July 4, 2023

From Distance to Unity: Here's how Remote Work works successfully

In this article, we build on the advantages and disadvantages of remote work by looking at how it can best be done.


After looking into the pros and cons of remote work in the previous article, we will focus today on how to make it work in the best possible way. That means two things: having a most effective tech stack and creating the social glue that tightens our relationships with our colleagues and the company.

The Remote Work Tech Stack

Let’s start with the tech stack, which is needed to set a rock-solid foundation. It basically consists of four categories.

  • Management (Infrastructure, Productivity & Time Management)
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Remote Team Culture
  • (IT) Security

Now let's look at these categories in detail.


Building a remote environment means building an entirely virtual/digital environment. So everything goes into the cloud and an organisation has to have ways that remote workers can access files and information needed.

Infrastructure Tools

  • Cloud storage: Cloud storage allows to store files and data online. This is needed for sharing files with your team and accessing them from anywhere. Some popular cloud storage options include AWS Cloud, Google Cloud or SAP Business Cloud. A surplus of flexibility or security is provided by Your Secure Cloud and luckycloud.
  • Virtual private network (VPN): A VPN encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a private server. This can help to protect your data and privacy when working remotely. As always, security should have the highest priority. For making the right choice in the vast amount of options given, it is essential to take a close look at your own requirements.
  • Remote desktop software: This software allows you to access your local work computer from any device, anywhere in the world. This is especially helpful when you need to access files or applications that are only available on your work computer. Some popular remote desktop software options include TeamViewer and AnyDesk amongst others.

Productivity / Time Management

  • Project management software: This software allows you to track the progress of projects, assign tasks and collaborate with team members. Popular project management software options include Clickup, Asana, Monday.com, Trello and Notion. They provide insight into the team's work and progress, increasing accountability and productivity.
  • Time tracking software: This software tracks how much time you spend on different tasks. This ensures that you can identify areas where you may be spending too much or too little time. Popular time tracking software are Toggl and Harvest. Rize is a particularly useful tool that tracks everything that happens on the computer, even when you switch between applications – it summarises the time spent on specific areas and provides very detailed information.
  • Focus and distraction blocking: Tools such as RescueTime or Freedom help combat digital distractions by blocking certain websites or apps during set working hours, allowing for better focus and more efficient use of time. From our own experience, we can wholeheartedly recommend the Freedom app.

Communication & Collaboration

The following tools enable seamless and effective communication and collaboration between teams, which is especially important in remote work. Poor communication is one of the main concerns of remote work - pay special attention to it here.

Instant messaging: Slack in particular, and also Microsoft Teams, are well-established tools that enable real-time messaging. They offer one-on-one and group chat options, file sharing and the ability to organise discussions into channels. They are also compatible with a wide range of third-party software integrations.

Video conferencing: For face-to-face communication, Zoom and Google Meet are the common choices. They offer video and audio conferencing with multiple participants, screen sharing features and the ability to record sessions.

Collaborative workspaces: Tools such as Miro or Trello enable virtual brainstorming and project planning. Miro is an online whiteboard platform perfect for collaborative idea sessions, while Trello uses a card-based system ideal for task tracking and project management.

Communication and collaboration tools for specific tasks: There are also a number of communication and collaboration tools designed for specific tasks such as design, development and clientele. Some examples of these tools are Figma, GitHub and Zendesk. When it comes to document collaboration, Google Workspace and Microsoft Office 365 are important tools for collaborative document creation and editing. These programmes enable real-time collaboration that ensures everyone is pulling in the same direction.

File sharing: Sharing files is usually part of your cloud setup. Dropbox, Box and Google Drive are common options for file sharing and storage. They offer cloud-based storage to ensure that everyone can access the resources they need.

Here are some additional tips for choosing communication and collaboration tools for remote workers.

Consider the size of your team: If you have a small team, you may be able to get away with using a single tool for all of your communication and collaboration needs. However, if you have a larger team, you may need to use a combination of tools to meet the needs of different departments or groups.

Think about your team's workflow: The tools that you choose should be easy to use and should fit into your team's existing workflow. If you're not sure which tools are right for you, ask your team members for their input.

Remote Team Culture

Cultivating a positive culture in a remote work setting calls for creative approaches. The following tools are designed to support and enhance team bonding, recognition, and overall company culture in a virtual environment.

Virtual Team Building Platforms: Services like TeamBuilding and QuizBreaker offer an array of activities designed to foster team cohesion and facilitate relationship-building. These can range from virtual games, ice breakers, and quizzes, creating a fun and engaging atmosphere akin to a physical office social event.

Casual Interaction Tools: Platforms such as Donut, which integrates with Slack, are designed to spark casual social interactions by randomly pairing team members for virtual coffee breaks or chats. This can help replicate the organic, casual conversations that occur naturally in a physical office.

Employee Recognition Platforms: Tools like Bonusly or Kudos create an avenue for peer-to-peer recognition, where team members can publicly commend each other's work. This can reinforce a positive team culture by creating a sense of appreciation and recognition.

Feedback and Engagement Platforms: Services such as 15Five and TinyPulse enable regular employee check-ins and provide an avenue for continuous feedback. This allows for regular sentiment analysis, keeping management in tune with the team's morale and concerns.

Virtual Office Platforms: Tools like Sococo or My Digital Office replicate a physical office environment in a virtual space, providing a 'location' for spontaneous interactions, team collaboration, and even social events. This can help foster a sense of unity and 'place' within a remote team.

In essence, creating a strong remote team culture is about fostering connections, encouraging engagement, and promoting a sense of unity and shared purpose. These tools, when used effectively, can greatly enhance the sense of culture and belonging among remote team members.


Remote work increases the risk of cyber attacks. Therefore, it is critical to have robust security measures in place to protect sensitive data and maintain operational integrity. Here are some important tools and methods:

Virtual Private Network (VPN): a VPN, such as NordVPN or ExpressVPN, is essential for secure access to network resources. It establishes an encrypted connection to the internet and protects data from possible eavesdropping.

Antivirus and anti-malware software: Tools such as Kaspersky, Norton, Bitdefender or AVG offer crucial protection against viruses, ransomware and other malware threats. They scan your systems continuously and detect threats in real time. Here you can find more providers in this highly competitive market segment.

Password management: Given the variety of tools and platforms used here as well, a password manager such as LastPass or Dashlane can help securely manage multiple complex passwords, reducing the risk of password security breaches.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Implementing 2FA through tools such as Google Authenticator or Duo Security provides an additional layer of security by requiring a second verification step at login, which increases account security.

Secure file transfer: Services such as WeTransfer or SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) provide a secure way to share files, with data encrypted during the transfer process to protect sensitive information.

Data backup and recovery: Cloud providers offer automatic data backup services. Nevertheless, local backups always make sense. These are also crucial for disaster recovery and ensuring business continuity.

Security awareness training: Platforms such as Usecure, KnowBe4 or SoSafe train employees on potential cyber threats and best practices for digital security. This is key to fostering a proactive security culture within the remote team.

Securing remote work requires more than just software solutions. It requires a comprehensive strategy that combines the use of robust security tools with ongoing education for employees on safe digital practices.

Building and maintaining a successful Remote Team 

Building a reliable remote team requires a thoughtful and comprehensive approach.  As we already discussed in our article “Are you taking care of your corporate culture?”, the essence of every successful company, remote or not, is its company culture. And that culture is mainly defined by its people and values.

So what can we do to improve this culture? The right tools are only one side of the coin. Here are some of the key considerations for building a successful remote team in 2023 and beyond:

Hire the right people. It all starts with your employees. When hiring staff for remote roles, it is important to look for people who are self-motivated, independent and have excellent communication skills. They must also have the necessary technical skills to work remotely, such as knowledge of video conferencing and project management tools.

Set clear expectations and goals. It is important to set clear expectations and goals for your remote team to ensure everyone knows what is expected of them. This includes setting deadlines, defining roles and responsibilities, and communicating regularly with members. The same goes for communication - effective communication is essential in a remote team. Again, set clear expectations for communication, including response times and preferred channels for different types of communication. Regular meetings and one-to-one conversations can help maintain clarity and cohesion.

Fostering Culture and Engagement: Cultivating a strong team culture remotely can be challenging but is crucial for employee engagement and retention. Utilise tools designed to enhance remote team culture, arrange regular virtual team-building activities, and create spaces for informal interaction to foster a sense of community.

Prioritise employee wellbeing. Feeling isolated is the number one problem of remote work, and the lack of physical separation between work and personal life can lead to burnout. Regular check-ins, offering mental health resources, and promoting a healthy work-life balance can support employee wellbeing.

Don’t forget about Inclusion and Diversity – a remote workforce can be spread across different geographies and time zones. Ensure your team practices are inclusive, respecting different cultures, time zones, and working styles.

Trust your team. One of the biggest challenges of managing a remote team is trust. It can be difficult to know if your team members are working hard or not when you can't see them. However, it is important to trust that your team members are doing their best, and to provide them with the support they need to be successful.

Be flexible. Things don't always go according to plan, especially when working remotely. So it is important to be flexible and adaptable. This means being willing to change plans, adjust deadlines, and support your team members when they need it.

Celebrate successes. It is important to celebrate the successes of your remote team, no matter how big or small. This will help to boost morale and motivation, and keep your team engaged.

Simply put, your employees should feel well and connected to the company and their colleagues  in their current situation. By following these considerations, you can build a successful remote team that is productive, engaged, and content.

Certainly, building a successful remote team takes time and effort, but it is entirely possible. This requires a mix of the right tools, effective management practices and fostering a positive and supportive team culture. When these elements are in place, organisations can succeed through remote work.

For more ideas, read the article by our partner alphacoders: "Developer Paradise: How to build a meaningful culture that attracts top developers".

In this article, we build on the advantages and disadvantages of remote work by looking at how it can best be done.
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