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Remote Team Management Tools: a Roadmap for Small Businesses

Discover the must-have remote team management tools that all small businesses need to boost productivity, simplify admin, and enhance collaboration.

Motion Blog
at Motion
Oct 20, 2023
Table of contents

Managing a remote team can feel like juggling. Tasks, time zones, team communication — all up in the air.

Drop one, and the whole system falls apart.

While you might have considered getting team management tools to help, finding the right apps can feel overwhelming. How do you choose?

Let us help.

This article lists the must-have tools for small businesses that want to manage teams remotely. Speed up onboarding, turbocharge productivity, and cut costs with these 11 remote work tools.

How can small businesses benefit from remote team management tools?

Using the right remote team tools can help you unlock the full potential of your remote team. Here’s how these resources can bring value to your small business:

Remote team management tools benefits

Quick onboarding: Most remote management tools come with digital training resources, helping to onboard team members who don’t work in the office quickly.

Time savings: They automate tedious administrative tasks to save time. This lets you and your team focus on core work and strategic activities and lowers administrative labor costs.

Enhanced productivity: Not only do these tools minimize admin work, but they also optimize workflows. You can use them to analyze time usage and determine where to focus time and effort.

Real-time collaborationTeams can more easily work on projects together in real time, regardless of location. Instant updates and visual communication tools simplify collaborative work.

Data-driven decisions: Utilize analytics dashboards to make better decisions about managing your team. This data also helps you understand where you can benefit from new hires.

The top 11 tools for small businesses with remote teams

Whether working with fully remote employees or hybrid teams, remote team management software can help you improve workforce engagement, boost employee productivity, and streamline workflows.

Check out these popular tools that help small businesses coordinate and manage virtual teams.

Project and task management

1. Motion AI - Best for intelligent scheduling and task prioritization

AI scheduling platform for remote teams

Motion AI powers up productivity through AI-powered scheduling and intelligent task prioritization. It creates personalized team schedules that maximize efficiency. And it reshuffles them in real time to accommodate changing priorities and prevent team burnout.

Why You need it:

Motion’s powerful machine-learning technology makes sure everyone has the most efficient schedule. Projects are completed faster, and you don’t have to waste time fiddling around with calendars.

And, when things change, Motion reshuffles schedules so urgent tasks are taken care of first. Personalized updates go out automatically, so everyone’s up-to-date on changes.

Plus, the Meeting Assistant feature automatically coordinates meetings across time zones so you can collaborate at everyone’s preferred time.


  • AI-powered team scheduling
  • Task prioritization
  • To-do list builder
  • In-task communication and tagging
  • Automated updates and notification
  • Meeting scheduler
  • Integration with essential team tools
  • Free version available


  • Still under development
  • No time-tracking features

2. Jira - Best for managing software development

Jira is a project management tool for software teams. It’s great for issue tracking and integrates with most development tools.

Why you need it:

If your small business develops software, Jira is a tool worth considering. It’s designed for development. Agile teams praise its excellent tools for planning, tracking, and managing Sprints. It allows for detailed task tracking and remote collaboration and integrates seamlessly with development tools.


  • Detailed project tracking
  • Customizable workflows
  • Excellent issue tracking
  • Agile-ready core features


  • Steep learning curve
  • Somewhat expensive

Communication and collaboration

3. Slack - Best for organized communication

Slack is a popular communication and collaboration tool that scales well. It makes it easy to keep track of separate conversations without feeling overwhelmed.

Why you need it:

Slack is great for teams that communicate frequently but need to keep distinct discussions organized. Teams can enjoy real-time communication on a one-to-one basis or with multiple users simultaneously.


  • Channels for organized communication
  • Threads for in-depth discussions
  • Private messages and group chat features
  • Real-time remote team communication


  • Can be overwhelming at first
  • Can be expensive for large teams

4. Miro - Best for collaborating on abstract ideas

‎Miro is a highly visual collaboration platform that helps teams brainstorm, plan, and workshop ideas. It’s a valuable tool for teams that struggle to collaborate on non-linear or abstract concepts.

Why you need it:

If your team needs to work together on projects that are difficult to structure in a standard document, Miro’s collaborative whiteboard tool is very useful. It provides a visual canvas to add and organize thoughts, ideas, and feedback in easy-to-digest ways.


  • Excellent visual templates for brainstorming and planning
  • Real-time collaboration features
  • Easy to use and learn
  • Affordable pricing


  • Can be slow or laggy with large boards
  • Usage is limited with the free plan

5. Zoom - Best accessible meeting software

Zoom is a video conferencing platform that’s widely available and easy to use. It’s ideal for teams that need to host virtual meetings because it allows participants to join from any device.

Why you need it:

If your team needs a tool for video meetings, Zoom is accessible to everyone. It offers closed captioning, screen sharing, video recording, screen reader support, and real-time chat.


  • Wide range of features for individual and group video calls
  • Integrations with third-party tools
  • Breakout rooms for side meetings and group training
  • Free plan available


  • The free plan limits calls to 40 minutes
  • Issues with ‘zoom bombing’ — uninvited guests attending meetings

Document management

6. Google Drive - Best for simple document management

Google Drive is a cloud-based document management platform that enables your remote workforce to store, share, and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and other files.

Why you need it:

Google Drive is an excellent choice for simple document management and file sharing because it’s straightforward and accessible from anywhere. The range of features makes it easy to organize and share files without a great deal of training.


  • Easy to use and navigate
  • Accessible from anywhere and on any device
  • Customizable access
  • Free to use for up to 15GB of storage


  • Extra storage can be costly
  • Can be slow to sync large files

7. Confluence - Best for secure document storage

‎Confluence is a team collaboration tool with top-notch features for secure document storage. Remote teams benefit from high-level encryption, customizable permissions, and thorough auditing.

Why you need it:

Confluence offers a secure place to store your team's documents if you work with sensitive data. It’s easy to control who can access documentation, and you can track who’s viewing and editing each file.


  • Encryption at rest and in transit
  • Granular permissions control
  • Auditing of all page views and edits
  • Cloud-based or self-hosted options


  • Complex for tech beginners to set up and manage
  • Expensive for large teams

Employee monitoring

8. Hubstaff - Best for comprehensive monitoring

Hubstaff is a time-tracking and employee-monitoring tool that provides valuable insights into your team’s activity. It tracks time spent on tasks, websites, and applications, takes screenshots, and records keystrokes.

Why you need it:

Hubstaff helps you monitor team productivity and activity remotely. Not only does this help you identify areas for improvement, but the automated payroll and invoice features make it easier to compensate your teams.


  • Comprehensive time tracking and activity monitoring features
  • Real-time reports and dashboards
  • Online timesheets and automated payroll
  • Attendance scheduling features and automated shift notices


  • Some employees find it invasive
  • Occasional synchronization issues can lead to missing time entries

9. Toggl - Best for simple time tracking

Toggl is an easy-to-use timekeeping software that helps you track time spent on tasks, projects, and clients. It features productivity insights that help clarify time usage in an easy-to-digest way.

Why you need it:

Toggle prioritizes simplicity with one-click time tracking, offline tracking, and tagging. Users can assign time entries to projects, clients, or specific tags. Not only does this enable you to create comprehensive employee productivity reports, but it also simplifies billing.


  • Easy to learn and use
  • Cross-device availability
  • Tags and filtering
  • Team time tracking features


  • Limited features on the free plan
  • No native invoicing tool

Human resources management

10. Workday - Best for full employee lifecycle management

Workday is a cloud-based HR software for managing the employee lifecycle. Suitable for businesses of all sizes, it handles complex requirements and customizations well.

Why you need it:

Workday can handle all your HR needs on a single platform if you're looking for a comprehensive HR solution. It is a powerful tool that can help you streamline your HR processes and improve efficiency.


  • Recruitment and onboarding modules
  • Performance management tools
  • Customizable payroll management features
  • Powerful reporting and analytics


  • Can be complex to set up and manage
  • Paid plans are relatively expensive

11. BambooHR - Best for growing workforces

BambooHR is a cloud-based HR software designed for small and medium-sized businesses. It’s simple to use with many features, such as worker management, payroll, and employee benefits administration.

Why you need it:

If you are a growing business with simple to moderate HR needs, BambooHR scales well. It’s affordable and easy-to-use HR software with automated workflows, customization features, and a focus on employee self-service.


  • Intuitive interface
  • Automated onboarding
  • Self-service portal
  • Affordable pricing


  • Limited features for complex HR needs
  • Customer support can be slow

Start by supercharging your schedule: Try Motion for free

The right remote work software can revolutionize how your small business operates. Break geographical boundaries, speed up processes, and springboard productivity with a few handy tools.

Wondering where to start? Get your ducks in a row with Motion. Combining project management, task management, and calendar tools, it’s an all-around useful app for remote teams. Motion helps everyone stay on task and makes scheduling a breeze.

Try Motion for free today.

Motion Blog
Written by Motion Blog