Despite its growing popularity, remote work remains a point of serious compromise for most workplaces. Employees request remote work because it allows them to maintain a flexible schedule, while employers resist because it’s much harder to keep workers accountable when they’re off site. What’s the balance?

Tech startups have, unsurprisingly, come through with countless productivity and collaboration tools to make remote work more manageable. If you’re still trying to find the right arrangement for your business, these 4 tools can help.

Center Collaboration

One of the main reasons remote work has become so popular with businesses is that it allows for collaboration between people in disparate geographic locations. What’s important about this? It gives companies the opportunity to truly hire the best and not just rely on the individuals available in their area. But it also means these companies need to master multiple collaboration tools.

Google Docs and its accompanying programs have all helped make collaboration an assumption rather than a goal, but in a professional setting, it helps to have more structured tools that fit your particular goals. One option is Panopto, a collaboration video platform.

What makes Panopto a better option for video than a well-known program like Skype? It’s all about having the right tool for the job. Because Panopto is not just a video chat service but also a video library, it can be used for education, onboarding, and other frequently used resources, not just real-time chats. This is video for business, taken seriously.

Schedule Strictly

Scheduling – and worker accountability – is a serious problem for businesses with remote workers. While team members may show up for meetings or return emails, they may not use their time efficiently, may not track their shifts, or otherwise disrupt workplace scheduling in ways that wouldn’t be possible in person.

Hold staff accountable to the office schedule and let them collaborate in creating it using Humanity’s employee schedule maker. Designed for real-time updates, mobile access, and non-traditional business structures, it’s the perfect way to organize your office, allow workers to trade shifts, confirm their schedules, and even set up vacation days. Plus, this tool takes a lot of pressure off your office administrator.

Be Task Oriented

Remote workers generally need more structure than in-office staff who can directly communicate with coworkers and supervisors about upcoming tasks. And while these individuals need to be very independent, a thorough editorial calendar can make all the difference when it comes to how much gets done in a given day.

If you need a thorough editorial calendar tool to replace your scattered lists or hard to use CRM, Trello’s creative interface works well for many marketing teams. It keeps workers connected, provides visual data regarding the progress of a project, and offers a clear sense of where projects are going in the future.

Be Alert

Anyone who has ever worked from home knows that it’s much harder to stay focused when you don’t have other people around keeping you accountable. Even if you just head to the local café or library, the act of shifting to a public setting means you’re more likely to stay on task. Is there a way to recreate that scenario at home for remote workers?

Whether you need a tool to provide some pressure and help employees stay focused or you just want to be sure they’re not watching YouTube when they should be developing a social media schedule, RemoteCamp is the perfect program.

RemoteCamp monitors worker activity by tracking what tasks they’ve worked on, taking screenshots of the pages they visited, and providing an accounting of what the worker accomplished, no matter where they are. While you may not want to peer over your employees’ shoulders to make sure they aren’t wasting your time or invoicing improperly, sometimes we all fall a little short of our professional goals and accountability helps make remote work a feasible solution.

Remote work isn’t going anywhere, but it will take time for companies to adjust to a professional framework in which employees are removed from the office. At the core of the situation, though, is a focus on communication and accountability. When teams come together with a clear plan and keep building momentum, remote work brings out the best in everyone.

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