According to recent studies, about a quarter of the US population already works from home, at least occasionally. What’s more, these numbers are rapidly on the rise. Many employees and managers, previously unfamiliar with the practice of working from home, are now getting to experience this type of work arrangement for the first time.

And, despite the many benefits, a work-from-home arrangement comes with its fair share of questions and concerns for first-timers, who’ll need to organize, manage, supervise, execute, communicate, and report progress, all from afar.

Remote business cover-

Here’s how you can best manage a remote business, as well as streamline and automate business operations by implementing the right tips and apps.

What are the challenges of remote work for managers?

Working remotely has its own fair share of challenges. And, managing people who are working remotely can seem even more daunted, due to:

  1. The lack of face-to-face supervision
  2. Delays in response time in communication
  3. The lack of face-to-face daily meetings
  4. Difficulties with structuring work
  5. Isolation affecting mental health (and work performance)

Statistics emphasize the severity of the challenges related to remote management — namely, a research sample of 2,000 surveyors shows that, although as much as 86% of remote employees feel connected to their direct coworkers, only 14% feel connected to their headquarters.

Here’s how you can deal with each remote business management challenge, by relying on research and tips from experienced managers, CEOs, CMOs, founders, co-founders, and other remote professionals from around the world.

Challenge #1: The lack of face-to-face supervision

One of the biggest problems of remote work, both for the employees and the managers, is the matter of remote supervision.

Managers will likely worry about whether their employees are working on their tasks as agreed on. Initially, they may struggle with assigning tasks, communicating task requirements and resources, as well as tracking the team’s progress. They’ll also feel uneasy about the thought that they cannot personally pop off to a team member’s desk to help out with tasks and discuss problems.

On the same note, employees will likely worry about not being able to consult with their managers face-to-face on a regular basis. Moreover, they may also worry about how to prove that they are working from home as diligently as they did when they were in constant sight of their managers at the office. In order to prove that they are not slacking off at home, employees may work even harder, work past their work hours, and risk slowly overworking themselves to serious conditions, such as burnout.

How to deal with the lack of face-to-face supervision

Tip #1: Forget micromanagement 

Morgan Taylor, the CMO for LetMeBank, implies that micromanagement is never the way to go when working your way around the lack of face-to-face supervision:

“The biggest challenges are making sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to, and keeping them happy while they do it. I’ve found the best way to keep people doing what they are supposed to do is to actually back off, and let them do things in the way that best works for them. As they are all in their own houses, with their own unique circumstances, they typically find they know how best to adapt to the situation they are in, and being too rigid in procedure actually causes more problems than it fixes.”

Avoiding micromanagement is wise no matter whether your employees work from home or from the office — namely, one study shows that 69% of surveyors considered changing their job because of micromanagement, while 36% actually changed their jobs because of it. Moreover, as much as 71% claimed that micromanagement negatively influenced their work performance, while 85% claimed it negatively influenced their morale.

Tip #2: Focus on establishing accountability

Kevin Miller, the founder and CEO of The Word Counter, emphasizes the importance of establishing accountability in the times when we cannot supervise our teams face-to-face:

“Creating check-in times and assigning clear deliverables has been very helpful for accountability. We have every task assigned in Basecamp to keep things tracked and organized. We also do daily standup meetings at 10 AM PST. During these meetings, we discuss what we did yesterday, what we are working on today, and talk through any issues we are experiencing. All of our meetings are conducted via Zoom, which also helps to keep everyone accountable.”

To support this tip, research suggests that establishing accountability can improve work performance — a study made by the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) has found that making a commitment to someone that you will reach a goal actually increases your chances of reaching the said goal to 65%. Moreover, having regular accountability appointments with the person you committed to increases the chances that you will reach the said goal to a whopping 95%.

Tip #3: Use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track goal progress

Shawn Breyer, the owner of Atlanta House Buyers, proposes the implementation of quantifiable metrics to determine how well people are progressing with their work:

“Having to adapt to our team working remotely has been easier with holding them accountable by tracking their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Each week, we hold a full team meeting to review the KPIs of each member. When reviewing the list, we ask each member if they met their goals. The answers should be a “Yes” or “No” without an explanation. If there is a trend of all team members not hitting a certain goal then we discuss what resources need to be made available so that they can reach their goals when they are working from home.”

💡 To learn about how Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) differ from Objectives and Key Results, another popular performance framework, check out our previous blog post here.
Tip #4: Use work apps to track the team’s progress

The lack of face-to-face supervision often poses the questions: Is every team member working on their assigned tasks during work hours? How are they progressing with their tasks? What is the status of the project?

To track employee work hours from afar, you can use Clockify. With it, employees will be able to track time as they work on tasks, or add this time manually. Managers will then be able to generate reports based on this tracked time, to see who worked on what, and when. They’ll also be able to see who is currently working on what, by glancing at the “Dashboard” section of the app.

To manage your teams and projects from afar, you can use a project management tool, such as the already mentioned Basecamp, but also Trello or Asana. Both are Kanban-based project management apps that allow you to track the status of your tasks and projects, and the progress of your team. Moreover, both offer a calendar view where you can track your team’s deadlines. The difference between the two apps is that Asana also offers you the chance to define, organize, and assign your project-related tasks in straightforward to-do lists.

Challenge #2: Delays in response time in remote communication

Working remotely naturally means that all your communication will be handled remotely. This may mean slower response time, even for easy questions and quick reports you ask for via your remote chat software. What’s more, you won’t be able to tell why you’re not getting a faster response:

  • Maybe the employee in question is on a lunch break.
  • Maybe they have taken a quick break to go down the shop to buy some toilet paper.
  • Maybe they’ve switched off their phones and notifications in order to better focus on a task at hand.
  • Maybe they’re having trouble with their internet connection.
  • And, just maybe, the question you’ve asked is not as simple and easy as you thought and they need to think about it some more.

Sadly, there is a great potential to waste time while waiting for every reply, as emphasized by Lauren Mendoza, the VP of Marketing at Swipecast.com:

“Although we know there are plenty of platforms that we can use to make communication efficient, sometimes time is a factor that can play against us. And because we want answers fast, sometimes waiting for a message, or a call can consume us in plenty of time.”   

Apart from impatience, the biggest problem concerning delays in remote communication, at least according to Nelson Sherwin, the manager of PEO compare, are the managers themselves:

While remote managers might talk a good communication game to their staff, more than a few don’t practice what they preach. To “remote” successfully requires an understanding that you’re dealing with a different kind of beast entirely. All the little interactions taken for granted in a centralized office setting go away. The only kind of communication is what you set up and use.”

How to deal with delays in response time in remote communication

Tip #1: Be understanding and patient when waiting for replies

As implied in the introductory section to this remote business management problem, there may be many reasons why your employee is not replying to your quick question, or sending you that report that you asked for. So, don’t just simply jump to the conclusion that they are somewhere slacking off.

Try to be patient, and try to focus on a different priority task in your schedule while you wait for the response. If the delay is a longer one, and you’re expecting a progress report or a different kind of important answer, chances are that your remote employee will offer a suitable explanation for the delay, even without you asking. After all, research shows that high-trust organizations are much more successful at implementing their strategies than low-trust organizations. Moreover, employees who feel like you trust them will likely aim to justify that trust and make the effort to respond as soon as they can.

Tip #2: Make yourself easily available

For remote communication to thrive, Nelson Sherwin believes that managers need to step up their game even more than in a traditional office:

“A manager needs to make sure, REALLY make sure that team members install and are active on all the different modes of communication: email, chat, Slack, video, phone, social media, and whatever else comes along in the next ten minutes. But this is the easy part. What’s harder for that same manager is to make him or herself available for any questions that arise throughout the workday. That means notifications popping up on your screen all day and being willing and able to jump online and deal with questions within a reasonable time frame. Otherwise, employees will stop asking, begin to withdraw, and then you’ve got a morale problem.”

Apart from being making yourself easily available, Nicole Wood, the CEO & Co-Founder of Ama La Vida, a remote company whose team spreads out across multiple states and time zones, also emphasizes the importance of making your team know that you are easily available for their questions and concerns:

“It’s easy to spin your chair around and answer a quick question or give a quick piece of real-time feedback. It’s more difficult to do that virtually, and this often leads to people stalling because they wait for formal meetings to ask questions. Clearly communicate to your team members that they don’t need to wait for a formal one-on-one to come to you with questions. Be even more intentional than ever with your one-on-one time covering things like morale, personal commitments, work progress and how to better collaborate in this environment.”

Tip #3: Train your managers in remote communication

Jennifer Walden, the Director of Operations at WikiLawn, emphasizes the importance of training managers in remote communication and having them establish a good rapport with the people reporting to them:

“It’s not enough for them to shoot their reports an email every now and again. They have to keep in contact, through text chat such as in Slack, or ideally through voice or video conference. Start training managers as soon as possible, and let them train their reports in the use of this equipment.”

Tip #4: Set up prolonged video meetings to ask as many questions as you can

So, you may have difficulties waiting for a reply in your text chat system. But, Lauren Mendoza suggests that even video meetings can be a great solution to the time we’d usually waste while waiting for a textual reply:

“Every meeting, where all the team is gathered, ask as many questions and let out all of the doubts, to make your head clear and straight on what are the following steps in your work. This way, you’ll cut down on the time you need to use email, chat, or Slack.”

Challenge #3: The lack of face-to-face daily meetings

While at the office, you probably had regular weekly meetings or daily stand-ups. But, now you won’t be able to just send a quick message and summon all your teammates to the conference room in a matter of minutes.

Naturally, your first solution will be to host online video meetings on a regular basis.

However, according to Michael Alexis, the CEO of Team Building, an all-remote company with 80 employees, even online meetings may get problematic for larger teams:

“If you have too many people on your conference calls, there is a risk that not all voices will be heard. This can be due to lags in the technology or a perceived lack of space by some attendees to share their ideas.”

How to deal with having no face-to-face daily meetings

Tip #1: Make the most of your online conferencing tools

When talking about how best to solve the problem of having too many people for optimal video meetings, Michael Alexis suggests utilizing a great feature available in a popular online conferencing system:

To create space in large meetings for all attendees, use Zoom’s “breakout rooms”. In a virtual breakout room, the moderator of the meeting can split people into small groups to discuss a specific topic and then summon them back to share their ideas to the larger group.”

Tip #2: Define clear rules for online meetings 

Matthew Ross, the Co-founder and COO of The Slumber Yard whose 12 employees are now working from home, believes in instigating clear rules for video meetings, to help streamline them:

“We require our employees to use the chat function to state they have a question or statement first instead of just blurting it out. When multiple employees are on a video call, it can be a nightmare if everyone is just speaking over one another. By following our guidelines, we ensure the call proceeds in a structured and organized manner. We also have employees wait for two full seconds after someone is done speaking before they jump in. This gives the video conference software time to catch up. I’ve noticed that lag in the system can create a hectic and unproductive call if everyone immediately starts speaking right away.”

Tip #3: Make the extra effort to cut the length of your video meetings

The average length of online meetings currently ranges between 31 and 60 minutes, with as much as 80% of the remote participants struggling to follow along, stay engaged, and feel like they can contribute with valuable information and insights.

But, according to Spencer Waldron, the Head of Remote Comms at Prezi, these meetings could sometimes be cut to as little as 15 minutes, if only the remote team having the meeting would have the right “jumping off information” before the meeting. As he says, this practice was first introduced by Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, who’d have his teams read multiple-page documents and memos before meetings.

Waldron offers an improved alternative to that:

“As humans, we don’t like reading lots and lots of text, it’s hard to take the message from it, we need to read it multiple times. Whereas, you can *create a video* that just says: ‘OK, here’s all the things we need to know about’. People get to watch it multiple times before the meeting, and you can even prep people to say: ‘OK, watch the video, and if there’s any questions, write the questions down.’ And then, when you get to the actual meeting itself, that can be just about answering questions, getting into a discussion and making decisions.”

Challenge #4: Difficulties of structuring work from afar

At the office, it was the loud copy machine and chatty colleagues. At home, it will likely be cute pets wanting to play, and children asking questions, or partners, parents, siblings, or roommate’s coming into your employee’s office space to talk.

As expected, many in your team may be tempted by other home distractions, now that they are not made accountable by the physical presence of their colleagues and managers. And, this increased potential for procrastination can hinder a manager’s ability to manage their employees properly, which can lead to a lot of unstructured work and wasted time.

How to deal with the difficulties of structuring work from afar

Tip #1: Make the extra effort to adjust your workflows to working online 

Jennifer Walden suggests creating a streamlined online system to help the team collaborate, as well as receive and send documents:

“If you need version control, definitely take this time to get an operational SVN. Otherwise use the cloud. G-Suite works fine for a lot of companies, and it’s what we use. Then you can communicate with those files open either through Google Hangouts (integrated through G-Suite), Zoom, or some other software that allows for screen sharing and annotation.”

Tip #2: Implement a daily check-in system

Matthew Ross suggests that emails can be useful in helping you structure work, by helping you implement a daily-check in system:

I’d highly recommend remote managers implement a daily check-in system with the individuals. Have the person send you an email detailing what he or she is working on for that day and how they are going to allocate their time. That way, you can easily step-in and provide suggestions or tell them to move on to a new task to ensure they don’t spin their wheels and waste time. At the end of the day, managers need to be proactive rather than reactive when dealing with remote employees to make sure they continue moving forward in an efficient manner.”

Tip #3: Make all the precautions to streamline remote work upfront

Clair Kim, the president of Clairly Creative International who has consulted for over 250+ organizations regarding their operations, suggests thinking about streamlining various processes of remote work from the get-go:

From “communication guidelines on the team messenger”, project management process, frequent review periods of knowledge management documents, automated check-in’s and turnaround standards, we make sure that how we communicate and how we manage each task is completely streamlined. That takes most of the issues away!”

Tip #4: Try to stick to the same daily schedule you would in an office setting

Jennifer Walden especially emphasizes the problem of home distractions that stop people from structuring their work properly for employees who are used to a hands-on style from their managers. To help deal with this, she proposes keeping at least a portion of the old, office-inspired work routine

“Try to carry over old routines — same meeting times, same deadline structure, etc — to reduce the effects of this problem.

Tip #5: Recommend some pointers on how best to avoid home distractions

In order to increase the chances that your employees will structure their work properly, it’s best that they try doing so in a well-structured working environment. And this is something you as the employee manager can help them with, by recommending some pointers:

  • Recommend setting up dedicated workstations. Some people simply don’t have a separate, spare room (although this would be ideal) to use to carry out all work-from-home tasks. However, everyone can improvise an “office corner” with a small, sturdy desk and a chair.
  • Recommend total isolation from background noise. This applies more to employees who cannot use a separate room as a home office to isolate themselves from their partners, pets, roommates, and children during work hours. But, it can also prove useful for people with separate home offices who live in apartments with thin walls that don’t block the TV noise from the other room, or the sounds of the neighbours. Employees can simply put on their headphones (a noise-canceling pair would be ideal, but a regular pair will do) turn on an online noise generator (Noisli or MyNoise are a great choice) or select some productivity-friendly music, and focus on work.
  • Recommend using a website blocker. YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram can be a powerful enemy to structuring work from home (and they are just the tip of the iceberg). So, you can recommend a website blocker to your employees, to help keep them away from online distractions during work hours and keep them focused on their work instead (StayFocusd and Freedom are only a couple of great choices you can consider).
💡 To learn about other great work-from-home tips you can recommend to your remote teams, check out our blog post on the topic that covers as much as 80+ useful, recommendable tips.

Challenge #5: Isolation affecting your team’s performance and mental health

One of the challenges of remote work related to management and business operations you may overlook at first is social isolation. Back when the entire team was at the office almost every day, everyone would get to experience and work in a typical, busy office, usually filled with chances for socialization.

But now, many may have to work away from the social center of their professional lives for the first time.

This problem is bound to first affect extroverts, who, by their nature, best recharge their batteries when they’re around other people. But, eventually, isolation and loneliness will also start affecting ambiverts and introverts as well, despite their more “inner” means of recharging their batteries.

And, naturally, this may affect the team’s performance if not addressed properly.  

How to deal with isolation affecting performance and mental health

Tip #1: Make the effort to socialize online as a team

Saurabh Jindal, who runs the app Talk Travel, a company with a team working remotely for 2 years now, proposes socializing with the team online, in spite of the geographical distance:

“Try to have calls regularly with your colleagues and discuss things apart from work, to increase team bonding. We regularly do team lunches, and sessions where we share screens, and welcome others into our work stations, and daily life. These are generally jovial moments, and they help break the ice and build a good team culture.” 

Nicole Wood suggests some other ways of building a strong team culture when managing a team remotely:

“You should utilize video as much as possible and online communications platforms like Slack. Encourage casual non-work interactions like virtual happy hours and coffee dates. FInd new ways to share in each other’s successes virtually. For example, we all share a fun GIF on Slack every time a new client signs up with us.”

Spencer Waldron proposes bringing creativity in such online gatherings:

“Whether you are connecting with friends, or checking in with coworkers, use video tools to help make your content interactive and find new, creative ways to connect with people. For example, can do this by hosting a themed trivia night or pub quiz, virtual book club, or games such as “two truths and a lie.” Connecting with colleagues on a lighter level helps strengthen your team’s bond and can improve their overall efficiency.”

Tip #2: Encourage people to socialize online 1-on-1

Spencer Waldron points out that people also socialize in smaller groups while at the office, and that’s important to facilitate this type of socialization while working from home as well:

“It’s important to make an effort to connect with your colleagues outside of scheduled team meetings, as you would normally do in an office setting. At Prezi, different teams have an open video meeting room that functions as a Virtual Lobby, where anyone can come meet someone there, or just visit to connect with colleagues during lunch or other breaks. Scheduling virtual coffee chats or watercooler breaks to check-in with your coworkers or discuss non-work related topics are great ways to help strengthen your team’s bond.”

Tip #3: Show your team that you care about their wellbeing 

According to Milos Djordjevic, the co-founder of SaveMyCent who recently had to transition his entire team to remote work, the key to easing the feeling of isolation is to show an interest in how people are doing while working from home, and not just what they are doing:

One of the things I’ve introduced is regular morning check-in. We all meet on Zoom for half an hour and this meeting has nothing to do with work. I try to maintain the casual atmosphere and really talk to people and see how they’re doing. So far, I’ve been able to identify several problems thanks to these morning coffees.

Spencer Waldron adds that you should also observe the situation among your team members during each video meeting, think about people’s hidden emotional agendas and then act accordingly:

“This should apply to both virtual and in-person meetings, but it is especially important right now. Start a call by checking in with people, gauge the room, and note everyone’s facial expressions and body language. Who doesn’t have a camera on? Maybe someone had a bad day, an argument, or is struggling with life indoors – all of this will impact the meeting, so be sensitive to the unseen.”

Automating and streamlining business operations to improve remote business management

One of the best ways to improve remote management is to streamline and automate your team’s work-from-home workflows as much as possible. This way, you and your team will all save time and structure your work in such a way that decreases the need you may have for constant face-to-face management and consultations.

But, before automating the processes and operations in your company, Jason Patel, the founder of Transizion who manages a fully remote team of 30, suggests implementing the process of automation gradually, and not automating everything right away:

“Instead, get back to the finer details, examine every step of each process, audit the reasons for each step and why it’s done, and then record the process if you hadn’t done that before. Then, slowly automate the process while performing reviews every week or so, especially at the beginning. If you’re suddenly working remotely and not used to doing so, you’re in a transition period, so you need to get down to the ground level to fully understand how your work dynamics will change. If you have never worked remotely, you cannot, under any circumstances, move forward thinking that your business processes won’t change. Change is the constant here.”

🔹 Great general apps you can use to streamline and automate business operations

Before picking your automation apps, Clair Kim suggests you think carefully about the processes you can automate, and then think about how you can implement these processes with a smaller number of apps:

“You’ll be surprised how many businesses that transition remotely are constantly going back and forth between different tools in terms of their data entry or workflow approval. When possible, stick to all in one solution. But if not, streamline your software, whether through their native API settings, or even using integration software such as Zapier, Microsoft Flow Automate, IFTTT and so on.”

Rameez Ghayas Usmani, the Digital Marketing Executive for PureVPN whose team recently had to switch to remote work, also praises the automation functionalities of the tool IFTTT, a simple automation tool that creates automated tasks based on an “if this, then that” concept: “You would need to create applets to connect social media platforms together in order to auto-post one piece to any number of social sites — IFTTT links them all using your credentials and does so automatically.”

Nicole Wood praises a different automation tool: “Zapier is a godsend. It is a platform with open APIs that are prebuilt to connect various popular software programs. For example, if you want to add someone to a Google spreadsheet tracker every time they book an event with you in Calendly, Zapier has a zap for that. Zapier has allowed us to connect many of our platforms without having to pay for expensive custom development.”

So, Zapier and IFTTT are the most popular automation software solutions you can use to streamline many operations and processes in your company while working remotely.

But, there are other great apps you can use to manage and automate the marketing, sales, IT, HR, and customer support processes in your remote company.

🔹 Great apps for automating marketing operations

  • Hub Spot’s Marketing Hub is a marketing automation tool focused on inbound marketing strategies, such as search and content marketing. Make use of real-time SEO suggestions, launch landing pages and then run A/B tests to determine the best conversion strategies, chat with website visitors through an integrated live chat, handle email marketing, and more.
  • Buffer is a social media tool meant to help manage social media accounts. Schedule and automatically post Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn posts, and then track and analyze the results the said posts are making with the target audience.
  • Cobiro is an AI tool for managing Google ads. Create and follow personalized marketing plans, design and implement marketing campaigns (either in Google or Facebook), and then track and analyze the success of your campaigns and ads in the “Dashboard” section of the platform.
  • Marketo is a full-suite marketing automation tool meant to help automate and measure marketing engagement. Manage email marketing campaigns, create landing pages and forms, send personalized messages across channels, and carry out marketing analytics.
  • Pardot is a B2B marketing automation software developed by Salesforce. Carry out B2B analytics, implement account-based marketing solutions, launch email marketing campaigns, and automate the process of lead assignment.
  • Zalster is a marketing automation tool for eCommerce growth that helps automate and optimize decisions for Facebook, Pinterest, Google, and Instagram ads. Schedule your posts, boost your posts, and optimize the distribution of your campaigns budget.

🔹 Great apps for automating sales processes

  • HubSpot Sales is an eCommerce system meant to help track and streamline sales processes. Track the status of your deals, organize sales activities, and automate personalized outreach.
  • Salesforce is a cloud-based customer relationship management service that helps connect with current customers, potential customers, and partners. Manage your contacts, find new sales opportunities, and have PDFs of approved templates sent out automatically to clients in the form of emails.
  • Pipedrive is a cloud-based CRM and pipeline management system meant to help organize leads. Automate repetitive sales tasks, automatically track prospect calls, and automate deal follow-ups.
  • Reply.io is a sales automation software meant to help you automate an array of manual sales tasks. Automate personal emails, follow-ups, and social touch points, and then carry out suggested actions based on the activity of your prospects.
  • Growlabs is a sales automation tool for B2B sales and marketing teams meant to help you generate leads and automate engagement. Have your “hotest” leads highlighted and prioritized automatically, pick and then personalize emails from the tool’s library of templates, as well as save time by using automated schedules.

🔹 Great apps for automating IT processes

  • Selenium is a portable framework for automating web applications in order to test them. Run select tests or choose to run all the tests on a variety of web browsers, on a variety of programming languages, and for a variety of operating systems.
  • Docker is a system for application development meant to help streamline development processes by running tests in an isolated environment and integrating with third-party apps. Set up automated builds, customize them, and then use a variety of automated repository tests from the Docker documentation to test the builds.
  • Ansible is an open-source IT automation software that automates cloud provisioning, app deployment, and other IT processes. Build and share your infrastructure, build unique workflows for different use cases, solve problems once and share them with your team for future use.
  • RunDeck is an open-source collection of automated runbooks meant to help individuals provide their teams with ready-made answers to ad-hoc requests and incidents. Define workflows, dispatch commands, import information, and establish clear job schedules.
  • ProcessMaker is a workflow platform meant to help design and deploy automated workflows. Eliminate repetitive tasks, track processes, deploy solutions quicker, store forms and requests.
  • Resolve.io is another great IT automation and orchestration tool, meant to help you automate both simple tasks and more complex IT processes. Choose among 1000+ of pre-built automations to build new automations.

🔹 Great apps for automating HR processes

  • Bamboo HR is an HRIS automation software meant to help create and implement custom HR workflows. Handle benefits and payroll administration, track the status of your job applicants, streamline performance management, and make use of a centralized employee database.
  • Square 9 Global Capture is a document management software solution that lets you manage various employee forms. Manage your emails and forms, as well as assemble, convert, deliver, and index employee documentation.
  • Zenefits is a cloud-based HR software meant to help handle HR, Benefits, and Payroll processes, and other administrational tasks without excessive paperwork. Store and access employee profiles and other relevant documentation in one database, track applicant statuses, streamline recruitment processes, and more.
  • Documate is a no-code document assembly app developed by lawyers and engineers to help create custom web forms and questionnaires. Generate customized templates in multiple output formats, add digital signatures, and streamline your administration from afar.

🔹 Great apps for automating customer support

  • HelpDesk is a  minimalistic approach to handling customer tickets. Convert customer emails directly to tickets, create canned responses for recurring questions, set up automatic ticket assigning, and receive automatic notifications each time a new ticket arrives.
  • TeamSupport is a customer support suite meant to help implement advanced support workflows in the B2B software industry. Establish customer self-service portals that work 24/7, automate ticket management, collaborate with other departments to help improve customer experience, and chat with other support agents directly from the app.
  • Freshdesk is a customer support software for categorizing, prioritizing, and assigning support tickets. Track and manage all your team’s support tickets from one inbox, create and send preformatted replies to recurring questions, and automate the process of managing tickets with a couple of clicks through scenario automation.
  • HubSpot Service Hub is a customer support system focused on improving customer support by drawing information from customer feedback. Automate tickets and surveys related to your company’s sales and marketing processes, Collect automated surveys about the customer’s support experience, and then automatically follow-up with the unsatisfied customers.

Wrapping up…

In order to run and manage your remote business, you’ll need to identify the challenges that come with the concept of remote business management first, and think about which ones may affect your team and business the most.

No matter whether it’s your perceived problems with the lack of face-to-face meetings, management opportunities, and other interactions, or your worries that your remote team may not be handling the work-from-home situation as best they could, there are many professionals dealing with the same problems, and you can take a page from their book when looking for solutions.

In addition to that, there are many apps with general or more specific functionalities you can use to streamline and automate your business operations. And, all of the listed solutions, as well as the  expert-based or research-fuelled tips can serve to help you manage your business from afar, once you think about the best ways to incorporate them in your own remote workflows.