Remote work is changing the norm for business culture – in a good way! With 37% of employees working remotely at least on occasion, according to a 2015 Gallup poll, there’s a good chance that your company has realized the benefits of allowing telecommuting on a part-time or full-time basis. While productivity can boost when employees work from the comfort of home, this is only the case if they stay engaged with the rest of the team and what’s going on in the office. Here are a few tools that will help keep your telecommuters engaged and productive.

1. Slack

Slack is a communication app that allows you to create channels for different groups. Get your remote workers into their correct channels, and let the ideas fly. Send direct messages or create private channels for smaller projects. Slack can be used on a smartphone, tablet, or computer, so your staff can keep any or all of their channels and teams open at the same time for maximum flexibility.

2. Trello

Trello is great for those who are kinesthetic. As tasks are accomplished, they can be physically dragged from folder to folder, similar to how someone in marketing would physically bring a file over to the art department. You can set up folders for different team members, and each member can receive notifications as cards are added to, removed and moved around. Keep a number of different tasks and projects organized for the ultimate tool for collaboration and productivity.

3. Hoopla

Hoopla pulls performance data from apps you’re already using (from Salesforce to hundreds of apps on Zapier) and broadcasts the updates in real-time on TVs, desktops, and even mobile devices. You can use Hoopla to celebrate individual and team achievements, creating a bond between those who work in-house and remote. Even better, Hoopla can be used with Slack. No matter how large or small your team, regardless of location, Hoopla can keep everyone on the same page.

4. Trillian

Everyone has their own favorite communication app. The problem with that is it can easily become tedious signing into multiple platforms to connect with your team. With Trillian, that’s not necessary. The app places everyone’s instant messaging apps together onto one screen. Cut down on time wasted activities and focus on more important things. With heightened security and fun features that keep your team interested, this molding app works great for companies of all sizes and focus. Send images and files, and enjoy both group and private conversations easily.

5. Harvest

The best way to stay productive is to be on top of the time you have. It makes sense to have a time-tracking app ensure your employees are using their time wisely on projects. With Harvest, both remote and in-house employees can use their computers or smartphones to log in and out of their various tasks. The information logged can be useful data in budgeting for future projects and keeping everyone on track. Get as specific as you want when asking team members to record their time on each type of task, which in turn helps them with time management as well.

Remote work doesn’t have to seem as futuristic as you might think. With the productivity tools available today, it’s easy to build a strong team with a great level of organization. You don’t necessarily have to use all of the tools presented. Try a few at a time to see which tools works best for your team and watch your team’s productivity level boost. Let us know which tools you found most useful! We’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.