Remote Work Tools

Best remote work tools in field services in 2021

Best remote work tools in field services in 2021: Suitable in the business scenarios of field services 

While many industries have transitioned to the work from home mode, remote work tools are needed for different use purposes. Here is the recommended remote work software that field services can use for free (or free version with limited functions). 

remote work tools in 2021

Remote work tool I: Attendance tracking software 

Marki

Marki logo of Remote work tool I: Attendance tracking software 

A watermark-based attendance tracking software includes photo-taking and storing, location displays, and auto attendance reporting.

Why is it good for field services

  • It is free! Suitable for field services and SMEs that have limited budgets. 
  • Photo-taking as attendance reference. Field workers take photos and label watermarks ‘clock-in/out’ as means of recording attendance. The app will then generate an attendance report about work hours and checkpoints, based on the clock-in/out time and location in watermarks. 
  • Information sharing. It is available to synchronize photos and forward them to Marki photostream in which related employees and clients can view real-time attendance status. 
  • It saves your phone storage through Marki clouding services.    

External reading: the features of Marki

Cons of this tool 

  • It consumes a reasonable amount of cellular data while uploading photos as additional references for the attendance authenticity

Marki logo

External reading: Marki tutorial, instruction on how to use Marki

Clockify

clockify logo

An employee attendance tracking software that works compatibly with desktops and mobile phones. It includes the function of attendance recording and work hour calculation.

Why is it good

  • It is also free!
  • An app to eliminate HR’s duty as the app can generate the report about employees’ work hours and attendance status daily, monthly, or selected time base. 
  • Available to export in PDF and Excel files. 
  • It integrates with third-parties apps such as remote work management tools. 

Cons

  • No photo-taking is available as attendance reference, nor GPS tracking. 
  • Whoever can enter and edit the data, which may lack information validity. 

Officetimer

officetimer logo

An attendance management app with location-tracking, live attendance tracker and reports generating.

Why is it good

  • Again, it is free!
  • Available to record attendance via desktops and phones.
  • Live attendance and location tracking allow field services to access work-from-home employees’ actual status. 
  • Again, the auto-reporting function is available, and reports can be exported to Excel and PDF files. 

Cons

  • No photo-taking is available as attendance reference, nor the function of sharing.
  • The data entered by work-from-home employees may lack authenticity. 

Remote work tool II: Remote work management tool

Asana

asana logo of Remote work tool II: Remote work management tool

A remote work management tool that helps field services to organize and track their work progress. 

Why is it good

  • Work plans can be created in the forms of list view and board view. Content displays in the frame. Users can easily adjust by drawing and dropping the frames.    
  • It includes a creative timeline (Gantt chart) for projects that can display related employees’ work progress, and deadlines to complete their respective duties. 
  • These project plans can be shared via social media platforms and emails. 

Cons

  • Limited functions of the free version and useful ones are paid. 
  • Not a useful-friendly app for beginners, and it takes time to get familiar with. 

Microsoft to do

Microsoft to do logo of Remote work tool II: Remote work management tool

A task and remote management tool that users can manage their work from electronic devices.

Why is it good

  • It is a free tool. 
  • A simple UI allows users to list their work plans in order yet dragging the order according to the priority.
  • Lists can be shared and are editable by other members. For example, work-from-home employees can share the worklist with field workers to confirm the workload. Then field workers can edit based on their actual performance. 

Cons

  • Even though the UI is simple, it is outdated as no colored labels and other design elements. For field services that aim for creative outlook, Microsoft to do seems to fail to provide such an element. 
  • The notification function is not obvious enough to draw employees in charge attention. 

Trello

Trello logo

A remote work management tool that provides board, list, and card displays of work plans.

Why is it good

  • It is free!
  • It has the functions of a user-friendly, straightforward UI.
  • Board and list displays are similar to competitors’ ones, so is the function of sharing.

Cons

  • It lacks some useful functions such as calendars, Gantt charts and time tracker.  
  • It lacks the function to keep plans in order. Thus it is not suitable for large field services. Multiple job list displays can be very messy.

Remote work tool III: Remote team communication tool for business

Slack

slack logo of Remote work tool III: Remote team communication tools

A remote team communication tool offers IRC-style features, chat rooms, channels categorized by topics and private groups, and direct messaging. 

Why is it good

  • It integrates email, texting messaging and instant messaging, available on desktop and mobile devices.
  • It is convenient to contact field workers anytime, especially the function of @ help contact the particular field worker immediately. Moreover, Slack has divided chats into Public channels, Private channels, and direct messages to help users contact others effectively.     
  • Users in the group can readily share any file via Slack. 
  • Field services can add their clients and business stakeholders into the channel. 

Cons

  • Free plan: 10,000 message displays, which is not enough for many companies. 
  • Chaotic messages with the unfriendly design of message tracking. There may be tons of messages in a channel sometimes. However, it isn’t easy to track the ones that you are looking for. 

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft teams logo of Remote work tool III: Remote team communication tools

A remote communication and collaboration tool for businesses with comprehensive functions, including workspace chat, video conferencing, file storage and application integrations. 

Why is it good

  • One app for multiple functions. Employees can message others, start a video call/meeting, and access and edit files quickly.
  • It works compatibly well with Microsoft Office Suite.  

Cons

  • It has incorporated functions from both communication and collaboration. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean all the functions are well-performed. Users may experience system crashing sometimes. 
  • The free version can’t access phone calls and audio conferencing. 

There is much remote work software to select. However, whatever works the best for your team matters

Although many remote toolkits have similar features, they may fit different business scenarios. Before choosing the best remote work tools, you should consider the usage scenarios. 

External reading: The best home office practices

Working remotely will become a trend in the near future, especially in this COVID-19 world. Except for the softwares, you should also improve your management skills for remote teams or freelancers, so as to increase the competitives for your business.

Marki is dedicated to providing solutions for different field services, including security guard services, construction progress management and property managementClick for more details.      

Download Marki for free  

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