The Top 10 Remote Working Tools You Need to Try (and Why)

Macgill Davis

A peek inside companies around the country would reveal an interesting mix of full and empty offices. More and more companies are adopting hybrid work plans, and their employees love it. In a recent survey of remote workers, nearly all (97%) said they would recommend working from home and wanted to continue working remotely indefinitely. 

As teleworking grows, so does the demand for tools to facilitate it. Remote workers can benefit from a wide range of tools to help with communication, collaboration, time management, and more. Here are some of the best remote working tools available and why you should use them.

Benefits of Remote Working Tools

Remote working tools: entrepreneur having a video call with her colleague

If you work online in any capacity, you're no stranger to software as a service (SaaS). The SaaS model allows users to connect and use a variety of cloud-based applications — like email, calendars, and word processing software. SaaS has grown exponentially in recent years, increasing from an average of 16 SaaS tools per organization in 2017 to 110 in 2021. 

For those working remotely, these tools are their lifeline. 

Whether you're new to remote work or you've done it for years, using the right tools can have incredible benefits, such as:

  • Enhanced communication: Communication is essential for any workplace, but especially for distributed teams. A good communication tool is vital for maintaining relationships, sharing information, and collaborating on projects. Remote working tools can help you stay in touch with teammates across time zones through messaging, video conferencing, and more.
  • More effective project management: Successful projects require teamwork, regardless of the distance between team members. Remote project management tools can help teams organize their work, assign tasks, set deadlines, and track progress, even when working asynchronously.
  • Increased collaboration: Distributed teams must find ways to work together efficiently, and the right collaboration tools can help. Remote working tools can help you share files, work on projects together in real time, and stay organized. This is essential for distributed teams that need to be able to work together even when they're not in the same location.
  • Better time management: It is possible to save a lot of time working from home, but only if you manage your time well. Remote working tools can help you manage your time more effectively by blocking off time for specific tasks, setting reminders, and eliminating distractions.

In addition, the best remote tools are user-friendly and built to fit a flexible work lifestyle. Many have mobile apps for iOS and Android and integrations for popular web browsers like Google Chrome. Some tools even offer templates to help you get started and automation to make your workday easier.

10 Remote Working Tools to Boost Your Productivity

Remote working tools: entrepreneur using her phone

Although you shouldn't always assume the newest tool is better ("shiny object syndrome"), switching up your tools periodically can improve your performance. If you'd like to step up your remote working tool game, we've compiled a list of favorites to help you get started.

1. Zoom

A list of remote working tools would not be complete without Zoom. The video conferencing app gained widespread popularity during the pandemic because of its ease of use and reliability (not to mention the hilarious background appearances). With HD video and audio quality as well as interactive features like screen sharing, breakout rooms, and whiteboards, Zoom is an ideal solution for video calls and team meetings.

  • Free plan available: Yes
  • Plan pricing: Paid plans start at $149.90 per year per user

2. Slack

Slack is another popular tool that's become synonymous with remote work. The messaging app is perfect for distributed teams who need a place to communicate efficiently. You can create channels for specific topics or projects and direct message team members, making it easy to stay organized and on track. Slack also integrates with several other productivity tools, making it even more versatile.

  • Free plan available: Yes
  • Plan pricing: Paid plans start at $7.25 per month per user

3. Trello

The visual project management tool Trello has an easy-to-use interface ideal for remote workers. Kanban boards and cards help you organize your projects and tasks, and features like attachments, team member tagging, and comments make it easy to keep everyone on the same page. Everything syncs across both the web and mobile apps, and integrations with other apps are available for those needing them.

  • Free plan available: Yes
  • Plan pricing: Paid plans start at $5 per month per user

4. Asana

Asana is another project management tool popular with remote workers — and for good reason. It's both user-friendly and powerful, packed with features to help distributed teams easily manage projects, tasks, and deadlines. Like Trello, you can organize projects via Kanban boards, but Asana offers a few additional features. It is easy to assign tasks and deadlines to particular users, and action items from different projects are automatically gathered together in a central to-do list for each user. Add in plenty of integrations and automations, and you've got a powerful tool for managing projects.

  • Free plan available: Yes
  • Plan pricing: Paid plans start at $10.99 per month per user

5. Skype

Not to be outshined by Zoom, Skype is another excellent video conferencing app option for remote workers. It offers HD video and audio quality as well as features like screen sharing, group chat, and file sharing. Although Skype doesn't provide a business plan (this option was replaced by Microsoft Teams), it's still a popular option. Fans cite pros such as simplicity, security, and native integration with Microsoft apps as reasons to choose it. Bonus? Web-based use is free, with payment only necessary if calling mobiles and landlines.

  • Free plan available: Yes
  • Plan pricing: Paid plans start at $2.99 per month per user

6. Rize

Entrepreneur using a laptop

This revolutionary time-tracking tool is perfect for remote workers who want to prioritize focus work and improve their time management skills. Rize automatically tracks your workday, categorizing your activities into focus, work, meeting, or break time. You can also set focus sessions for manual tracking, taking advantage of features like a Pomodoro timer, background music, and more. Plus, impressively detailed reports of your time usage and activity can help you and your team optimize your workflow.

  • Free plan available: Yes
  • Plan Pricing: Paid plans start at $9.99 per month per user

7. Evernote

Evernote is a user-friendly, feature-packed tool for remote workers who need to organize their thoughts, take notes, and collaborate on projects. Getting started is easy with templates, and Evernote integrates with many apps to make knowledge capture seamless. Brainstorming and researching are made easier with tagging, searching, and sharing features.

  • Free plan available: Yes
  • Plan pricing: Paid plans start at $7.99 per month per user

8. Freedom

Remote work can be challenging, especially if you work primarily from home. If you're often distracted by social media, news websites, or other online temptations, try the Freedom app. Freedom blocks websites, apps, and notifications that might interfere with your productivity to help you stay on track. You can set up custom block lists and recurring schedules across all devices. 

  • Free plan available: Yes
  • Plan pricing: Paid plans start at $8.99 per month per user

9. Calendly

Calendly makes scheduling meetings with clients and teammates in different time zones easy. The app automates the process of scheduling meetings and calls based on your availability, time zone differences, and preferred meeting duration. You can also set up reminders and integrate Calendly with your email and calendar.

  • Free plan available: Yes
  • Plan pricing: Paid plans starting at $8 per month per user

10. Zapier

Once you've selected the perfect set of remote working tools, there's one more to help you tie them all together. Zapier connects apps and services to automate repetitive tasks. With Zapier, you can set up "zaps" that automatically perform actions, like creating a task in Asana when you receive an email in Gmail. Over 5,000 apps work with Zapier, so you're sure to find the perfect integrations for your needs.

  • Free plan available: Yes
  • Plan pricing: Paid plans start at $19.99 per month per user

Bonus: Remote Team Tool Sets

Both Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 Business offer comprehensive remote working tool packages. Each suite's tools work seamlessly together, including everything from email and document creation to video conferencing and task management

Many of the individual programs in the suites are free to use. These include popular options like Microsoft Teams for instant messaging and video conferencing and Google Drive for sharing files. While the free options are suitable for freelancers and small businesses, larger organizations planning to operate remotely for an extended period may want to consider purchasing an enterprise or business plan. 

  • Free plans available: Yes
  • Plan pricing: Google Workspace plans begin at $6 per month per user, and Microsoft 365 plans start at $8.25 per month per user

Boost Your Remote Team’s Productivity With Remote Working Tools

The best remote working tools can help your team stay connected and productive, even when working from different locations. From communication and collaboration to remote time management and task tracking, there's a tool to help with every aspect of remote work. Investing in the right tools for your team can set them up for success no matter where they're working.

Knowing where your time goes is essential for any business, but it's especially crucial when working remotely. Tracking time with Rize can help you and your team identify areas of distraction and inefficiency and make necessary changes to boost productivity. 

Rize runs in the background of your computer and automatically tracks your workday, identifying times of focus and distraction. Sign up for a free two-week trial and see how Rize can become your favorite remote working tool.