It’s been a whole year since the pandemic started and it’s safe to say that the world we live in today is very different. It’s true that at some point in the future we’ll most likely return to some form of “normal.” But with vaccination rollouts, fluctuating numbers and continued uncertainty, most of us realize that we have no idea when that someday will be.

Many companies that expected remote set-ups to be temporary are now settling in for the long-haul. With companies like Twitter and Square having adopted indefinite work-from-home policies, and others like Shopify and Upwork going for remote-first or digital-by-default, it’s evident that this may just be the new normal.

Adaptability is a key requirement for any business in any industry. But the past year has not been kind to the media and entertainment industry and we’ve had do to a lot of duct-tape style scrambling to piece together a remote work environment so we can keep up with the increased demand for content. 

But we deserve better than a hap-hazard workspace. As we pass the year mark, it’s time to start thinking about how we can craft an easier and more efficient work environment so we can build stronger teams, even if we can’t be face-to-face.

Improve remote meetings

KRISP

We’re all getting pretty used to grainy images and poor audio quality when it comes to online meetings. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t strive for something better, clearer and more engaging. That’s where Krisp comes in.

Krisp is an easy-to-use AI-powered app that helps you sound better during online meetings. It removes background noise (like barking dogs and the garbage truck driving by) and echoes from your audio so you sound better when you’re giving an important presentation.

GOOGLE HANGOUTS

If your company uses G-Suite then you can skip the Zoom or Skype meetings and go for something integrated, Google Hangouts. This is a fast, reliable and functional app that’s built for messaging and video and voice calls.

It’s an ideal solution for teams that are already working with the Google business suite and want to cut down the number of third-party apps that they use. You can access it from your desktop, mobile device or tablet, making it great for those constantly on the go.

MURAL

Collaborating online often looks like one document shared within your group. It makes its way around, everyone adds in their comments, someone brings those together and voila, a few weeks later you (hopefully) have it planned out. It’s not the most efficient or effective collaborative process.

But Mural can help your team collaborate visually in real time using a digital whiteboard. Everyone can work on the same project at the same time from around the world and be chatting via their built-in calling feature. It helps ensure everyone is on the same page and projects get planned way faster!

MIRO

It can feel isolating working by yourself at home, especially when you’re working on a group project. Sure, you can all work in a collaborative document or presentation together, but it’s not the same thing as sitting in a room together.

But Miro can help you collaborate visually together. You can turn on your video chat and work together in one of their pre-made presentation templates or start your own. The digital collaboration process is easy with embedded video, chats and comments. Plus it can integrate with other programs like Slack and Gmail to make life easier. 

Be more productive

POCKET

Being online, especially at home, can be distracting. There is so much to see, do and read. News and insights can be distracting but it’s important that you keep up-to-date on industry trends

Pocket can help increase your productivity. Instead of going off on the rails as soon as you come across something interesting to read, you can simply add it to your reading list. It provides you easy-to-access curated news just for you.

SPIKE

It’s not hard for a simple inbox to become a vast garden overgrown with weeds (and unseen tasks). While this is the case for everyday work life, when you move to a virtual environment and it turns into your main (or only) form of communication all rules are thrown out the window.

That’s where Spike comes in. It helps stream your email by making your emails work like a chatbox. It also has group chat capabilities, a powerful internal search engine, allows your team to work on collaborative notes and tasks, and has an internal audio and video call function.

SLACK

Maybe your team simply has too much email and you need a better way to manage it. Slack can help eliminate your emails (or, at least most of them) by turning your team’s remote communication into a series of chat channels. 

Slack allows you to set up channels for different departments, projects or however you want to organize them. You can add attachments and use integrations to make your work process more efficient. Plus you can still use private messaging and separate chat by teams.

OUTWRITE

Written communication plays a significant role in remote work and it’s easy to make a mistake that can change the entire meaning of what you mean to say. Not to mention, it’s hard to convey inflection and easy for readers to input their own ideas when reading what you have to say. A lot can get lost in translation.

Outwrite can help make sure that you write what you mean with it’s built-in advanced grammar editor and thesaurus. It aims to help make your writing clear and concise so your words are easier to understand so your emails and reports are better.

VIDYARD

Vidyard is a video creation, management and sharing application but instead of improving your meeting experience, one of its starring roles is in allowing you to capture asynchronous video. This comes in handy when you’re trying to relay feedback to your team.

We mentioned that written communication can fail in some areas compared to in-person interaction, and providing detailed project feedback is one of those.  But Vidyard allows you to capture videos up to an hour-long, which can include screen records, so you can deliver comprehensive feedback to your team.

RIGHTSLINE

We’d be remiss not to include Rightsline in our list. Our powerful rights management software is built to help you to maximize your portfolios without maxing out your daily schedule.

Working in a remote environment means that organization and standardization of your data are critical. Boost your productivity (and profitability) by organizing your catalog and inventory data in a way that makes sense and provides quick access.

Build better teams

GLINT

You want to provide the best possible work environment, regardless of whether you’re working in a physical or virtual environment. When you understand your employee’s experience, your organization succeeds.

Glint helps you manage the entire lifecycle—the onboarding process, the exit and everything in between. Having accurate data instantaneously allows you to improve the overall effectiveness of your team management.

REFLEKTIVE

Performance management can be a challenge in any setting but when you take your operations remote that becomes more so. You need to work a little harder to build a productive culture and better engage your team in the performance management process. 

Reflektive helps you empower your employees, set and monitor performance goals, gather reviews, provide feedback and build a performance management roadmap. When it comes to remote team building, engagement is key. It’s also a great app because it integrates with important tools like Gmail and Slack.

KNOW YOUR TEAM

With the decrease in face-to-face interactions, we need to get creative about how we connect. There are plenty of apps that can help you collect and analyze information from your team to help build stronger bonds and instill a better remote culture.

Know Your Team helps build stronger teams. It gives you the capability of holding one-on-one meetings with team members, gathers feedback from your team and shares progress throughout the process. You can use their pre-made questionnaires to get to know new and current team members better.

HAPPYORNOT

Feedback is imperative if you want to improve your service and become the industry-leading company you deserve to be. It’s particularly important in B2C companies where you have direct contact with the end-user and want to improve the overall customer experience.

HappyOrNot is the global leader in both employee and customer feedback. It allows you to solicit and collect real-time feedback that provides valuable data to help you continuously improve. This feedback can help you establish a rapport with your customer or it can help you improve your remote team’s culture.

ASANA

Managing projects remotely can be a challenge, especially if you have a large team and a long list of things to be done. Luckily, there are a ton of options out there for assigning, tracking and managing projects with ease, including Asana.

With Asana, you can manage your team’s projects, workflows and help improve the overall productivity. From assigning tasks to different members of the team to collaborating remotely, you can manage a whole organization or just a team.