chats. There are many tools on the market for holding video conferences, including Skype, Google Hangouts, UberConference, GoToMeeting, and WebEx.
3. A SIM card that works from anywhere in the world.
When I call clients from abroad, I am able to use my American number through GoogleFi, a SIM card that allows users to make phone calls anywhere in the world. It's important for me to be able to take client calls at all hours of the day and not be reliant on only a Wi-Fi connection. When I land in a new country, my phone connects to a local cell provider that's partnered with Google to enable me to call and text as soon as my plane hits the runway.
4. Editing services for higher quality work.
Whether I'm working on a proposal or blog post, I like to use virtual proofreading tools and services to help me work more efficiently. Many times I need quick turnaround on what I'm writing, and I turn to Wordy to help me edit documents in a few hours. This service allows users to upload a document, and a team of editors is standing by to help create the best version of your text.
5. Project management tools to keep us on track.
Project management tools have been a savior for my business. While managing many projects at once, it's very important to stay up to date on the status and action items needed. We use Trello to track all projects' progress, milestones, and action items. Project management tools can be great to show an overhead look of what projects need attention and which projects are running smoothly.
6. File-sharing and collaboration platforms.
Google For Work makes it easy to collaborate on documents, slide-decks, and spreadsheets with my team. Not only can we work on projects together, but we can also store them. Since using Google for Work, I have eliminated the need for document storage on my computer. With everything in the cloud, I don't have to worry about losing crucial documents or work not saving during a computer crash. File-sharing platforms like DropBox and WeSend can also help your team send large files from anywhere in the world.
As technology continues to be develop, remote work is a trend that isn't going away. These tools will help increase your productivity and help your business work more efficiently--from anywhere in the world.