Today, more and more companies are offering partially or even fully remote roles — and given the perks that come with working remotely, we can’t blame them.

Working from home can be extremely helpful in improving productivity. In the office, it’s easy to be distracted by coworkers walking up to your desk to chitchat or request something from you. If you work remotely, your colleagues must send their requests in writing, where you can get to them on your own time without interrupting the task at hand. As a result, you’ll be able to maintain a state of flow and complete your tasks more easily.

From a purely financial standpoint, remote work is great for the company as well because it saves on space and resources — less equipment to purchase, no rent, etc.

Surely There Are Cons?

Nothing is perfect, and remote work is no exception. It can be easy to misinterpret what a colleague is attempting to convey over email or chat. Without having body language and facial expressions to rely on, you can completely miss someone’s intent. As a result, you may take something personally or misread the urgency of a request. The former damages team coherence and culture, and the latter can harm company productivity and revenue.

Should You Offer Remote Work?

It’s important to make up your own mind about whether to let your employees work remotely or not. However  — and this is especially true in the tech sector — candidates are demanding remote options more frequently, and I personally recommend offering at least a partially remote option. One or two work-from-home days a week can sway a candidate toward choosing you over any competing offers they may receive.

5 Tools for Better Remote Work

With the help of Clouductivity owner Marcus Bastian, I compiled a list of the best tools to make remote life easier. Whether you’re a remote worker yourself or an employer looking to provide for their employees, the following solutions may be just what you need:

1. Zoom

A high-quality web conferencing service with video and audio options, Zoom can host up to 500 participants in one virtual conference room and offers screen-sharing and remote control. The service can also record your meetings and upload copies to the cloud, along with a slew of other really cool features. There’s a reason Zoom consistently ranks among the best video-conferencing software. As an added bonus, the pricing plans aren’t half bad.

2. Slack

Utilized by large organizations such as Airbnb, eBay, Samsung, and NASA, Slack is a chat platform that makes it easy to bring your entire company onboard. You can create as many rooms as you need, in addition to private one-on-one chats between coworkers.

You can also integrate a ton of apps into Slack. For example, one of Bastian’s previous companies had a chatbot that allowed developers to deploy code to different environments right from the chat channel. Additionally, you can build custom tools to further tailor Slack to your team’s needs. The basic version is free.

3. GitHub for Business

GitHub for Business allows your company to develop its software securely on GitHub. GitHub provides hooks for continuous integration/deployment systems so that tests and deployments can be automatically performed as code is committed.

4. Confluence

Confluence is a content collaboration tool that integrates into other software and makes it easier to track changes to documents and projects between revisions. And there’s an app for it. Price points are pretty good for both small and large companies.

5. 1Password Teams

Inexpensive, and makes it super easy to share secret keys and documents securely.

Roxanne Williams is the marketing director at Full Stack Talent. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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