5 Essential Tools For Working Remotely

Written by Hadi Mahmud, 07 October 2015

It goes without saying that Jakarta’s traffic jams can be a real nightmare, especially for those living far away from work. Here are five tools we use at Definite to make working remotely a real alternative – and an efficient one at that:

#1: Slack

SlackThis workplace email killer is our main mode of internal communication. Each of our projects has its own chat room, where all communication and information for a project is in one place rather than being spread across several emails.

As people frequently get left out in email cc’s, the beauty of Slack is in allowing our co-workers to look up chat histories at their convenience.

The chat format for private messages is a lot smoother than email – not to mention the ability to share links, documents, photos and anything else that would be included in an email.

It facilitates asynchronous meetings, which helps us immensely with productivity and uninterrupted workflow. While some in-person meetings are undeniably valuable, we are able to update our teams at everyone’s convenience rather than at a certain time every day or week.

Its availability as a mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices – as well as powerful integration capabilities with 3rd party tools such as Google Drive – makes it essential in our line of work.

#2: Asana

AsanaA task management app that allows our team members to track and complete tasks and projects, wherever they are. Our project managers use it to set deadlines, send each other messages or updates about individual tasks or projects and thus collaborate more effectively. Available on iOS, Android and as a web app, it can also be integrated with many other 3rd party applications such as Google Drive and Slack.


#3: Smartsheet

SmartsheetSmartsheet is a versatile cloud collaboration tool we use which turns empty spreadsheets into a dynamic team project management tool.

A marriage between the ease of use and flexibility of a spreadsheet with sophisticated project management features, our project managers use the web-based app to manage and collaborate in real-time projects and tasks.

We use it to set alerts which remind our co-workers as project dates come near. Timelines can be viewed in Gantt or calendar views, and also include threaded discussions.

Last but not least, we also use Smartsheet to calculate the number of man-hours needed for all our projects, therefore increasing accountability and transparency in the process.

#4: Google Drive

GDriveThe ultimate collaboration tool, Google Drive allows us to work on presentation decks and word documents together in real-time.

It saves us tons of time by eradicating the need for those involved to be present in the same location and enabling everyone to have access to the same document regardless of where they are.

In the event that one of our account managers realises a mistake has been made in a pitch deck after sending it to a prospective client, there is no harm done – the changes can still be implemented before the client opens the document.

The ability to review, comment and fix errors quickly and easily makes Google Drive a no-brainer. We even share Google documents with prospective clients and encourage the tech-savvy ones to comment and give feedback on proposals and discussions.

#5: Skype

SkypeNot much to be said here as it should be obvious to everyone what Skype does (unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade), but nonetheless it is an integral part of our work process, especially in the event that a co-worker or client cannot attend important meetings where their input is needed.

While the idea of not having to work in an office or conform to a 9–5 routine on a daily basis might be appealing to many, it might not be the right choice for everyone. It takes the right kind of attitude, discipline and team chemistry to make it work.

But at Definite, distance or location is never an excuse for being unable to complete a task at hand.

Do you like the idea of working from a cafe or in your pyjamas, from the comfort of your own couch, forgoing a commute and blasting your favourite music through speakers instead of headphones? Sign up here

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