Interested in using a remote work operating system?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of teams are now working remotely from their homes.
As a result, project managers have had to learn how to adapt to this new remote system of work. And to do it, most of them are using a remote work OS.
In this article, we’ll talk about what a remote work OS is, why you need it, and even highlight the best remote work OS for 2020.
And to learn more about this emerging technology, we need to go back to college, more specifically – the Greendale Community College from the show ‘Community’!
This article contains:
(Use the links below and jump to a specific section)
- What is remote work?
- What is a remote work OS?
- Why should you use a remote work OS?
- What are the key features of a remote work OS?
- The best remote work OS for 2020
Relax Troy! We’re going to begin!
What is Remote Work?
Do you already know the ins and outs of the remote work process? If so, click here to jump to the next section!
Remote work is a work setup that allows you to work from anywhere: your house, your friend’s house, the library study room – anywhere but your office!
And what kind of work are we talking about here?
Almost any work can be done remotely!
Some of the tasks include:
- Content creation
- Customer support
- Legal work
- And even hosting a talk show like Troy and Abed!
All you usually need to work remotely is a mobile device, a personal computer like a laptop or desktop, and a secure connection to the internet!
However, there are a few tasks that can’t be done remotely.
Sometimes, you need to be there at your workplace physically.
Like the time Chang became a security guard at Greendale Community College.
He can’t serve and protect students while working from a remote environment, right?
Similarly, here are some other tasks that usually can’t be part of a remote work policy:
- Screen printing
- Store management
- Factory inspection
What is a Remote Work OS?
Before we begin, let’s conduct a little experiment.
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear ‘OS’?
Chances are you either thought of Windows 10 or Mac OS X.
An OS (Operating System) is a computer platform that allows you to:
- Run applications
- Manage files and documents
- Connect with your friends over the internet
Like how the cast of the show reunited through video conferencing in 2020.
True to its namesake, a remote work OS is almost the same thing!
It is a cloud-based software platform, which allows your remote workforce to:
- Run and track project work
- Manage work documents
- And connect with your remote team members
Wait a second…these are exactly the same things you would do in a regular office environment!
A remote work OS is essentially a shared digital workspace for your company.
Think of it as a virtual office (minus the coffee machine!)
Who can use a remote work OS?
A remote work OS can be used by anyone!
It can help remote teams within any kind of company, whether it’s a startup, SMB, or a huge global corporation.
However, there are a few remote users that benefit the most from this system.
Who are they?
The managers, team leaders, program managers, department heads, and other company leaders.
A remote work OS makes it super convenient for them to manage projects and their remote workforce.
For example, Jeff is the leader of the study group, so he can use the remote work OS to delegate tasks and do other ‘managerial stuff’.
In the meantime, his team can also use the OS features to carry out the work he’s assigned.
Why Should You Use a Remote Work OS?
Let’s take a look at the advantages of using a Work OS on your remote desktop or device:
1. Centralized, shareable data
Remote teams have become more independent over time.
Each department may have its own goals, tools, and projects.
That means each department becomes like a ‘mini-company’ of their own.
But that isn’t always a good thing!
Because of this, valuable data isn’t shared across all remote teams.
This reminds us of the time Pierce joined a fake cult.
His cult shared supposed “mind-reading knowledge” to only a select few powerful members.
This can be a huge problem.
I mean…cults usually are problematic, but so is the selective information sharing.
If certain remote teams don’t share their insights with the remote users that need it, it can lead to poor performance.
For example: If your copywriters don’t know about marketing statistics like conversion rate, they won’t know whether their ad campaigns were successful or not. And without any feedback, they might not be able to improve the written copy that they submit to clients.
Without data, you can’t make important decisions, no matter how hard you try!
Fortunately, a remote work OS makes it way easier to share key insights as you can use it as a central information hub.
It gives your entire company remote access to all the knowledge that can boost their performance.
Except maybe the ability to read customer minds like Pierce!
2. Increased accountability
Whenever there’s a problem in most teams, it usually comes down to ‘whose fault is it?’
Sorta like, whenever someone made a mistake within the study group, all blame went to Britta!
But what Jeff doesn’t realize is that finger-pointing is very harmful for your team.
It not only allows remote employees to deny responsibility, but it also prevents your team from learning from their mistakes and moving forward.
A remote OS prevents your remote team members from playing the blame game.
Everyone can see who’s working on what at all times.
As a result, they can be held accountable when something does go wrong. This way, that team member can own up to their mistakes and figure out how to improve the situation.
3. Better communication
One of the biggest problems with remote work is a lack of proper communication.
While it’s easy to have a quick word in the office, when you’re using a remote computer you might have to use email.
However, emails are horribly outdated, or as Pierce would say, its ‘streets behind’!
You would have to constantly send emails back and forth to share feedback, comments and files.
Additionally, you can’t share all kinds of information through email alone.
You’ll probably need a video calling tool and an instant messaging app too.
Additionally, the speed of an average internet connection has increased rapidly over the years, so you can afford to use more than one tool.
But still…wouldn’t it be better if there was a single platform for all team communication?
Whether it is email, voicemail, screen sharing, or video conferencing, a remote work OS usually integrates all communications into one corporate network.
4. Reduced remote employee stress
Suddenly shifting to a remote environment isn’t easy.
Most employees have found it stressful to completely switch up their working styles.
And as a result, US businesses can lose up to $300 billion per year as a result of workplace stress!
So how does a work OS help reduce stress for remote workers?
While you’re working remotely, you might need to take care of too many tools at the same time.
And it can be stressful to find the correct tool when you need it.
No one knows this better than Annie – who once got really upset when she couldn’t find her prized purple grip pen!
Due to today’s fast-paced remote work environment, it can be a pain to hunt for the software that you need.
Fortunately, a remote work OS contains all the tools a remote employee needs to finish their work. This way, they don’t have to continuously switch back and forth between tools!
However, this isn’t the only source of workplace stress.
With the current situation, your remote team members can be overwhelmed with a lot of work.
So does a dedicated OS help?
A remote work OS lets you see what exactly they’re working on, and reschedule or re-allocate tasks so that they don’t get burnt out.
What are the Key Features of a Remote Work OS?
Now that we know how a remote work OS can help your business, let’s see what features you need to make remote working a breeze!
An ideal work operating system should have the following features:
Remote teams can be extremely diverse.
They can have different skillsets and beliefs, be of different ages, and can even span across different countries.
The Greendale study group is a great example of this!
Ideally, a remote work OS should unify your entire company.
That means that it should be flexible enough to serve the needs of all remote users.
An ideal work OS should:
- Personalize workflows for each remote team
- Help all departments work towards their goals
- Be available on any personal device; whether it be a work computer, iOS tool, Android device, or any other remote machine
- Have an easy onboarding process
And since every remote employee is going to use the same platform, it should be as easy to use as operating a remote control!
So how do you make a remote work operating system simple and easy to use?
By allowing users to interact with graphs, reports, dashboards, and more with the click of a button. Additionally, most great remote working tools don’t have a very steep learning curve, making sure that everything’s ready from the get-go!
When you’re working in an office, it’s easy to see what your team is working on, at all times. But when your team is working remotely, without a unified tool to track what everyone is doing, you may have no idea what’s going on.
And that can be worrisome.
Remember when the group was having a pizza party, and Troy just stepped out for a few seconds to get pizza?
When he returned, the group was in utter chaos:
You won’t have to worry about your remote team going off the rails when you have a remote work OS!
Progress trackers in a work operating system let you visualize:
- The project timeline
- The status of each task (To do, In Progress, Done)
- The number of tasks completed
- Your scrum/kanban board
- Your scrum team’s sprint performance
- How each remote worker is performing
- And more!
With all this data readily available on your work computer, you’ll have no trouble keeping up with your team’s progress.
3. Data storage
As previously mentioned, a remote work OS should be able to store and share data like company files and folders.
But where does it store it?
Not in an Energon pod for sure!
(It’s a container that apparently contains the life vapors of Pierce’s mom).
A work OS captures your company’s ‘life vapors’ or data on the cloud.
But why the cloud?
There are 3 advantages of storing data virtually on a remote system:
- Centralized information reduces the need for file sharing through email
- Information isn’t lost if your office computer malfunctions
- It allows two users to work on the same document simultaneously, much like an online collaboration tool
Storing all your data in one place does have one downside.
If there’s a security breach, then your company data would be at risk, including sensitive information related to your client.
A hacker used malware to gain access to Greendale’s server, and then leaked all the emails of every student and teacher with the help of his remote device!
However, this would haven’t happened if Greendale used a work OS!
Most of these remote working tools are developed by high-tech security teams to abide by strict data security guidelines.
And that’s not all.
All of your data and communication is encrypted, and business continuity is further secured with the help of regular backups!
For added safety, ensure that all remote employees have a strong password to avoid what happened at Greendale.
Note: For a more secure connection, you can use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN client hides your IP address, so hackers can’t see what data you’re sending to your clients.
Listen to Chang here:
It’s always a good idea to invest in a VPN connection.
Your business might be using tons of different tools for various reasons. Slack for a quick chat, Zoom for video conferencing, TimeDoctor for tracking time, etc.
However, the more tools you have, the more time you spend juggling back and forth between them.
While a work OS doesn’t completely replace all your tools, it connects the tools into a single
What does this mean?
Just like how you can access all your iOS apps from the Apple Menu, you can access all your integrated tools on your remote work OS.
Every workday, your remote workers may have to deal with repetitive tasks and workflows. And those tasks can be as boring as supervising an exam!
What are these repetitive tasks we’re talking about?
- Sending emails to leads
- Data entry
- Onboarding new hires
- Scheduling meetings
- Providing remote support to customers
Fortunately, a remote work OS could give you a shortcut.
It’ll do all those tasks for you!
These tools can assign your tasks to a built-in automated system. Since most of these tasks are simple, the system follows a step-by-step process to complete them.
As a result, your remote employees can save at least 6 weeks of time per year!
With all the free time, your team can focus on work that can sharpen their skills.
And in Chang’s case, it would be improving his Spanish!
The Best Remote Work OS for 2020
Ideally, your remote work OS should have all the above features, right?
But that does seem kind of hard to pull off.
I mean, those are a lot of features.
Fortunately, we know a tool that has all of that and more.
Say hello to ClickUp!
Let’s take a look at the features that make ClickUp the best remote work OS solution:
Feature #1: Flexible Views
It can take some time for your team to adapt to a remote work OS.
So why not let the tool adapt to you?
Here’s how Jeff approaches remote work:
He’s being sarcastic of course!
That’s why ClickUp offers multiple task views that can suit your team’s unique working styles:
- List View: arranges your tasks and subtasks into a neat to-do list. This is perfect for those who want to get stuff done!
- Board View: arranges your tasks as sticky notes on a virtual board. A great option for Kanban and Scrum software development teams
- Box View: allows you to see what tasks a particular remote team member is working on
- Calendar View: arranges your tasks in a calendar format so you can manage your busy schedule
- Gantt View: lets you view the project timeline
- Activity view: displays the latest updates within a project workspace
Feature #2: Easy Onboarding
Onboarding your team to ClickUp is as easy as it is for Abed to rattle off pop culture references!
Forget using huge manuals and complicated tutorial videos. ClickUp has a 4-step quick-start guide to help you onboard your entire team in minutes!
Here’s quick look at everything you need to get up to speed:
- How to navigate ClickUp’s Hierarchy
- How and when to use multiple views
- How to customize your workspace
- How to import data from other tools
And that’s it! It’s that easy.
Feature #3: Dashboards
How do you know if your remote project is running smoothly?
With ClickUp’s Dashboards!
ClickUp lets you create your own custom control panel to manage your projects.
It’s the closest thing to sitting behind the controls of a spaceship!
ClickUp’s Dashboards contain a lot of helpful widgets that let you visualize your Agile project data.
Here’s a quick look at what you get:
- Velocity Charts: determines how fast your Scrum team is completing their tasks
- Burn-up Charts: shows how much of the project tasks your team has completed
- Burndown Charts: highlights the amount of work remaining in your project
- Cumulative Flow Diagrams: tracks the project’s progress over a period of time
Feature #4: Pulse
How many work updates have you sent your team, since you’ve started working remotely?
We bet it’s more than the number of outfits the Dean has – and he has a lot of them!
Pulse eliminates the need to request daily updates.
It gives you a glimpse into what your team is working on, at all times.
It’s a great new way to work remotely!
With the help of machine learning, it creates automatic activity reports to see how much time your remote team actually spends on work.
Here a few more things you can do with Pulse:
- See which remote teams are online and offline
- View all the activity happening in your digital workspace in real-time
- See what tasks your team is viewing or commenting on
- Ensure that your remote team members are working on priority tasks
Feature #5: Permissions
Whenever the members of the group had a secret, they kept it away from Shirley.
Because they knew she was a gossip queen!
Fortunately, ClickUp ensures that your confidential project data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands!
ClickUp allows you to share project files, folders, and task lists only with the people you choose.
You can decide what a specific client or remote worker can do in ClickUp via ‘permissions’.
Here a few types of Permissions you can set:
- Can view: guests can view project details but can’t add comments
- Can comment: guests can add comments on the tasks and task lists
- Can edit: guests can edit tasks but can’t create their own tasks
- Create and edit: guests can create their own tasks and subtasks
- Can delete: guests can delete tasks that they did not create
Feature #6: Time Saving Automations
With ClickUp’s Automations, you can spend less time organizing and managing your tasks, and more time doing them!
ClickUp has a whopping 50+ pre-built automations. And if you need something specific, you can create your own!
Let’s take a look at what you can automate in ClickUp:
- Change a task to high priority when the due date approaches
- Create new subtasks after assigning a remote worker to work on a task
- Post a comment when the task status changes
Task automation is that cool!
Or as Abed would say it’s that cool, cool, cool!
Feature #7: Integrations
ClickUp can integrate with tons of popular remote working tools.
Whether it’s your favorite productivity app, collaboration tool, or a cross-functional app on another device, ClickUp has an integration for it!
But what can you do with Integrations?
The possibilities are limitless, just like how it is for Abed and Annie when they’re playing in their Dreamatorium.
Here are just a few examples of what you can do:
- Sync all your work calendars
- Host a video conferencing meeting with Zoom
- Browse through your Google Drive files
- Create reminders by talking to Alexa
- Connect your Microsoft Teams account
- Fix bugs found by using Sentry (an open source error monitoring tool)
- And other fun stuff!
…all within your ClickUp remote work OS!
And if that’s not enough, ClickUp integrates with Zapier which allows you to connect 1000+ more apps!
Turns out, you don’t need an office if you want to work together!
A remote work OS creates a remote connection to unify all your team members, projects, work, and data all under a virtual desktop platform.
Kind of like the telepresence robots that allowed the study group to work in a remote environment:
A remote work OS like ClickUp gives your remote team access to powerful tools and features to supercharge their performance like Multiple Views, Dashboards, and Integrations.
So sign up for ClickUp today, and let your remote team members be as connected as Troy and Abed, no matter where they are!