Working remotely can help employers lure talent, save money and, according to one report, make a team more engaged and committed.

These benefits are compelling, but if you’ve assembled a team that’s far apart, you may have noticed some downsides, namely that working remotely can be demanding, and lonely. 

A lot has been written about how to impose structure and keep teams on track--Young Entrepreneur Council recently rounded up a dozen suggestions--but less has been said about the emotional toll working from home can take on a manager. 

One solution is to join a coworking space to recreate that office comradery. But what about turning to tech? It might sound like an odd proposition, but consider how much tools like Facebook and Skype help us stay connected outside the office. 

AgileScout, a news site for software developers who work remotely, offers three tools to try:

  • iDoneThis. “iDoneThis makes syncing up simple and lightweight," says the site. "iDoneThis emails everyone on your team every day to ask, 'What’d you get done today?' The next day, everyone gets an email digest showing the team’s accomplishments from yesterday--which gets everyone on the same page, aligned, and ready to go.” 
  • Sqwiggle. This video chat app helps employees stay in touch in a way that feels personal and fun. You can leave the browser-based app on at work. “Unlike Skype and Google Hangout, you don’t have to initiate a call to talk, and unlike text-based chat, you can actually see the faces of your teammates,” notes AgileScout
  • Keep everyone connected with the power of music--a boost for long-term productivity. "Anyone can be a DJ, and the DJs take turns playing music from their own personal collection or from the service’s wide song selection," says AgileScout. If you’re enjoying a song, just click a button--your head will start bopping and the DJ will receive a point." 

Check out the complete post for more information and learn how tech tools can help.

Will you try any of these tools?

Published on: Jun 2, 2013
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