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17 Essential Remote Work Tech Tools for an Easier Day-to-Day

Working remotely is simultaneously rewarding and challenging. Finding the right groove to stay productive and focused takes time and experience, so work-from-home employees must choose and master the right remote work tech tools to make their workdays easier. Some help you focus and others get you through the tasks at hand.

Working from home presents unique challenges. You must ensure your family does not intrude during work hours and friends respect boundaries since they know you’re home during the day. There are numerous distractions and no one to remind you about looming deadlines unless you log into the company communication system. 

Tapping into the power of technology gives you an edge and helps with everything from organization to completing tasks. Grab your favorite snack and a refreshing drink and discover some of the best tools for remote workers.

Remote Work Tech Tools

1. Time Trackers

You may find you procrastinate when bored, tired or overwhelmed. Staying on task and allotting time to finish to-do items can eliminate scrolling through social media or going down rabbit trails. You might write a report on the wasps at headquarters needing extermination and wonder what wasps eat anyway.

After a Google search, you wind up on a cartoon about a traveling wasp meeting his cousins across the country. Such time-wasters might be entertaining, but they kill productivity.

The human brain is wired to avoid tasks people don’t enjoy by finding anything else to do. Repetitive jobs are boring, and you might need a gentle nudge from a ticking clock to remind you that a deadline is approaching. 

Toggl and Clockify are time-tracking and project management remote work tech tools. The software can track which tasks you spend the most time on and align with project assignments, which is helpful for jobs you bill by the hour.

2. Cloud Storage

Freelancers should keep a backup copy of their work. You may upload to the client’s site and later find something copied incorrectly or not at all.

Keeping your files adds protection against technological glitches and server malfunctions. Repeating work on something you finished once puts everyone behind schedule. 

You should invest in an automated backup system like iDrive, DropBox or Google Documents. Google is free up to a certain amount of space and then you must upgrade to save additional files.

Any original content you create should be backed up on your device and personal cloud storage to prevent loss. Even work for hire can be stored for a short time to ensure the employer safely received their copy. Most backup systems can be automated so anything in your work folder goes directly into storage without additional effort.

3. Antivirus Software As A Remote Work Tech Tool

The rise in cybercriminal gangs is significant. Every organization is at risk, and so are individuals. Remote workers should ensure adequate protection to avoid hackers getting into their machines or using them as a backdoor into their company’s databases. 

Install software such as Norton, McAfee or Bitdefender. Work with the IT department to ensure you have adequate firewalls, complex passwords and privacy settings turned on. This type of remote work tech tool means security in all your work.

Since remote workers can finish tasks from a local coffee shop or diner, public settings are crucial to protect the entire organization. Remember to include malware to prevent ransomware or malicious websites from infecting your files. 

Remote Work Tech Tools

4. Videoconferencing

Remote workers should spend time familiarizing themselves with the company’s video meeting software. Zoom and Google Meet are two popular tools for online work gatherings.

Zoom collaborates with third-party software such as Slack, Asana and PandaDoc. At a minimum, you should know how to adjust settings and noise levels and share a screen. If you’re asked to present, you’ll have a handle on the best way to do so. 

5. Communication Remote Work Tech Tools

Remote teams must stay connected to finish big projects. For example, the project manager needs to know when you’ll have your piece of the puzzle ready so the next person can move forward. 

Some of the best remote work tech tools for talking online and tracking what was said include Slack, Google Chat and Spatial Chat.

6. Project Management Tools

While remote workers rarely get to choose the team’s PM tools, many options exist. Each has its pros and cons. For example, Monday offers a lot of flexibility but has a steep learning curve. Basecamp is another option for teams to track when touch points are completed.

Look for a remote work tech tool where tasks are assigned to specific people. Remote workers can offer input on other options they’ve used that work well to juggle all the moving parts of a larger assignment. 

7. Automation Tech Tools For Remote Work

One of the best parts of living in the 2020s is the ability to automate almost anything. Working from home means you can avoid the distractions that come with being in an office. You’ll be able to show the higher-ups how much more productive you can be at home. 

Try tools such as Zapier and IFTTT that let your apps communicate with one another. For example, set up a scenario where a file uploaded to a certain folder automatically backs up on Dropbox. You might also add events to your Google Calendar to save time spent manually syncing things. 

Remote Work Tech Tools

8. Whiteboard Collaboration

Sometimes, you must collaborate with a co-worker or client when working off-site. Whiteboard tools allow you to share frameworks and ideas and brainstorm problems. Figma, Notion and Figjam all offer opportunities to share screens and add interactive thoughts in the moment.

Some other tools, such as project management options, have built-in whiteboard potential. While you don’t need multiple programs that do the same thing, you do need to figure out what you have and what to add to complete tasks effectively. 

9. Focus Tech Tools For Remote Work

Are you the type of person who needs complete silence to work? Perhaps you fall into the “must have background noise” category. Whatever your productivity personality, you’ll find tools to help you with the process. 

IYou can mute social media and your cellphone during working hours if you enjoy silence. If you like a bit of noise, try something like Noisli or A Soft Murmur to add sounds like rain or people chatting quietly. Soft, controlled sounds can mute loud atmospheres and make focusing easier. 

10. Distraction-Cutting Programs

Do you find yourself jumping onto social media throughout the workday and getting distracted with online drama or mindless memes? Try a tool such as Cold Turkey or App Block to temporarily disable access to social sites. 

You might be in the habit of checking Facebook every 10 minutes. App blockers keep you from accessing the sites you set and can train you to have better habits while completing work. Fewer distractions mean you’ll finish tasks more quickly.

11. To-Do Lists As Remote Work Tech Tools

McKinsey & Co.’s American Opportunity Survey found that about 58% of people work from home at least some of the time. Another 35% stated they are full-time remote workers, and 23% worked outside the office part time. Employees want the option to work a more flexible day, and 87% would jump at the opportunity if offered. 

However, remote workers must be aware of the potential distractions of WFH. Someone else at home during work hours can disrupt the flow of a typical day.

Children returning from school before all your tasks are finished may also impact your focus. The pile of laundry in your basket is calling your name, you need to empty the dishwasher and the dog needs another walk. 

A to-do list keeps you on track and ensures you check off crucial touch points in your list of tasks. Todoist can be set for an individual or a team as a valuable remote work tech tool. 

Work from home technology

12. News Alerts

Some people work in an industry where trending news can impact their bottom line. They may want to tap into free apps such as Google News and Talkwalker to receive notifications on topics, when a company name pops up in a post or competitors make a move. 

While you should limit social media use during work hours, staying on top of trending topics can help drive decisions in your industry. Take the time to glance at certain keywords and hashtags throughout the day via apps like Facebook, Twitter and TikTok. 

You can also pay attention to world events everyone is talking about. How might a war impact sales for your company?

Will the latest fun event bring more shoppers to town, and how should your business prepare? Knowing what’s happening outside your WFH bubble benefits the company and customers. 

13. Screen Recorders

When you work in a building with IT, you can call them and show them that weird thing your computer does. Remote work requires a bit more thought to troubleshoot.

Screen recording tools allow you to show what you’re doing on the screen when you get the error. You can then send it to IT and hopefully find the solution.

Another benefit of screen recording programs is adding visual elements to train other workers, explaining a concept to a client or sharing ideas for the next meeting. 

14. Graphic Design Software

Whatever your role in your company, there is a time and place for including images, creating diagrams and showcasing complex topics with visuals. Fortunately, today’s remote work tech tools and AI-assisted design mean even amateur creators can come up with something impressive.

Canva is an inexpensive option that lets you create business cards, flyers, graphs and relevant images. You can work from a template and customize it to suit your needs.

For example, if your boss wants you to update the cover image for the company’s Facebook page, you can develop something fairly impressive without spending a ton of time on the process. 

Other tools you should bookmark include LunaPic for photo editing, GIMP for an Adobe-like experience and Midjourney to create AI images of anything you can imagine. 

Remote Work Tech Tools

15. Sleep Cycle Trackers

Do you dread the alarm clock sounding in the morning? One way to ensure you aren’t interrupting a crucial REM cycle is to download an app like Sleep Cycle. It monitors breathing and body movement and wakes you before or after so you feel more rested.

You can also see if you’re getting enough rest. Perhaps an earlier bedtime or later start time would benefit you by increasing focus and productivity. 

Studies show adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep nightly to maintain good health. Paying attention to your patterns can set you up for success at any work location.

16. Background Noise Reducers

Attending a Zoom meeting is almost inevitable with remote work. You may even joke that you survived another meeting that could have been an email. One issue some people have when working from home is canceling out background noise. 

You may have a dedicated office with a door you can close, but if your partner is in the other room with the kids or on the phone, the noise will filter into your space. Invest in a high-quality, noise-canceling microphone or headset. Some sounds might still trickle through, but it will be far less when you use this valuable tool. 

You may work on the road and have to log in from the local coffee shop. Noise-canceling equipment helps you have a semi-private conversation minus the background distractions.

17. Time Zone Calculator

Do you work with people from across the globe? Determining meeting times and converting zones can be tricky. Enter time zone tools so you don’t have to do math to figure out when the meeting starts. 

Some available tools include, Time Zone Wizard and Doodle’s built-in time zone scheduler. When you schedule a meeting, the system automatically converts the time zone to the other person’s location. 

Determining the difference is crucial to choose the best time for all. You don’t want to schedule a meeting the other person has to attend at three in the morning. 

Work from home technology

Test New Remote Work Tech Tools for Highest Productivity

Finding the right tools to make your day run more smoothly is a matter of trial and error. The programs that work best for your co-worker may do nothing to help you.

When you hear of something interesting, bookmark it and give it a try. Keep it in your remote worker toolbox if you love it and it makes you more productive. Over time, you’ll curate a go-to list of the best tools for your job and personality.

Productivity options for working from home
Productivity options for working from home

About the Author

Mia Barnes

Mia Barnes is a freelance health and lifestyle writer from the East Coast. Mia is also the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Body+Mind Magazine. She enjoys writing about topics related to self-care, mindful living, and overall wellness. When not writing, you can find Mia reading romance novels, trying new recipes or practicing yoga.