With so many different remote working software systems available, figuring out which is the best fit for your needs is tough. You know you want a tool to support collaboration and maintain productivity regardless of physical distance, but you need to figure out which tool is best. In this post, I'll help you make your choice easy by sharing my insights on the best remote working software for bridging geographical gaps and ensuring smooth communication based on my personal experience as a seasoned remote worker for many years.
What is Remote Working Software?
Remote working software covers a suite of tools that facilitate communication, team collaboration, and productivity for remote employees. These tools achieve this through features like video conferencing, instant messaging, file sharing, and task tracking that replicate the ease, efficiency, benefits, and functionalities of working in a physical office. Many include time tracking, scheduling, and project management features as well.
Remote working software has become critical to business success due to the increase in globally distributed teams. These tools help improve teamwork and collaboration across distances and time zones, and are easily accessed from anywhere, including from mobile devices.
Connecteam is a comprehensive employee management app that's designed to help businesses manage their remote teams. It's a one-stop shop for everything from communication and scheduling to operations and task management.
I included Connecteam in this list because of its wealth of features and overall versatility — it's like having a virtual office in your pocket. Their software is also specifically designed for remote workers who are spread out across different locations, such as employees who work in the field, or businesses that need to manage shift work and distribute company-wide updates to dispersed employees easily.
Connecteam Standout Features and Integrations
Connecteam's task management feature allows managers or crew leaders to assign specific tasks to team members with just a few clicks. They can add detailed descriptions and sub-tasks right within the app. For additional clarity, they can also include images and links to additional files as needed. On the receiving end, employees have the ability to organize all their tasks in one place, so they can easily update the completion status of each item as they work. In addition, Connecteam supports digital forms and customizable checklists, making it easier for teams to track and execute repeatable tasks.
Other standout features include Connecteam's advanced communication tools, like the ability to send updates to specific teams or the entire company. It also has a built-in time clock with GPS location stamps, which is a lifesaver for managing remote teams. The scheduling feature is also pretty neat, allowing you to easily schedule shifts and notify employees of their upcoming work times.
Integrations include Google Calendar, Gusto, QuickBooks Payroll, and others.
- Can be used to gather employee feedback via integrated surveys
- Employees can use the integrated employee directory to reach colleagues instantly
- Includes a mobile-friendly document management system for key company documents
- Limitations on the number of sub-tasks in their Basic and Advanced plans
- Private branding features are only available in their Enterprise plan
Deel is a remote working software solution that helps organizations manage and pay distributed teams. Using their global-first, all-in-one HR platform you can hire remote employees and contractors from anywhere in the world and Deel will manage your international tax and compliance obligations on your behalf.
Their platform covers both HR and payroll functions and includes additional tools such as their '1 on 1' feature that integrates Deel with Slack to enable easy team communication and coordination. This feature is part of their Deel Engage plan, which has a strategic focus on supporting remote teams more effectively. Other features within that module include employee engagement surveys, paid time-off management tools, and automation for common HR tasks.
Deel Engage also helps distributed teams coordinate meetings across different time zones, and easily share talking points and agendas in advance of each team meeting. By integrating '1 on 1' with Deel Engage, their global platform becomes even more supportive of an essential digital hub for truly remote organizations.
Deel Standout Features and Integrations
Features include international hiring tools, onboarding & offboarding workflows, global payroll functionalities, multiple currencies and payment methods, remote communication tools, tax and compliance management, international benefits, meeting collaboration tools, and advanced IP protection.
Integrations are available with Ashby, BambooHR, Expensify, Greenhouse, Hibob, Netsuite, Okta, OneLogin, Quickbooks, Slack, Xero, Workday, and Workable. They also have an Open API that supports additional custom software integrations as well.
- Helpful time zone meeting coordination feature
- Simplifies global payroll across 150+ currencies
- Offers additional employer of record (EOR) services as well
- No mobile app available
- No free trial available
Bonusly is a peer-to-peer recognition and rewards platform that employees can use to give each other small bonuses in the form of points, which can then be redeemed for rewards. The platform operates on a peer-to-peer recognition model, where employees can publicly recognize and appreciate their colleagues for their contributions, efforts, or any other notable achievements. It's to help teams feel more connected, especially when they're working remotely.
Recognition can be given in real-time and can take various forms, such as a thank-you note, a shout-out, or a specific mention of a job well done. Users can also include hashtags like #Teamwork, #Innovation, or #CustomerService in their recognition messages to highlight specific areas of accomplishment or company values. Employees can also use Bounusly to redeem earned points for various rewards, such as gift cards, charitable donations, or even custom rewards specific to the organization.
Bonusly also provides analytics and reporting features, which allow companies to track and measure employee recognition activity. This data can provide valuable insights into employee engagement, team dynamics, and overall performance trends.
Bonusly Standout Features and Integrations
Features include a customizable incentives program that offers automated, manual, and claimable awards, a dashboard with participation metrics and a recognition breakdown, and automated milestones that allow you to recognize birthdays and anniversaries and create shared company traditions.
Integrations include Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace, Workday, Zenefits, Paychex, Bamboo HR, Sage, Namely, and ADP.
- Allows for GIFs and images to be used in shout-out posts
- Fosters a positive workplace environment for remote workers
- Offers rewards from high-quality brands
- Available rewards are limited in certain countries
- Limited filtering and searchability
Miro is a visual collaboration tool for small to midsize businesses. The software features a digital whiteboard that can be used for research, idea creation, building customer journeys, defining user story maps, wireframing, and other collaborative activities.
Remote team members can collaborate easily using Miro whiteboards. They can draw with a stylus, write on sticky notes, or drop files into the conversation. The whiteboard toolkit enables users to write down ideas, create mockups and schemes, and leave feedback on the input of other team members. You can create boards using preloaded templates, convert them into presentations, or save them as PDFs.
Miro includes an integrated library of icons, wireframes, and other content. Users can also upload files, images, and documents from their computer or Google Drive. The software offers advanced security and management features, including secure sign-on and auto logouts.
Miro Standout Features and Integrations
Features include screen sharing, embedded video, a large library of content, pre-built templates, frameworks, and widgets.
Integrations include Airtable, Asana, Atlassian, Box, Figma, Jira, Microsoft 365, Notion, Slack, and Zoom.
- Shared team whiteboards
- Wide range of features
- Flexible templates
- Overwhelming at first
- Takes time to learn
ClickUp is an online collaboration and project management tool suitable for businesses of all sizes and industries.
You can assign comments and tasks to specific team members or groups of people. You can also mark comments and tasks as resolved or in progress, or create custom statuses. All projects can be viewed from an agile dashboard or organized by assignee. The real-time activity stream displays tasks as they’re created and completed.
You can also configure notifications to be sent only for specific items. The mentions feature alerts users when a colleague names them in a discussion, and comments can be edited after posting.
ClickUp Standout Features and Integrations
Features include customizable tasks, checklists, communication tools, to-do lists, video chat, collaboration options, task assignments, invoicing, status alerts, and a task toolbar.
Integrations include Dropbox, Everhour, Figma, GitHub, HubSpot, Loom, Slack, Toggl, Vimeo, and YouTube.
- Powerful project management capabilities
- Lots of video tutorials
- Regularly updated
- Can be overwhelming
- Relies on manual input
OnBoard is an advanced board intelligence platform that simplifies board meeting management. It empowers more informed decision-making, secure remote meetings, and real-time, remote access from any device.
Using OnBoard, you can streamline meeting preparation and provide leaders with accurate, timely information. The software is designed to be remote-ready, so you can run a successful organization from anywhere.
Admins can compile board books and materials with auto-save automatically or annotate board materials directly with searchable notes. OnBoard gives users a personalized dashboard where they can access materials, examine upcoming meetings, and receive announcements.
Permissions management allows admins to designate user access for specific materials. The task management feature allows users to organize, manage, and track action items through meeting cycles. Engagement analytics show when board books are read, where annotations are made, and what sections receive the most attention.
OnBoard Standout Features and Integrations
Features include remote data swipe functionality, surveys & questionnaires, multi-board facilities, multi-organization support, and a secure messenger for 1:1 or group discussions.
Integrations include Google Workspace, Microsoft Office 365, Outlook, and Zoom.
- Effective but simple
- Built-in resources section
- Excellent voting tools
- Limited customization options
- Minute-taking could be easier
Slack is a communication and collaboration platform that allows teams to communicate and work together in real time through instant messaging, file sharing, and integrations with other tools and services.
The software provides public channels for members across organizations to start multiple conversations. In addition, private channels enable interaction within smaller teams, and direct channels help send messages directly to colleagues.
Slack incorporates feeds from social media into the application and blends them with ongoing conversations in various channels. Plus, files such as PDFs, images, documents, and spreadsheets can be shared easily via drag and drop.
Slack archives messages, notifications, files, and projects, all of which can be searched for later. Slack allows users to customize their notifications and reduce their scope. All changes are reflected in the native applications available for iOS and Android.
Slack Standout Features and Integrations
Features include real-time messaging and communication, channels, file sharing, voice calls, and video conferencing.
Integrations available natively include Asana, BambooHR, Github, Google Drive, Help Scout, HubSpot, Jira, Salesforce, Trello, and Zendesk.
- Widely used for business messaging
- A huge number of integrations
- Switching workspaces is awkward
- Video calls are basic
ActivTrak is a hybrid and remote team management software that provides managers with insights into employee performance.
This software provides data and visibility combined with contextual and actionable productivity insights. Using ActivTrak, managers can view remote employee time utilization, identify and resolve inefficient workflows, discover productivity insights, and uncover compliance gaps.
ActivTrak delivers productivity insights for your remote workforce with valuable context. This ensures you have a complete picture of employee behavior and workflows regardless of location.
You get clear visibility into your employees’ and teams’ work time behavior, so you can understand work durations and trends for both remote and in-office employees. You can also leverage data insights to adjust remote employee work schedules to optimize productivity.
ActivTrak Standout Features and Integrations
Features include dashboards, productivity reports, team summaries, app & web usage, workload management, real-time user activity, and screenshots.
Integrations include Asana, Google Calendar, Jira, Lattice, Microsoft Teams, Salesforce, ServiceNow, Slack, Workday, and Zoom.
- Employer alarms and alerts
- Real-time activity insights
- Detailed productivity analysis
- Invasive for employees
- Limited reporting options
Trello is a board-based, visual collaboration tool for planning all kinds of tasks and projects. While often used by agile software development teams, the software is also used in other departments such as sales, marketing, support, and HR.
The web-based solution provides tools to define projects, associated requirements, and the workflow needed to complete projects in a planned sequential manner. Using a kanban card-style system, Trello offers a digital board to create, organize and prioritize actions.
Admins or managers can define new workflows, assign tasks to individuals or teams, set deadlines, and monitor progress. Users can add comments to cards, add members, and attach documents to their tasks.
Trello software is capable of meeting the high level of privacy and security required by large enterprises but is also popular with small businesses.
Trello Standout Features and Integrations
Features include visualization, task management, roadmapping, resource scheduling, real-time updates, and task tagging.
Integrations include Asana, Bitbucket Cloud, GitHub, Google Drive, Jira Cloud, Mailchimp, Microsoft Teams, monday.com, Slack, and Zoom.
- Easy-to-understand visual layout
- High level of flexibility
- Customizable with labels and colors
- Limited range of features
- Lack of advanced reporting
Microsoft Teams is a popular, cloud-based group messaging solution that helps teams collaborate on documents and projects. Its key features include messaging, conferencing, and file sharing.
Perfect for organizations already using Microsoft technology, this software helps users store files online, manage documents, create groups, and receive notifications. It can be customized for each team, and users can communicate through instant messaging, calling, online meetings, and web conferencing.
The team communication and collaboration tool can be used to work on files within Microsoft 365 apps such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and SharePoint.
This app enables local and remote workers to collaborate on content in real time and near-real time across different devices, including laptops and mobile devices. It acts as the hub of team collaboration for Microsoft Office 365 users.
Microsoft Teams Standout Features and Integrations
Features include messaging, conferencing, file sharing, virtual meetings, an open application processing interface, assistant bots, conversation search, contact search, and multi-factor authentication.
Integrations include ADP, Asana, BambooHR, Delve, GitHub, Microsoft Office, Planner, Power BI, Trello, and Zendesk.
- Flexible product architecture
- High level of security
- Easy implementation
- Confusing file structures
- Limited flexibility
Best remote working software for task management
14-day free trial + free plan available
|From $29/month for 30 users (paid annually)||Website|
Best remote working software within a global payroll platform
Free demo available
|Flat rate user pricing, with a free version for businesses with up to 200 people||Website|
Best remote working software for employee recognition and rewards
60-day free trial
Best remote working software for visual collaboration
Free plan available
Best remote working software for project management
Freemium plan available
Best remote working software for online board meetings
Free trial available
|Pricing upon request||Website|
Best remote working software for collaboration across multiple teams
90-day free trial + free plan available
Best remote working software for managing employee productivity
14-day free trial + free plan available
Best remote working software for board-based collaboration
Free trial + free plan available
Best remote working software for collaboration within the Microsoft ecosystem
30-day free trial + freemium version available
Here are a few more worthwhile options that didn’t make the best remote working software list:
Best remote working software for cross-functional work
Best remote working software for building a knowledge base
Best remote working software for video capture
Best remote working software for advanced messaging tools
Best remote working software for collaboration and productivity at scale
Best remote working software for remote work management
Best remote working software for reliable, scalable video conferencing
Best remote working software for hybrid work teams
Best remote working software for managing team tasks and productivity
Best remote working software for enhancing the employee experience
Selection Criteria for the Best Remote Working Software
Perhaps you're wondering how I selected the best remote working software for this list? To build this top 10 list, I evaluated and compared a wide range of remote working software with positive user ratings.
After determining my long list of top choices, I further honed my list by using the selection criteria below to see how each platform stacked up against the next one. I also drew on my own experience of working remotely for 3+ years to pinpoint the features that add a lot of value.
Here’s a short summary of the main selection and evaluation criteria I used to develop my list of the best remote working software for this article:
Remote workers may come from diverse backgrounds with a varying range of technical experience. That’s why it’s essential that the tools they use are simple to understand. For this reason, I selected remote working software with an intuitive user interface, clear navigation, and easy access to key features.
When you rely on software to do your job, you can’t afford any limitations on its capabilities. Each tool must deliver best-of-breed functionality for a given task. That’s why the software I chose for this list offers a wide range of features that support the needs of different types of users.
Support for Collaboration
Top remote working software should make it easy for team members to work together, regardless of their location. With this in mind, I sought out tools that facilitate clear communication with team members and other stakeholders.
One of the huge advantages of software-as-a-service (SaaS) is that tools no longer need to operate in a silo. Various applications can work together to create a frictionless experience for the users. With this top of mind, I selected solutions that integrate with the most popular business applications, especially those most commonly used by remote teams.
As teams grow bigger, the subscription costs for multiple SaaS apps can become a significant concern. Users need access to first-class working tools, without busting the company budget. This is why I look for systems that offer excellent value for price on a per-user basis, even as an organization scales to large numbers.
If you’re running a small business or team, you may be able to get away with using a free plan (also knowns as a freemium plan) to get you started. However, paid plans will often offer you a better return on your investment (ROI) if you can afford one.
Remote Working Software: Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the queries that I hear over and over again regarding the use of remote working tools.
Are there different types of remote working software?
There are different types of remote working software available, covering functions such as video conferencing, project management, file sharing, and collaboration. You can also find tools to assist with time tracking, communication, and messaging.
How can I tell which remote working software is right for my business?
To determine which remote working software is right for your business, consider the needs and requirements of your team, as well as your budget. Start by identifying the specific tasks and processes that you need to support, and then look for software that offers the features and functionality required to support those tasks.
In conclusion, remote working software is a critical tool for companies and teams looking to enable remote work and maintain productivity, communication, and collaboration. Many different types of remote working software are available, each designed to meet specific needs and requirements.
If you found this article helpful, you may also want to check out our articles on how to onboard remote employees and remote team-building activities. We also have a great list of 32 Proven Tips to Help You Work From Home More Effectively too. Or, if you're specifically focused on trying to manage projects remotely, this guide to 12 Remote Project Management Best Practices & Strategies is also worth a read.
Working from home, from co-working spaces, or even while on the move is undoubtedly the trend of the future. With the right software, you can reap the benefits of remote teams and set your company on course for greater success. And now that you know exactly which tools to use, there’s nothing to stop you from scaling up your operations accordingly.
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Related read: 10 Best Team Communication Apps for Hybrid Teams