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5 Tech Tools That Are Changing The World of Remote Work

5 Tech Tools That Are Changing The World of Remote Work

With numerous surveys concluding that remote workers are happier, healthier and more productive, it should come as no surprise that remote work is on the rise. In fact, a range of new technologies is helping more workers than ever before save a daily trip to the office.

According to a Gallup survey, between 2012 and 2016, the number of workers that work from home one day or less per week dropped from 34% to 25%, while the number of workers working remotely four or five days a week rose from 24% to 31%.

In fact, more than 50% of workers worldwide who telecommute part-time said that they wanted to increase their remote hours and 60% workers said they would leave their current job if they found a full-time remote position at the same pay.

While the majority of remote workers work from home a few days per week, there is also a growing community of digital nomads that find ways to work from almost anywhere in the world.

Here are five tech tools that are helping to change the world of remote work.

1. Project Management Apps

It is hard enough keeping everyone on the same page and working smoothly together when you all share the same physical space.

Keeping employees in lock-step with each other while they don’t even share the same time zone can be a monumental challenge. While remote employees may be far more productive individually, that doesn't necessarily mean that working as a team isn't more challenging.

Thankfully, there is a wide range of project management apps such as Basecamp, Asana, and Trello that can help individual team members understand how their work fits in with the broader scope of the project and even how missing a deadline holds others up.

Best of all, each app operates on a slightly different principle, which allows teams to use an app that fits in best with their needs.

2. VR and AR Conferencing

In the early days of email, developers recognized just how much we interpret words based on body language and facial expression. Thus was born the emoji. Emojis were designed to give emotional context to words, so they were less likely to be misunderstood.

There can be no denying, however, that the meaning and intent of written language can still be hugely confusing. This gave rise to the popularity of video conferencing. Even video conferencing has its limitations, however, which is where VR and AR conferencing will come in.

With VR and AR conferencing, participants can stand up, walk around a virtual table and even point to slides, graphs, charts or figures.

3. Cloud Computing

There may be no other technology that has had a greater hand in enabling remote work than cloud computing.

Remote work has, in theory, been a possibility for far longer than it has been a popular reality. Some of this was simply cultural.

Businesses simply could not wrap their head around the notion that employees would actually work harder, better and more diligently with no one there to supervise them. The other primary reason, however, was one of security.

One of the biggest fears of most businesses was the vulnerability that was created every time an employee tried to log in remotely to internal servers. Cloud security has come so far, however, that it is now often considered superior to dedicated on-site servers.

Combined with other security features such as encryption and virtual private networks, data is now no more or less safe in the cloud than on an internal server.

4. Software Integration

It may be hard to remember now, but there was a time when every business used several different types of proprietary software, almost none of which actually worked together. This led to the necessity of information being entered multiple times in separate systems, which often caused data to not sync properly.

Even the most simple differences, such as a single typo on the last name or an employee entered as Rob in one system and Robert in another could cause a tremendous amount of chaos.

Today, the name of the game is integration.

Programs like Salesforce can be tailored and customized for an individual business, yet still integrate with hundreds of other programs such as Outlook, Square or Quickbooks.

This allows remote teams to perform completely different functions using all the same platforms that integrate seamlessly with each other. When businesses use software systems that collaborate with each other, it creates an even better collaborative environment for remote employees.

5. AI

From digital assistants such as that can schedule meetings for teams spread across time zones, to AI-powered customer service reps to online chatbots, AI is having a significant impact on remote work.

Soon, all your remote employees will be able to have their own digital assistants that can answer the phone for them, schedule appointments for them and even make travel arrangements.

What's more, AI assistants of the future will be even more intuitive and able to help employees do everything from analyzing sales trends to searching for information across multiple platforms.

One of the next big trends in AI is the ability of virtual assistants to ask questions in order to further clarify what the user is looking for.

While there is a great deal of technology already available today helping remote workers live happier, healthier and more productive lives, there is even more technology poised to set more workers free from the office.

At the moment, there are still a number of businesses that do not yet have the tech in place to allow employees to work from wherever they might wish to roam.

Many remote employees are still required to stay close to the office, even though they may work from home a few days a week.

The time may not be far off when an employee can work just as easily from Paris or Rome as from their home just down the street from the office.

Image source- Goalcost

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