One of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it pushed many businesses to explore ways to continue working outside of the “traditional office modality”. This, in turn, ensured the safety of staff and consumers alike while keeping productivity up, and it presented challenges for companies that do not have the tools and resources to do so effectively.
Our CEO previously wrote how we manage distributed teams and remote work at Passbase and we thought of putting together this list of tools (divided by categories) as a further resource for companies undergoing this change but also to highlight how they can help supercharge any company’s performance.
Distributed collaboration and communication
While working in a traditional office setting, collaboration and communication occur so frequently throughout the day that they require little thought. If a team member has a question, they can simply consult another member of the team and get extensive details or feedback in person.
Likewise, if a larger issue arises, the entire team can conduct a meeting where they troubleshoot and share ideas collectively, ultimately (and hopefully 🙂) leaving with everyone on the same page.
In a digital first work setting, remote collaboration and communication tools help everyone streamline this process once again. Team members can leave instructions, comments, questions, store files, and add progress updates for all other members to access at once. Here, these tools come in handy:
Project and task management
Monday is a project and task management platform that is utilized by more than 100,000 teams. It boasts a simple layout and allows team members to work together to plan, track and deliver work in one user-friendly, uncomplicated space. With the ability to accommodate as little as 3 users or as many as 200+, it comes as no surprise that this platform has rapidly grown to become a top choice for businesses since its inception in 2012.
Trello enables team members from all departments, whether software development, UX or marketing, to collaborate and track their progress on a plethora of projects using tools like boards, lists and cards. Here the keyword is Kanban boards 😉
Notion is the tool to use if you want to streamline business continuity (fancy word for maintaining a company wiki and a single source of information) and combine it with task management and version control. This versatile tool helps us at Passbase with the above functions and it’s also an easy and intuitive program to learn for new joiners. It also boasts granular admin capabilities and accommodates regular staff members as well as freelancers and others.
Insagaant helps you maintain a holistic project delivery timeline and overview. It also allows users to create everything from schedules, tasks, and Kanban boards with an efficient “drag and drop” feature that saves time and allows for maximum visualization of all tasks and projects.
Wire won Capterra’s Best Ease of Use award in 2019, followed by an additional award by Cybersecurity Breakthrough Awards for its status as the first secure communications solution. The platform allows members to exchange information via messenger, voice, video, conference calls and file-sharing without concerns of data or information being leaked due to its secure encryption. This makes Wire Messenger a crucial tool for those in industries where sensitive and confidential data is a concern.
Whereby is the choice for many of us at Passbase. It’s a privacy driven, user-friendly and reliable video conferencing option for businesses. Whereby can be used without the need to download software on a laptop and can be accessed directly from a smartphone or tablet, making it extremely convenient for everyone. The great thing about it is that you can also create your unique conference link.
Slack needs no introductions but we’re happy to explain how we’re using it. A DM platform, it enables all members of a team to connect and work together to complete whatever task is at hand.
It can be used for businesses of all sizes and is especially popular among those in engineering, IT, marketing, HR and customer support fields. For a quick call, it also has a conferencing option and the platform is constantly adding new features.
We’re happy to say that only a few weeks ago, we’ve developed a slack bot that notifies you about all new events for new verifications. Start your free trial and check it out!
For brick and mortar businesses, the thought of remote staffing and onboarding can be quite daunting. It can be difficult to make a hiring decision without a physical in-person interview when that is the method that hiring managers typically rely on.
The below tools and platforms help companies find the best talent and also help candidates from all over the world understand their clients better:
Angel is a top tool used by remote companies for finding the best talent. This platform allows companies to post jobs, search for candidates and even manage their talent all in one user-friendly space.
BoundlessHQ takes the work out of finding qualified employees on an international level and hires workers on behalf of the company. Boundless HQ also processes payroll, files related tax returns and issues payments to local tax authorities; all for a flat fee of 8% of the company’s total monthly payroll.
Dubbed as the world’s leading talent acquisition software, Workable is an inclusive tool that allows companies to post jobs on more than 200 sites with a single click while also harnessing the power of employee referrals to hone in on top candidates.
Upwork is one of the most popular options for companies who are looking to hire remote independent contractors for short term gigs and long-term projects alike. With features like interviews, job proposals and time-tracking, it is easy to see why more than 2 million businesses rated the freelance marketplace talent at a near perfect 4.9 out of 5 stars.
Obie.ai is powered by Artificial Intelligence to serve as the ultimate resource for onboarding new employees. It is accessible 24/7 and can increase productivity and eliminate redundant questions and concerns.
DocuSign will help you and your new team members speed up the contract signing process. It is a leading tool in the market that enables important contracts and other documents to be signed virtually from anywhere in the world using any device with Apple iOS, Android, or Windows operating systems. The signatures that are processed by the platform are compliant with the US ESIGN Act and these virtual signatures have helped save more than 20 billion pieces of paper since the inception of DocuSign.
One of the most time-consuming factors of hiring new employees revolves around the paperwork. BambooHR easily collects this information and utilizes it throughout the life-cycle of each employee—allowing HR personnel to focus on the people, not the paperwork
In this tech-savvy day and age, there are numerous different types of software and platforms for new hires to learn. Designating a more experienced employee to train new employees is plausible in a traditional setting, but this is nearly impossible to pull off in a remote setting. Instead, companies turn to Lessonly which allows employees to practice and train on their own.
Regardless of whether a company has undergone digitization or still operates in a more traditional manner, it is necessary to monitor daily operations. Using outdated operations management software; however, can leave your company without vital knowledge about areas that need improvement and even finances. This is where the following tools come to the rescue:
If you want to build your own custom solution, Square offers a payment processing API just for this purpose. If you’re an ecommerce company, it is probably not the first time that you hear about this. It supports contactless (via a stylish POS we might add) and well as remote friendly online payments.
Mollie might appeal to companies based in the EU and looking for a home grown payment solution. Based in Amsterdam, the company has recently closed a €90 million funding round which will help it power the exploding e-commerce market via an API-based way to integrate payments into a site or an app. It focuses on SMBs and counts 100,000 merchants as customers, mainly in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
HiPay is another European gateway that helps companies accept payments. The French company was founded in 2001 and helps companies accept 150 currencies and supports over 220 payment methods on mobile and web.
BitPay helps you accept different cryptocurrencies for online payment. It’s trusted by thousands of businesses worldwide and has processed almost $3 billion in payments since 2011.
CoinsPaid is another tool that also helps you accept payments in crypto currencies while receiving payouts directly in EUR, USD or 20 other fiat currencies.
Wyre’s API helps its customers to instantly convert fiat to crypto that generated in their online sales globally in over 50 countries. Based in the US, the company has completed over $750 million in bank-to-bank FX payments and is the payment gateway of choice for many established crypto FinTechs.
Last but not least, Klarna. The great thing about it is that it helps businesses offer post purchase settlement. This means that if you’re in the business of high value transactions, the company can help you attract more customers who’d like to pay in multiple installments. The Swedish company was founded in 2005 and as of 2011 about 40% of all e-commerce sales in Sweden went through it.
Finance tools and modern banking
Expensify is a user-friendly tool for tracking business and personal expenses. One of the greatest features is the “scan receipt” component which allows users to simply take a photo of a receipt using their smartphone. From there, the tool intuitively stores and organizes it. This makes it simple to track expenses, but users can also create their own expense lists.
Brex is the “financial OS to scale your business”. Based in California, the company has helped thousands of newly founded startups and established businesses manage their finances using virtual cards, bank accounts and more.
Operating in the EU, Holvi offers a digital banking alternative for freelancers and small business owners. Its fluid onboarding is easy to get through and with it users can get set up and running very quickly in comparison to high street banks. Its tools for invoicing, collecting payments online, and managing expenses make it an all in one service.
This category refers to tools with more than one use case. Although many of the top tools for digitizing a company serve a single purpose, there are some that cover several. These tools can provide immense value in one platform:
Google Drive is a versatile tool that can aid in team collaboration, while also allowing companies to save important documents to a cloud-based platform. Likewise, onboarding documents can be saved in a separate folder and easily accessed by new hires to prevent the need to send redundant or excessive e-mails each time a new member is brought on board.
Zapier bridges different tools together. It helps you integrate different applications to create a sequence/automation that saves you time. It’s library supports many of the tools that we mentioned in this article along with 2000 others and, we’re proud to say, as of recently Passbase as well.
Draw.IO comes in handy when you need to quickly visualise a process or draw an explanation for a colleague. It’s very easy to use and can be readily integrated into Google Drive and other tools.
V.One can appeal to companies that are just looking to build their first version of an existing business. It supports both first time starters and also has growth plans. Via a drag and drop function, a company can build a fully monetizable app.
MailChimp: MailChimp is an automated marketing platform that first launched in 2001 and was ranked in 7th place on Forbes Cloud 100 List in 2016. While their main area of expertise began with e-mail marketing services, today MailChimp is an all-in-one marketing solution that allows users to perform a variety of tasks. Some of the most popular features include social media campaign management, creating landing pages and even designing and sending traditional postcards.
There are many more companies, tools and resources that are doing a fascinating job helping others maintain their productivity in the face of Covid-19 and we’re sure that we can’t cover all of them (even though we’d love to). We hope that this list was helpful and if you think something is missing, please let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org!