10 Essential Tools for Remote Teams

At Float, we take pride in the diversity of our team and believe that hiring the best talent shouldn’t be limited by borders. We are a fully remote company with nearly 20 team members located across four continents (North America, Australia, Asia, and Europe), who work across 8 different time zones!

Being new to remote work myself, I've quickly come to realize that the digital operations of the business are critical to your team’s productivity and that finding creative ways to create an energetic and inclusive company culture is extremely important.

With that in mind, here are 10 of the remote work tools we regularly use at Float to keep our days more efficient and our work lives more enjoyable!

1. Float - A shared calendar to manage team availability and time off

Juggling variable work hours, public holidays, and time off can be tricky for remote teams, especially when trying to coordinate multiple time zones across calendars. Using Float for this gives us one shared view of everyone’s schedule and availability—with any and all changes saved in real time!

At a glance I can see that Lucas has a summer vacation booked, Brett works Monday to Wednesday each week, and Michael has a public holiday scheduled on the 2nd of September.

Our team availability in Float

This live view of our team's work schedule is a much easier way to keep track of everyone's time off and availability than the alternative of blindly receiving calendar invites to Amer's scheduled vacation dates, knowing that we're not actually invited to attend his honeymoon! Adding departments and roles to each team member is also helpful for planning projects and assigning them tasks to complete.

2. Slack - Our day to day communication, status stand-ups and topic chats

I’ve used Slack across a few different work experiences, but it’s in a remote team environment like this one where I’ve really noticed its value. Whereas I used to start my day sifting through email chains and trying to manage and upkeep multiple email folders (which I never mastered FYI), it’s now so much easier and more enjoyable to simply catch up on relevant channel updates where all the sorting is done for me. If I want to acknowledge that I’ve read something, I don’t need to clog other people’s inboxes with a reply all of “Ok”, I can just add a 👍 reaction in Slack!

Sharing team wins in our #float channel on Slack.

At Float, we have channels set up based on team functions, e.g., #customer-success and #product, as well as specific topics or projects, e.g., #marketing-site and #analytics. We use our #float team channel for anything broadly business-related, and #general is where we share non-work related chats and banter, like Amer’s Laker fanboy updates!

Sports are a regular topic in our #general Slack channel at Float!

3. Geekbot - Our virtual teammate that captures everyone’s daily stand-ups

Geekbot is a stand-up integration built for Slack that we’ve customized to ask everyone what they accomplished yesterday, what they’re working on today, and how they are feeling in general. It’s important in a remote work environment that everyone feels accountable and engaged, and these quick status updates are an effective way to communicate to each other what we’re all working on.

The “How do you feel today” question has been a nice addition to our daily stand-ups, as it gives us a little window into each other's day and lets the team know when we’re feeling 💪 and ready to conquer the world or like 💩 and you’d better save that favor request for tomorrow. It's also great for milestone moments like Sameet's son's first day of school 🎓!

4. Zoom - Integrated with Slack to video conference team meetings

Our Zoom calls integrate with Slack which makes kicking off and keeping track of all of our video meetings seamless and easy. The video recording feature eliminates the need to keep meeting minutes for anybody absent and creates an automated filing system within each relevant channel.

5. Milanote - Visual storyboarding and collaborating on projects

Described as the Evernote for creatives, Milanote is the tool we use to organize all of our scattered ideas, notes, and sources of inspiration into one visual, readable board. It’s like a mood board with superpowers that let’s you drag and drop all your notes, screenshots, links, and comments literally anywhere, while still making everything look pretty and organized (a big plus for creatives).

Mood boarding Float's rebrand design in Milanote.

6. Notion - Our team Wikipedia

Onboarding in any new role always feels a bit daunting as you’re developing a workflow, learning who’s who, figuring out where important files are kept, reading up on the company’s policies, and generally trying not to make a fool of yourself during your first few weeks on the job! Enter Notion; an awesome tool that acts like a workplace Wikipedia.

At Float, we use Notion as a knowledge base for our team that provides an overview of the company, what we stand for, what our roles and responsibilities are, and anything else that we feel is relevant information for everyone to know about (e.g., info on our upcoming team meetup in Athens). It’s super simple to use and makes it easy for everyone to contribute and collaborate. It’s also cool that as our team at Float grows, our Notion page is expanding as well!

Our team knowledge base in Notion

7. Calendly - A smart, self-service way to book meetings

The back and forth emails that accompany most meeting requests can be time taxing, especially when you’re trying to coordinate different time zones as well. We love that Calendly automates all of this for us. It provides you with a personalized, shareable link to book meetings through, and syncs with your nominated calendar to ensure this is always based on your live availability. The sync is two-way, so any meetings booked will be added to your calendar as well, and you can set preferences such as time in between meetings, advance notice to book, add a custom Zoom meeting link, and more!

8. Zapier - Automating our workflows with integration “Zaps”

Zapier is like the prized blank letter in Scrabble, as it makes nearly any integration (word) possible. With various platforms collecting and updating data, Zapier is the magic wand that makes them all talk to each other. Zapier has saved us countless hours of what would otherwise be double handling workflows, and helps keep us on top of our data source points and systems. Float customers use Zapier to integrate with 1,000+ of their favorite apps and services.

9. Loom - Screen and video recording

Loom is our all-in-one tool for recording Float tutorial videos and responding to customer questions quickly and efficiently. After trying a few different services to record our new features and support videos, what we loved about Loom is how easy we could simultaneously record our screen and webcam (in HD too), the quick editing tools available, and the ability to share videos with an inline link instead of downloading and reuploading them.

'Getting to know Float' tutorial video recorded with Loom

10. Homerun - Recruiting and hiring talent at Float

We’ve started working with Homerun as the tool to host our careers page and manage our recruitment process at Float. We know that when deciding where you want to work, there’s more to factor in than just the job description. Back in January, our CEO Glenn posted what we’re all about as a company, and we’ve been looking for a tool that we can use to showcase what it means to work at Float and be a part of a remote team, and to share more about our company culture and values. Homerun is the first tool we’ve found that looks like it will be able to accomplish this in a way that is authentic to us—so stay tuned for more info on that front!

We're always looking for new ways to improve our efficiency and productivity at Float and connect with other teams with similar experiences. Got a remote tool that we've missed? Drop us a note on Twitter!

Siobhan Hayes

Siobhan Hayes

Marketing Lead at Float. From the 🌊 of Sydney to big 🍎 NYC.