If you're offering work from home as a perk to your employees, you need to ensure you keep them engaged, monitor their tasks, and provide technical support to them whenever necessary, all remotely. Luckily, there are various remote work tools available in the market that will help you achieve this. At the same time, you also need to keep your business data safe and secure.
When reviewing available products, it might seem like there are a lot of boxes to check before selecting a tool. To help you make the right decision, in this article, we've highlighted the seven top-rated remote work tools based on verified software reviews. Read how we selected these products at the bottom of the page.
All the listed software solutions cater to different remote work needs, such as time tracking, cloud data storage, and scheduling. However, all of them help you remotely monitor the time, productivity, and projects of your employees and keep all the data on the cloud for safe and convenient access.
Clockify is a time-tracking software solution that helps employees track the time they spend working on each task. This recorded time is later used to calculate billable hours. Clockify supports integration with more than 80 project management (PM) tools such as QuickBooks, Trello, Asana, and Jira so that the recorded time is automatically synced with the projects active on those PM tools. As this tool also acts as remote employee monitoring software, it generates an activity dashboard where managers can see how the employees spend their time so that they can take necessary actions to improve efficiency.
Product features of interest*:
Timer: Allow employees to start and stop a digital stopwatch to record the exact duration they spend on a task or project. This helps them to accurately track and manage their time, making it easier to monitor productivity, bill hours, and analyze work patterns.
Timesheet: Automatically organize the work hours and activities in a structured format that provides a comprehensive overview of how time is allocated and spent across various tasks or projects. Also, let the employees edit their timesheets to adjust any record.
Calendar: Integrate the tool with calendar management software such as Gmail and Outlook to visually represent their scheduled tasks and events on the calendar. This allows employees and managers to view and plan work activities and allocate time slots for specific tasks or projects.
Customer support options: Chat, email, and phone support.
Project managers can use Clockify to keep track of their remote team members' time. Integration with the project management tools will allow you to see how much time team members are spending on each task of the project, and on the activity dashboard, you will be able to identify any areas of improvement. Since the tool also marks the tasks on the calendar, you will be able to see if there are any gaps in the employee schedule.
Google Drive is a cloud storage and file-sharing platform that allows you to store files and documents securely on remote servers, accessible from any device with an internet connection. It also allows you to share files by simply changing the access permissions and sharing the file link via email. Team members can collaborate on the files in real time by commenting, chatting, and editing the contents of the file.
Product features of interest*:
Auto-spam and malware detection: Automatically scan files uploaded to the platform to identify and flag potentially harmful content, including spam emails and files containing malware or viruses. This helps protect users from malicious software and undesirable content.
Integration: Integrate Google Drive with other Google applications such as Google Docs, Google Sheets, Gmail, and Google Meet. This will extend the tool's functionality and will simplify team collaboration.
File storage: Store up to 5TB of files in Google Drive securely. You can access these files from any device with an internet connection. You also have the option to increase the storage capacity by paying for it.
Customer support options: Knowledge base, forums, FAQs, and chat support.
Google Drive is for any business manager looking for a cloud storage facility and quick document sharing. It also has an artificial intelligence-enabled search feature that lets you locate files without the need for manual sorting or extensive folder organization. You simply enter phrases such as "files last opened by me," and it will automatically give a list of documents based on your entry. Business managers can greatly benefit from this feature as they don't have to worry about sorting files.
Check the storage capacity of the remote working tool so that you have sufficient space to store files, documents, and data generated during remote work. Adequate storage capacity prevents data loss and system slowdowns.
GoToMyPC is a remote desktop software solution that enables you to access and control your computer from another device over the internet. You install the software on your host computer (main computer at a certain physical location), log in, and then, from a different device (commonly called client computer), access your host computer's desktop as if you were physically present. GoToMyPC ensures data safety by encrypting the connection using 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).
Product features of interest*:
File transfer: Transfer files between the host and client computers during remote sessions. This feature simplifies the process of sharing important documents, software updates, or troubleshooting files.
Remote printing: Print documents from a remote computer on your local printer by redirecting the print job. This lets you generate physical copies of documents, even when you're working on a remote computer.
Guest invite: Invite other users to temporarily access the host computer remotely. This is useful for collaboration, troubleshooting, or providing technical support. You can send an email invitation with a secure access code to grant limited-time access to a guest.
Customer support options: Knowledge base, FAQs, and chat support.
IT support teams and technicians can use GoToMyPC for remote troubleshooting and maintenance. They can establish a secure connection with remote employees' devices to resolve technical issues, perform maintenance tasks, monitor performance, install software updates, and provide remote training sessions. This will help them ensure systems are well-maintained, secure, and operating smoothly, regardless of the physical location of the devices being managed.
Kahoot! is a gamified learning platform that engages learners through interactive quizzes, surveys, and challenges. The tool can be used to conduct online employee training sessions. It supports multiple gaming formats, such as quizzes, polls, word clouds, puzzles, and brainstorming sessions. It allows the remote workers to join the challenges in real-time or you can assign self-paced training to them so that they can complete their tasks at their own convenience.
Product features of interest*:
Team mode: Allow participants to collaborate and compete in groups, promoting teamwork and friendly competition. You can divide the user into groups with shared objectives so that everyone works together to earn points and compete with other teams.
Customizable templates: Leverage pre-designed game formats and structures that you can adapt to create your own educational activities. These templates typically include question types, scoring systems, and game mechanics.
Leaderboards: Display rankings of participants based on their performance in educational games or activities on a board. It fosters competition and motivation by showing who has earned the most points or achieved the highest scores.
Customer support options: Knowledge base, chat, and email support.
Learning and development managers can use Kahoot! to gamify their learning programs. Gamification will help you make learning fun and engaging, which can boost participation and motivation among remote employees. You will be able to assess their knowledge and skills via quizzes and surveys. Moreover, you can use the tool for team-building activities and icebreakers, fostering collaboration and communication among remote workers.
Consider a remote working tool with document management capability so that you can centralize and securely store all the essential documents. Having version control features will be a plus, as you’ll be able to track document changes and maintain a history of edits.
Sign In Scheduling is an appointment scheduling tool that simplifies the process of booking and managing appointments for various industries, including healthcare, education, and business services. Remote employees and clients can use the tool to schedule meetings and appointments. The tool is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and international standard ISO 27001 compliant, keeping all the user data protected from unauthorized access and use.
Product features of interest*:
Zoom and MS Team booking: Integrate the tool with Zoom and Microsoft Teams to schedule and manage meetings. Both tools support audio and video calling and allow you to set up virtual meetings with specific dates and time slots.
Time-zone management: Let clients schedule appointments while accounting for different time zones. The tool automatically detects the user's time zone and displays available slots accordingly. This ensures that appointments are scheduled accurately, avoiding time zone confusion.
Online booking page: Provides clients with a personalized web page where they can view availability and book appointments at their convenience. You have the option to customize this page with your branding, services, and scheduling options.
Customer support options: Knowledge base, FAQs, video tutorials, chat, and email support.
Healthcare professionals can benefit from Sign In Scheduling as the patients can easily make appointments for consultations using the online booking page, and the tool will automatically block your calendar as per the received bookings. Considering the HIPAA, GDPR, CCPA, and ISO 27001 compliance, you will be able to ensure your patients that their personal information will be protected and not misused.
Toggl Track is another time-tracking and productivity management software that allows you to track the time spent on tasks, projects, or activities by employees for efficient remote team management. Apart from time-tracking functionalities, the tool offers multiple project planning and scheduling features that allow you to drag and drop tasks on team members' timelines for scheduling, color code projects to see their status, and use Kanban boards to get a real-time view of the tasks. The tool helps you track time spent on each project by your remote team so that you can accurately generate bills and invoices for your client.
Product features of interest*:
Calendar view: Allow employees to visually represent their tracked time entries on a calendar interface. They can see when they worked on specific tasks or projects, helping them manage their schedules, identify patterns, and plan future tasks efficiently.
Single sign-on (SSO): Access the software using your existing credentials from another trusted system, such as your company's identity provider or SSO solution. This eliminates the need for separate login credentials, simplifying the login process and enhancing security.
Reporting: Generate detailed summaries and visual representations of tracked time data. You can create custom reports, view timesheets, and analyze productivity metrics to make informed decisions, identify inefficiencies, and optimize workflows.
Customer support options: Knowledge base, email, and chat support.
Project managers looking for a time-tracking tool with project planning and scheduling capabilities can use Toggl Track. The tool will help them oversee project timelines, allocate resources, and assess team productivity using reports. The reports will help you understand how efficiently your resources are being utilized so that you can optimize the processes.
Analyze the reporting functionality of the tool so that you get to see insights into team performance, project progress, and resource allocation. These insights will enable data-driven decision-making, helping you identify bottlenecks, track productivity, and optimize workflows for successful remote team management.
Zoho Assist is a comprehensive remote support software designed to simplify remote IT assistance and collaboration. You can use the tool to provide instant support to clients or employees by remotely accessing and troubleshooting their computers. Additionally, you get customization capabilities that you can leverage to customize the tool's interface with your business's branding elements, such as logos and color schemes. This ensures a consistent and professional appearance when interacting with clients or users.
Product features of interest*:
Voice and video chat: Allow the support agents to communicate via voice or video chat with the client during remote assistance sessions. The conversation enhances the troubleshooting process by providing a more interactive and visual means of communication.
Session recording: Capture and save remote support sessions for later reference. It records screen-sharing, chat, and voice or video conversations, providing a comprehensive record of the troubleshooting process. Session recordings are valuable for training, auditing, documentation, and quality assurance purposes.
Annotation: Draw, highlight, or mark up the remote desktop or shared screen during support sessions. This visual tool enhances communication by allowing support agents to visually pinpoint issues, provide instructions, or emphasize specific areas.
Customer support options: Knowledge base, forums, FAQs, chat, and email support.
Managed service providers (MSPs), who are offering IT services to multiple clients can use Zoho Assist to efficiently manage and support various client systems. You will be able to tailor the tool to each client's branding, security requirements, and specific preferences. It will allow you to provide a more personalized and professional experience.
Remote work software can cost as low as $5 per user per month or all the way up to $39+ per user per month, depending on various factors—features, number of users, hardware requirements, business size/type, training availability, deployment options, integrations, and offered storage. Most remote working tools typically offer the following pricing plans:
Free trial: No-cost trial plans of up to 30 days, giving users access to either all or limited features of the software.
Free version: Free software plans offer basic features and limited premium features access. These are ideal for small businesses with a limited budget.
Entry-level: Starts at $5 per user per month and offers limited features such as document storage and time tracking. This is a good option for small businesses with basic needs.
Mid-tier: Mid-range pricing for remote work tools ranges from $5 per user per month to $33 per user per month. It is ideal for midsize businesses looking for advanced features such as scheduling and customization.
High-end: Advanced plans go up to $39+ per user per month and support unlimited storage, and provide priority technical support. These are ideal for large businesses.
Besides the software license itself, there may be additional costs associated with remote work solutions. These may include:
Add-ons and integrations: Some features, integrations, or add-ons may not be included in the base price and could incur additional charges.
User limitations: Some software solutions charge per user, and exceeding the user limit may lead to unexpected costs.
Storage and data usage: Storing large amounts of data or exceeding data limits might result in extra charges.
Before you finalize any one remote work software for your business, consider asking your vendor these questions to ensure you pick the right tool for your needs.
Does the tool have access controls and permission management features?
Access controls and permission management in remote work software empower the remote workforce to determine who can access, modify, or view specific data and resources. This functionality bolsters security, safeguarding sensitive information from unauthorized access while ensuring compliance with data protection regulations.
Does the tool allow you to leave comments and notes on shared documents?
In remote work, the ability to leave comments and notes in documents is essential for efficient collaboration and communication. It enables team members to provide feedback, discuss changes, and clarify details within shared documents, even when working across different time zones. These comments serve as a documented record of discussions and decisions, enhancing transparency and accountability.
Does the tool have time zone management capabilities?
The time zone management feature allows remote teams to coordinate activities and meetings across global teams effectively, preventing scheduling conflicts and ensuring all the remote workers are on the same page. This functionality minimizes confusion, enhances productivity, and fosters a more inclusive and organized remote work environment.
To be considered for this list, products had to:
Feature in GetApp's Category Leaders report for remote work software. We selected the top seven products with the highest ratings to include in this article.
Include remote access and control as a core feature.
Meet our remote work software market definition: “Remote work software includes a combination of different types of solutions needed for professionals to be efficient and effective in their role from outside a fixed office space. Collaboration and team communication are vital for productive and successful remote work professionals.”
We select and rank products based on an objective methodology developed by our research team. While some vendors may pay us when they receive web traffic or leads, this has no influence on our methodology.
*Our research team identified these features from vendor websites (as of September 04, 2023) based on their analysis of what users find valuable in or expect from remote work software. This list is not exhaustive. For additional features, refer to the vendor's website.
Products evaluated for the pricing calculation were taken from GetApp's remote work software directory. The pricing ranges exclude freemium versions of the products. The features highlighted were identified based on their relevance and the percentage of products in GetApp's directory that offer them.
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