9 Best Remote Team Management Tools (2024 Edition)

Teams love remote work, but keeping productive is hard. We're here to help you find the right tools to make it easy.

9 Best Remote Team Management Tools (2024 Edition)

9 Best Remote Team Management Tools (2024 Edition)

Teams love remote work, but keeping productive is hard. We're here to help you find the right tools to make it easy.

9 Best Remote Team Management Tools (2024 Edition)

Remote work is hard, even if you love it

Remote work can be a dream come true: you get more flexibility, your team’s potential talent pool is larger, and your commute time is zero (unless you have a crazy 2-year-old in your house to navigate, like me). There's a lot to love.

Our company, Village, is 100% remote and we wouldn’t do it any other way. 

The down side of remote work

The positives have a down side. Here are some things that Gallup, Cigna, and HBR found about remote, distributed, or hybrid teams:  

  • Your team might feel lonely or isolated 
  • Productivity can drop because team members lack context
  • Your team can become disengaged and less loyal 
  • Team members find it hard to draw the line between work and personal life 
  • Managing multiple timezones sucks up valuable time and energy
  • People lose key info that they would usually pick up through office osmosis

How to make remote work great

To make working remotely a good experience for your team, you need the right software tools. Let's zoom out one level first, however. At Village, we believe in the rule of the Big Three

  1. Incentives
  2. Motivation
  3. Connectedness 

You’ll need the right software tools, a strong org structure, good processes, and educated managers to make it all work. Today we’ll be covering remote work software. Some key purchases will make your life a lot easier. 

We’ve got you covered. Here are the best tools for remote work. 

9 Best Remote Team Management Tools (2024 Edition)

Most of the tools below are great no matter the size of your remote team. I’ll note any that are particularly helpful (or not helpful) for bigger or smaller companies. 

  1. [Office Suite] Google Workspace (vs. Teams, Zoom) 
  2. [Directory] - Village Atlas 
  3. [Knowledge Base] - Glean 
  4. [Performance & Engagement] - Village MyInsights
  5. [Design & Brainstorm] - Figma (vs. Adobe XD, Miro) 
  6. [Project Management] - Jira (vs. Asana, Notion, Azure) 
  7. [Manager Analytics] - Village Insights 
  8. [Messaging] - Slack 
  9. [Video Sharing] - Loom

I’ll go through what you need to know about each. 

Google Workspace

Summary

Formerly known as G Suite, Workspace offers a collection of cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools developed by Google. It integrates various apps like Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, and Meet to provide a seamless work environment for teams and businesses.

Choosing an office suite is a huge decision, so I also want to touch on the competition. If you’re just starting a company, you’re usually choosing between Microsoft 365 (Teams) and Google Workspace. 

Microsoft may be the right decision if you’re doing lots of B2G work, for example, because it has a lot of great security features and government agencies mostly use Microsoft. So if you’re mostly doing business within or among Microsoft ecosystems, you can go with 365/Teams. But it’s clunkier and slower to get off the ground than Google Workspace, in my opinion. 

You might also feel the need to buy Zoom. It has some good features, but in my opinion both Teams Meeting and Google Meet have “zoomed” (heh) to the top. 

The Tea

I believe Google Workspace is the best foundational office suite tool for remote teams. It’s fast, effective, scalable, and gets your business running ASAP. 

Get Google Workspace. 

Key Features and Benefits

  • Integrated Workspace: Combines email, calendar, video conferencing, documents, and task management.
  • Collaboration Tools: Real-time editing and collaboration on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.
  • Scalability and Customization: Adaptable for businesses of all sizes, with customizable domain emails.
  • Security: Advanced security features to protect data and privacy.

Who is it for?

It’s for everyone! Unless you’re a legacy Microsoft business or working with a lot of them (e.g. government agencies). Ideal for businesses and teams of all sizes who need a comprehensive set of tools for collaboration, communication, and document management. Particularly beneficial for those already using Google products. 

User Reviews

Users praise Google Workspace for its ease of use and integration capabilities. However, some note a learning curve for certain features and occasional issues with third-party integrations.

Pricing

  • Business Starter (small teams basics): $6/user/mo
  • Business Standard (enhanced features for larger teams): $12/user/mo.
  • Business Plus (more storage, tracking, and other features): $18/user/mo
  • Enterprise: Contact Google

TIP FOR STARTUPS: Microsoft and Google both offer startup credits! Apply for their startup program ASAP. My last two startups received hundreds of thousands of dollars in Workspace and GCP credits for the first 24 months. 

Village Atlas

Summary

Atlas is an innovative employee directory and collaboration platform designed for remote and distributed teams. It provides a dynamic space for creating personal profiles, navigating an intuitive organizational chart, and accessing essential work documents. Atlas enhances team connectivity through a fun, social-media-like environment, complete with badges and leaderboards to encourage productivity. With its quick setup and seamless integration with existing HR systems, Atlas becomes an essential daily tool for coordinating tasks, connecting with colleagues, and accessing key resources in a remote work setting.

The Tea

In terms of bang for your buck, it’s very hard to beat Atlas as a business owner. It takes about 10 minutes to set up and everyone loves it. People check it 5-10 times a day to help them figure out who to invite to meetings, to learn more about their colleagues in a remote environment, and to find key documents like a PRD or a Jira ticket that someone is working on. 

I often write about the Big Three of remote work: incentives, motivation, and connectedness. Village Atlas is one of the best tools you can use for connectedness in a remote environment. 

Key Features and Benefits

  • Dynamic Employee Profiles: Social-media style profiles for every employee to stay connected 
  • Next-Gen Org Chart: Not your grandma’s org chart. This is far better than your existing HR software
  • Essential Doc Discovery: Everyone can discover key work products that their colleagues are working on 
  • Trophy Case: Employees can celebrate and share the great work they do, publicly 

Who is it for?

Teams of at least 10 people can start to get benefits out of Village Atlas, depending on how distributed your time zones are. The value really ramps up, however, when you hit about 50. By 500, it’s an absolute must. 

User Reviews

Atlas users frequently commend its intuitive design and effectiveness in enhancing team collaboration, particularly in remote work environments. While users appreciate the ease of setting up and the seamless integration with existing HR tools, some suggest a desire for more customization options in profile creation and document management. Overall, Atlas is praised for its ability to keep remote teams connected and well-informed about their colleagues and ongoing projects.

Pricing

  • $3 per user per month
  • Enterprise pricing available 

TIP FOR STARTUPS: Ask for a free trial! 

Glean

Summary

Think of it as Google+ChatGPT for your entire internal knowledge base: all your Google Docs & Sheets, your calendar, your Jira, etc. It’s designed to assist remote teams in efficiently accessing and utilizing their collective knowledge. It focuses on streamlining information retrieval and knowledge sharing.

The Tea

Glean is a great tool. I love their products. Super helpful, and a remote-team must–especially for teams larger than 50 people.  

Key Features and Benefits

  • Advanced Search Capabilities: Powerful search engine to quickly find relevant information.
  • Knowledge Organization: Tools to organize and categorize information for easy access.
  • AI-Powered Insights: Utilizes AI to suggest relevant documents and entries.
  • Cross-Platform Integration: Works seamlessly with various data sources and platforms.

Who is it for?

  • Best suited growth and enterprise companies, 50+ employees.
  • However, it’s also helpful for smaller teams that handle large volumes of information and need a sophisticated tool for managing and accessing their collective knowledge. 

User Reviews

Users appreciate Glean for its powerful search and AI features, noting significant time savings in information retrieval. Some users request more customization in knowledge categorization. 

Pricing

Pricing varies. Details are typically customized based on team size and specific needs. Hit them up for a demo and ask them about pricing after you discuss your requirements. 

Village MyInsights

Summary 

The Village MyInsights tool is like Strava, Whoop, or Fitbit for work. Connect within minutes to all the other SaaS products you use (like the ones on this list: Jira, Workspace, Slack etc.), and give employees an unparalleled view into their personal performance. View story points shipped and QA failure rate for engineers. See tickets and quality scores for customer services. 

The MyInsights tool also lets teams gamify work with leaderboards and automated badging. Works great with Village Atlas and can be accessed from the same tool. 

The Tea

The whole reason we built this product line is because we rolled the beta out and it improved our dev team’s QA failure rate by 35%. Just that statistic is enough to change the game. For a remote team, keeping people engaged with performance and excited about friendly competition is a game changer. 

Key Features and Benefits

  • Live Performance: Don’t wait until bi-annual performance reviews to share how employees are doing. Live views into key performance metrics boost performance immediately 
  • Leaderboards: Make the boring work fun. Bug-bashing, weekend support, and on-call will never be the same
  • Automated Badging: Gamify work by rewarding key behaviors. Make it about pride, or pair badges with gift cards to sweeten the deal
  • Streaks & Goals: Set short- and long-term goals for employees and reward them accordingly

Who is it for?

Like Google Workspace, it’s for everyone! Every team can benefit from real-time performance and a more fun and engaging work culture. 

User Reviews

Users praise MyInsights for its effective integration with other SaaS products and its engaging approach to performance tracking. The gamification features like leaderboards and badges are popular, often cited as major factors in boosting workplace motivation and fun. While some users mention a learning curve for managers, the overall sentiment is positive, with many appreciating the tool's impact on team morale and productivity, especially in remote work environments.

Pricing

  • $10 per user per month (less when packaged with Atlas or Insights)
  • Enterprise pricing available 

TIP FOR STARTUPS: Ask for a free trial! 

Figma

Summary

Figma is a collaborative interface design tool that allows teams to design, prototype, and gather feedback all in one platform. It's known for its real-time collaboration capabilities and extensive design features.

The whiteboard tool FigJam is also one of the most incredible remote-work tools I’ve ever used as a product manager and executive. 

The Tea

Some designers like Adobe XD better in my experience. But not THAT much better. Figma is an incredible tool and the company is run by very smart people. 

Plus, when you add its FigJam whiteboard tool, it’s an obvious decision. Buy it. You won’t regret it. 

TIP FOR STARTUPS: My one big issue with Figma is how intentionally hard they make it to manage billing. For startups, consider giving Design edit permissions to only 1-2 people on your team, and FigJam to everyone else. It’s a lot cheaper. 

Key Features and Benefits

  • Collaborative Design: Enables multiple users to work on a design simultaneously.
  • Prototyping and Testing: Allows for creating interactive prototypes and user testing.
  • Extensive Plugin Ecosystem: Offers a wide range of plugins for extended functionality.
  • Cross-Platform Accessibility: Accessible on any web browser and offers desktop apps for offline work.
  • Whiteboarding: Real-time virtual whiteboard with your team all over the world. Works nicely with the primary design tool. 

Who is it for?

Anyone who does product design, but also now with the FigJam tool, basically anyone on a remote team. Especially perfect for designers, product teams, and developers who require a robust, collaborative platform for interface design and prototyping. 

User Reviews

Users highly rate Figma for its collaboration features and user interface. Some users encounter performance issues with complex projects (personal note: I’ve experienced this but only very rarely and on REALLY complex projects). 

Pricing

Offers various pricing tiers:

  • Starter: free 
  • Professional (unlimited files, prototyping, dev mode): $12 for Design + $3 for FigJam per user per month
  • Organization (more permissions, private plugins): $45 for Design + $5 for FigJam per user per month
  • Enterprise (API access, more security controls): $75 for Design + $% for FigJam per user per month

Jira

Summary

Jira is perhaps one of the most versatile project management tools for remote teams. It is an issue tracking tool developed by Atlassian, primarily used by software development teams. It offers customizable workflows, agile reporting, and integration with a multitude of development tools.

Comparison Note: Jira is often compared with Asana, Notion, and Azure DevOps, among others. While Asana is known for its simplicity and user-friendly interface, Notion for its all-in-one workspace capabilities, and Azure for playing nice with Microsoft Teams, I prefer Jira for its comprehensive agile and development-focused features. 

The Tea

I almost didn’t include this because it’s about so much more than remote teams. But in the end, it’s absolutely critical to my remote team’s development efforts. It is sometimes a real pain to use: complicated, over-engineered, and non-intuitive. But it can also do anything you’d ever desire. If you need project management, go with Jira. 

Key Features and Benefits

  • Customizable Workflows: Tailored workflows to match team processes.
  • Agile Reporting: Comprehensive agile reports like burndown charts for project tracking.
  • Integration Capabilities: Extensive integration options with development tools and services.
  • Issue Tracking: Detailed issue tracking system with robust reporting features.

Who is it for?

Ideal for software development teams and project managers who need a powerful tool for agile project management and issue tracking. Remote teams or otherwise. 

User Reviews

Users praise Jira for its flexibility and comprehensive feature set, but some find it complex and challenging to configure. Its integration capabilities are highly regarded in the software development community.

Pricing

Offers various pricing tiers:

  • Up to 10 users: Free
  • Standard: $8.15 per user per month
  • Premium (more features and permissions: $16 per user per month
  • Enterprise (more controls): Contact Atlassian sales

Village Insights 

Summary

Village Insights is an executive tool designed to enhance employee recognition and engagement within remote teams. It leverages data from existing SaaS tools like Jira, Google Workspace, and Slack to provide insights into organizational performance and employee engagement. This tool is essential for executives and managers who aim to keep a pulse on team dynamics and individual contributions, regardless of the organization's size.

The Tea

Look, when you’re running a remote team, you’re always wondering: 

  1. Do my employees feel recognized for the great work they’re doing? 
  2. Will I know it if someone becomes unengaged, and loses interest in their work? 

Insights takes a lot of the guesswork out of the situation. It also makes performance reviews go a lot better when you have an objective ground truth. Village has a lot of templates to make deploying this easy, and while Insights isn’t the only answer to remote management, it makes everything a heck of a lot easier. 

Key Features and Benefits

  • Aggregate Team Metrics: Provides a tailored view of team performance, including output and quality metrics.
  • Employee Benchmarking: Offers objective measures for evaluating individual employee performance over time.
  • Employee Comparison: Facilitates comparison of similar employees across key metrics.
  • Templates & AI: Easy start-up with templates and AI-driven recommendations.

Who is it for?

Village Insights is ideal for executives who manage remote or distributed teams. It's particularly beneficial for those seeking to maintain a high level of employee engagement and performance, and who value data-driven insights for decision-making.

User Reviews

Users frequently commend Village Insights for its ability to provide clear, actionable data on employee performance and team dynamics. The tool's ease of use and the practicality of its AI-driven recommendations are often highlighted. However, some users express a wish for more customizable metrics and reporting features, to tailor the tool more precisely to their specific organizational needs.

Pricing

  • $10 per user per month (less when packaged with Atlas or Insights)
  • Enterprise pricing available 

Slack

Summary

Slack is a popular communication and collaboration tool that organizes team conversations into channels. It supports messaging, file sharing, video calls, and integrates with a wide array of other workplace tools.

The Tea

I cringe for those stuck without Slack. The External Connections feature has changed how my team interacts with both customers and suppliers on every level. The ease of building apps or plugins on top of Slack is also a massive plus. Buy it. 

Key Features and Benefits

  • Organized Communication: Channels for different topics, projects, or teams.
  • File Sharing and Collaboration: Easy sharing of files and documents with collaborative editing.
  • Integrations: Wide range of integrations with other productivity and business tools.
  • Voice and Video Calls: Built-in voice and video calling capabilities.
  • External Connections: Connect to other companies securely, and chat without email or live meetings

Who is it for?

Perfect for businesses of all sizes looking for a comprehensive communication solution to keep teams connected and productive.

User Reviews

Slack is widely appreciated for its user-friendly interface and robust integration capabilities. Some users mention the challenge of managing notifications and staying focused due to constant message flow.

Pricing

Slack offers a free basic version, with paid plans providing more features like larger message history, advanced security, and more integrations.

  • Free plan (limited message history): $0
  • Pro: $7.25 per user per month
  • Business+ (better SLAs, SSO, and analytics) $12.50 per user per month
  • Enterprise Grid: Contact Slack sales team

Loom

Summary

Loom is a video messaging tool that allows users to create and share video recordings, making communication more personal and efficient. It's widely used for tutorials, feedback, and quick updates.

For remote teams, the ability to send a quick video to replace difficult-to-schedule meetings or hard-to-read documents is a big time-saving benefit. 

The Tea

I was the biggest skeptic of this tool when my head of sales brought it to me one day and forced me to use it. I’m now a full convert. The use cases for remote teams are enormous. Replace meetings with vids, send demos to clients, record how-to videos for your website or YouTube channel. Plus, great editing! 

TIP FOR STARTUPS: Give most of your team the “Free” plan, because they won’t record videos that are more than 5m long anyway. It will save you money. 

Key Features and Benefits

  • Quick Video Recording: Easy-to-use interface for recording and sharing videos.
  • Screen Capture: Includes screen recording capabilities for tutorials and demonstrations.
  • Interactive Features: Viewers can react and respond directly to videos.
  • Integration with Tools: Works seamlessly with other productivity and communication tools.

Who is it for?

Remote teams, period. Great for teams and individuals who want to enhance communication with quick, personal video messages instead of traditional text-based emails or messages.

User Reviews

Loom is praised for its simplicity and effectiveness in improving communication. Some users wish for more advanced editing features and longer recording times.

Pricing

Offers various pricing tiers:

  • Starter (max 25 saved videos, max 5 minute videos): Free
  • Business (unlimited videos at unlimited length): $12.50 per user per month
  • Enterprise (AI stuff and SSO): Contact Loom Sales

Conclusion

As we wrap up this comprehensive guide to the best remote team management tools for 2024, it's clear that the landscape of remote work is both challenging and rewarding. My team (including Alex Calder and Thuan Pham) and I (Bradford Church) have a great deal of experience managing large, distributed teams and founding startups, so we've navigated the complexities of remote work firsthand. From enhancing communication and collaboration to streamlining project management and boosting team morale, the right tools are essential for success.

Remember, the key to effective remote work lies not just in selecting the right tools but also in fostering a culture of incentives, motivation, and connectedness. As remote work continues to evolve, these tools will undoubtedly adapt and grow, offering even more innovative solutions to the challenges of managing remote teams.

Whether you're a small startup or a large enterprise, the tools discussed here provide a solid foundation for building and maintaining a thriving remote work environment. Embrace these tools, and you're well on your way to mastering the art of remote team management.

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