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What your remote team's tech stack might lack

What your remote team's tech stack might lack

Table of Contents

Remote work is here to stay, but the path to effective remote team working doesn’t always run smoothly. While remote working is becoming increasingly common, many businesses are still transitioning.

We transitioned from an office-based business to a 100% remote team, so we’d like to think we know a thing or two about making it work.

Investing in the right tools, ‘the operational stuff’, is essential - which is what we’ll cover here, as there might be something missing from your remote team's tech stack.

But first, what is a tech stack?

A tech stack is a combination of frameworks, tools and applications used to build web and mobile applications. A term you'd rarely hear outside of web and software development spheres a few years ago.

But over time, it's become more or less synonymous with the tools that employees use to get the job done and work effectively as a team.

Tools to streamline communication in your remote team

Shifting from an on-premises environment to a digital environment profoundly affects the way a team communicates. So it’s unsurprising that remote workers repeatedly rate communication as a challenge. 

Establishing baseline communication methods is essential. Email usually has to be replaced - sifting through endless lengthy threads gets pretty time-consuming.


Slack is central to many remote team tech stacks.

Slack’s simple and intuitive interface is perfect for real-time communications, but it provides many valuable features such as easy file sharing, tagging, video calling, automation and in-app collaboration.

One of Slack’s most useful features is the ability to separate chats into different threads. Threads can be set up for different projects, clients, departments, etc, which keeps communication organised.

We use Slack and encourage team members to interact as if they were in an office environment. That means sharing conversations with the floor rather than in private chats.


Slack was built for business and adapted for personal use, whereas Discord was built for recreational communication and adapted for business use.

In the end, Discord and Slack are very similar. Both enable users to organise conversations into channels, and the structure and UI are pretty homogenous.

However, Discord is arguably better for voice and video chat, whereas Slack is still better-optimised for business comms.


Zoom needs no introduction. It takes the best bits from Skype and Teams and mashes them into a modern business video calling platform with bundles of extra features.

Messaging apps like Slack and Discord feature their own video and audio messaging functions, but Zoom is more powerful with its whiteboards, audio transcription, built-in participant polling and breakout rooms.

Project management tools to effectively manage your remote team

Project management is the mainstay of the remote team tech stack.

Back in the early 2010s, there weren’t many project management tools to choose from. Now, there are at least ten credible options.

Project management tools should do all or some of the following:

  • Project planning views and calendars
  • Real-time collaboration tools
  • Time tracking
  • Reporting
  • Budgeting
  • Billing and quotes

The leading contenders in project management are:

  1. Trello
  2. Monday
  3. Asana
  4. Kissflow
  5. Wrike
  6. ClickUp
  7. Adobe Workfront
  8. ProofHub
  9. Notion
  10. Jira

For most remote teams, project planning features are at the top of the priority list, which is where Trello, Asana and Monday excel.

These platforms are adept for organising tasks and projects, assigning team members, and tracking progress from start to finish. Simple automation features help businesses categorise projects and track progress without too much manual work.

One word of advice is to spend some time setting up the tool. If you dive straight in, it’s possible that you’ll miss a few important settings and features that make life easier in the long run.

And, as not everybody will be familiar with the tools your team uses, provide training materials so that new starters can quickly get up to speed.

More complex tools such as Wrike, ClickUp, Jira and Workfront are perhaps better for enterprise-level management or projects in specific sectors and industries. For example, Jira is optimised for software development.

With that said, Buffer uses Trello, which they’ve made available to the public as part of their transparency strategy, so it must handle large workloads.

It’s also worth mentioning that some remote teams prefer to keep time tracking separate from their chosen project management software.

Timely and Time Doctor are excellent choices that integrate into Google Calendars, Slack, GitHub, and other tools to simplify tracking time and team resources.

Productivity tools to improve efficiency in your remote team

Productivity tools vary with the business and the team or department, so we’ll keep this one brief.

For example, creative teams might spend most of their time inside tools like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or Premiere. On the other hand, a sales team might spend most of their time on call or inside a CRM.

For baseline productivity, Google Drive and the Google Apps suite are tough to beat. Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides and Google Forms are free to use as part of Google Drive, which is all most businesses need to handle various tasks.

Google Workspace (formerly G-Suite) is an upgraded version of Google’s productivity apps, including extra sharing and collaboration features. Though, if people in the team are handling heavy data sets, they might be better off with Excel, a Microsoft 365 product.

Expense tracking software to help you keep track

Here’s one many remote companies don’t consider: expense tracking.

For example, just because a team works remotely doesn’t mean that all client or customer-facing interactions are remote. Employees may need to meet clients in real-life or organise events which involve expenses.

Digital expenses like digital asset purchases and SaaS subscriptions are important too. If business expenses are delegated to remote team members, that involves a few complexities that have to be managed properly:

  • Tracking costs for accuracy, recordkeeping, trust and safety.
  • Tax implications.
  • Compliance, e.g. bookkeeping.
  • Fraud risks.

To simplify expenditure tracking, there are a few expense tracking and management platforms that make provisions for remote teams, including:


Pleo provides company cards, including virtual company cards, that simplify expense tracking and accounting.

By integrating with accounting software like Sage and Xero, Pleo also helps businesses integrate expenses into their bookkeeping and tax returns. Pleo’s centralised view of expenditure is ideal for remote teams.

Moreover, Pleo consists of more than 20% remote workers, which adds plenty of credibility to their product.


Expensify classes itself as a ‘payments superapp’ that can track everything from travel and mileage to receipts and online expenditures.

Expensify is more flexible and open-ended than Pleo. It integrates with most account software and serves a similar purpose.

Accounting and payroll software to pay your staff

Here’s a part of the remote team tech stack that is seldom discussed: payroll. Once you’ve nailed your comms, organised your projects and tracked your time and expenses, it’s time to get everyone paid.

Payroll and accounting apps are typically geographically dependent, but the three big players all operate in the UK and across much of the world:

  • Intuit
  • Sage
  • Xero

If you’re paying an international team, things get slightly trickier. Platforms such as Remote have simplified international accounting and payroll, which is essential for geographically distributed teams.

For example, the Remote platform enables businesses to hire and pay compliantly in over 60 countries. 

And an equity management tool

Last but never least, equity management software to help you incentivise and reward your remote team. Forward-thinking founders know that sharing equity among the team glues people together and unites them

Offering shares is an effective way to attract and retain talent, but it’s often overlooked due to how complex and time-consuming businesses perceive it to be. And a spreadsheet is really not the best way to do it. That's where we come in.

Instead of going down the traditional route that requires lawyers, solicitors and setup fees galore, we offer a singular platform for creating and managing employee share schemes.

A digital equity management tool might just be the missing piece in your repertoire. Book a free consultation to learn more

Not all of the tools listed will be relevant for your business but it's worth knowing what's out there and regularly assessing what's working (and what's perhaps not) so that your remote team has everything it needs to succeed.

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