3 Ways Your Team Should Collaborate Remotely

Advances in remote collaboration have made teamwork over long distances easier than ever. In fact, some of the more recently released remote collaboration platforms have so many features that choosing the right tool for the job can be overwhelming. So, we have put together our recommendation for three remote collaboration features that your team should be taking advantage of – shared desktop/screen, shared control, and session recording.

Common Remote Collaboration Features

There are many features to take advantage of between the various remote collaboration tools. Some of these features include:

Security Features

Security features are crucial to any platform or program, particularly those used for corporate projects - fortunately, in this day and age, virtually every application or platform is developed with this need in mind. So - although security features are necessary, most platforms already have security measures available or already in place. 

Remote collaboration security measures should include encryption protocols and clearly outline their privacy policy.

Integration Features

Integration features are not available on all remote collaboration platforms, and depending upon your needs, they may not be necessary. Although - as we know here at Drovio from our integration with Slack and soon Teams - integrations can take your collaboration to the next level, keeping the whole team up-to-date at all times. 

Internal Messaging

Internal messaging is another feature worth looking for in a remote collaboration tool. Although, it is not one of our top three features to look for because it is already a feature on most platforms. 

Internal messaging makes it easy to tag teammates and maintain a good workflow even when team members are online at different times.

Mobile-Friendly Website Design or Application

A mobile-friendly website design or mobile application is also a helpful feature, but in this day and age, they are features that most remote collaboration platforms do have. 

We live in a world of mobility

A mobile-friendly website design or application allows participants to participate in live collaboration even when not in front of their PC. This feature further adds to the versatility of remote collaboration. A mobile-friendly design also ensures that mobile users do not experience lagging or delays that can interfere with their ability to participate in a live interaction.

Cloud-Based Storage

Cloud-based storage is helpful for remote collaboration software but not a mandatory feature. It used to be that video conferences required pre-planning – copies of documents to email or print out for participants to view. Cloud storage speeds up access to these files and ensures that session participants can directly view files under discussion in real-time.

Our Top 3 Remote Collaboration Tools and Features

As great as the features listed above are, we do not include them in our top three remote collaboration tools and features. So, what remote collaboration software features do we have on our list? Our “must-haves” include:

Shared Desktop/Screen

The shared desktop or shared screen feature allows remote collaboration participants to share their screen with and view the screens of other users. The shared desktop or shared screen tool is one of the most notable features of any remote collaboration platform - without it, participants are limited to audio and visual interaction – essentially, a video conference.

There are multiple benefits to sharing a screen during remote collaboration, including improved communication, better collaboration, and more efficient and creative project development.

Shared Control

The shared control feature allows each user in a remote collaboration session to have their own cursor. Up to ten cursors are available on a single session, giving each participant the ability to point, underline, and emphasize areas of shared screens.

Shared control is a good way for meeting participants to be more efficient in making points and explaining ideas. More importantly, however, shared control is a prime tool for co-editing projects. 

Shared control co-editing is a particularly valuable tool for design and programming projects, as it allows multiple participants to pull together an entire project simultaneously. Simultaneous co-editing and code creation also sparks a new level of creativity as participants work together. Additionally, with live collaboration like this, team members can catch errors as they happen and consult each other for solutions as problems occur which avoids problems further down the road.

Session Recording

The session recording feature allows users to record a remote collaboration session as it takes place. This recording feature has two very useful applications – onboarding/training and playback.

Remote collaboration tools are a great means of putting together demonstrative onboarding videos to familiarize employees and clients with a company, service, or product. Repeating the same introductory videos can be tedious, and ensuring that each employee or client gets the same information during their onboarding session can be tricky at best. Fortunately, a remote collaboration tool that offers session recording makes it simple to create a single onboarding video, record the session, and playback when necessary for future employees or clients. 

Session recording is equally as useful for participants in a remote collaboration session. When a virtual meeting covers a lot of material, it is easy to get overwhelmed but recording the session and playing it back later ensures that meeting attendees do not miss important points.

Lastly, session recording can also prove helpful if disputes arise later on. Rather than a problem becoming “he said, she said,” when all discourse gets caught via a microphone, the answer is on record.

Why Not Audio and Video Chat?

You will notice that we did not incorporate audio and video chats in our list of “must-have” tools – this is because any good remote collaboration platform offers audio chat and video chat features. Additionally, they are staples on which all team collaboration projects rely. Instead, we focus on less-obvious features that offer more hands-on interaction for a better team experience overall.

Conclusion

Shared desktop/screen, shared control, and session recording, are three must-haves of all of the features that Drovio has to offer. Our tool does not just make long-distance collaboration easier; it also improves the quality of work done and increases overall productivity too! 

What is Remote Collaboration?

Remote collaboration is a means by which team members separated by distance can collaborate, working toward a single goal. Made possible by various technological tools, remote collaboration has changed the face of business as we see it today by increasing productivity and efficiency.

Why Use Remote Collaboration?

Through remote collaboration digital interfaces, a CEO of a company in one part of the world can work with a CEO of a sister company on the opposite side of the world.

The benefits of this type of teamwork are many and include::

Improved Productivity

According to the Finances Online “Online Collaboration Software Statistics for 2022” collaboration tools can help a 100-employee company to “reach up to $247, 500 in productivity benefits!”

The same source cites a 20-30% increase in productivity for the average business using remote collaboration tools!

Why do th tools improve productivity? Because they reduce lost time by allowing employees to connect regardless of their geographic location!

Access to a Larger Talent Pool

Remote collaboration tools also provide companies with access to a larger talent pool. Rather than being limited to local employees or relocating employees, remote collaboration tools extend the hiring search globally!

A man selecting a male avatar to collaborate with

Access to a More Diverse Talent Pool

Remote collaboration tools do not only increase the pool of potential employees; they also increase the level of diversity within a company. By opening the hiring opportunity globally, a company welcomes the opportunity to bring in more diverse employees who can offer a unique perspective on products, services, and niche markets.

Lower Company Overhead

Remote collaboration tools also allow employees to telecommute, which has proven beneficial during the COVID pandemic. In fact, according to the Finances Online “Online Collaboration Software Statistics for 2022” since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a 176% increase in collaboration apps installed on enterprise devices! 

The availability of remote collaboration software has saved many businesses from closing their doors during COVID-19, but it has also set the stage for a future more dependent on telecommuting. For many companies, that shift to telecommuting means lower overhead costs as they move away from office spaces and into a more virtual workplace.

Improved Employee Comfort

Remote collaboration also allows employees to work in a home office and establish an environment conducive to productivity. These comforts of home have greatly improved the quality of life for many employees worldwide. In fact, one study (How are millennials shaping the future of work?) even found that “more than 75% of Millennials” now believe that a work-from-anywhere setup or remote work opportunity is an important company policy.

Having an office atmosphere that caters to individual working styles allows employees to cut out unnecessary background noise and distractions. On the same token, employees who work better with background noise can do so without distracting other office workers! 

A woman reading a document with her feet on a desk

Remote Collaboration Tools

As we become a society increasingly dependent on remote collaboration tools, the number of tools at our disposal is growing. Some of these tools include:

Other software options offer all these features in a single software suite, making virtual collaboration options much more diverse; Drovio is one of those software options.

Drovio Remote Collaboration Tool

Drovio is a multifunctional tool that offers a variety of features that are designed specifically for remote collaboration regardless of the distance between users.

Security

One feature that is a necessity for any remote collaboration tool – no matter how big or small a company is – is security. Through P2P technology and end-to-end encryption of each session, every step of using Drovio is a secure experience, so you never have to worry about data leaks or compromised corporate secrets. 

Low Latency

Drovio also boasts low latency, meaning that users get a real time experience when collaborating on any applications.

Swap Who Shares

Drovio also has a “swap who shares” feature that allows users to swap between being the presenter and guest. With one click of the “swap” icon, users can choose what they want to share with the other party!

One Click Invites

Drovio’s one-click invite system also makes it seamless to invite users. Your contacts appear on the Drovio and you can start screen sharing sessions with them from one click.

Record Your Session

Drovio’s “Record Your Session” feature is an extra feature that makes it simple to record each Drovio session for future reference. This feature is perfect for onboarding videos and instructional walk-throughs that will need repeating frequently.

Shared Control

Drovio’s shared control feature allows up to ten session users to have a mouse cursor within the shared screen. Giving each participant control over their own cursor makes group discussion and explanation a much easier process!

Voice Chat and Video

Of course, Drovio also offers voice chat and video features that form the base platform of any remote collaboration tool! Drovio lets you join any session from a web browser or the app - unlike some other software options on the market. Users enjoy dual access to Drovio so that the system is usable from any device, no matter where you are!

Other Remote Collaboration Tools

Drovio is not the only remote collaboration tool out there - but with the sheer scalability of service and the number of features it offers, it is worth investigating for your company's needs. 

Conclusion

Remote collaboration tools are available with a range of features from video conference calling to complete remote collaboration software suites like Drovio! These valuable tools enable companies to reap the benefit of remote employees while saving overhead costs and improving overall corporate efficiency. 

USE Together + Slack: instantly escalate from chat to action

Remember when it was so easy to start a collaborative screen sharing session with Slack? We're bringing back the experience, yet with the full USE Together feature set. Escalate from chat to action by sharing your screen with USE Together right from within Slack, with remote control and multiple mouse cursors support.

Collaboration with no boundaries

The way people work together is transforming rapidly, whether they are remote or in the same office. We deeply think team collaboration should have no boundaries. We've always aspired to let people smoothly gather online and collaborate even better than if they were at the same desk, from anywhere in the world.

Slack CEO, Stewart Butterfield, predicts company email as we know it will come to an end in 7 years. We believe in that. We've already helped many companies overcome the pain of back and forth emails: with USE Together, you are just one click away from anyone's screen.

A button away from your screen

Today, it gets even easier than ever. You can now launch collaborative screen sharing sessions directly from Slack with our integration (using the /use slash command or directly with the call button) and know who's on the session before you join it.

Participants don't even need to have the USE Engine app installed on their computer. They can join you right from their web browser without having to install anything and still be able to remotely control your screen.

If you already have the USE Together app for Slack, be sure to update it by simply re-adding it to Slack. Also, you will need to update USE Engine to version 2.2.0+.

Any questions or feedback to share? Get in touch with us at feedback@use-together.com.

USE Together 2.2 is out 🚀

This is always an excitement to unveil what we've been working on recently. Yesterday, we launched a new release with brand new features we hope you'll enjoy. Download the latest USE Engine binaries here.

Shared clipboard

No need to share code snippets through chat anymore. Copy and paste text or images from or to the shared screen seamlessly. Afraid that Jerry might steal your illustrations for his presentation tomorrow? Disable this feature completely in preferences.

Sign in with GitHub

This is a fact, most of developers have a GitHub account. We're thus making it easier for our fellow devs to sign in to USE Together.

We've been already supporting sign in with Slack and a lot of users now sign in with their Slack identity. No need to remember yet another password, a few clicks and you're in! Also, they both handle two-factor authentication (2FA) and can be interfaced with your single sign-on (SSO) provider.

Retina image quality on macOS

When designing, getting a remote blurry screen is far from optimal. With this feature, participants get a Retina quality screen capture. Enable it from preferences, a full size capture of your screen/app will be instantly sent to the participants. Make sure you have enough spare CPU and bandwidth as this is two times the normal screen capture size.

Session toolbar

We've revamped the app client and removed the lateral panel. You now get a small session toolbar appearing on top of the client that can be moved anywhere. We've also reviewed the host session toolbar so it looks the same and takes less room than before.

Should you have any questions or feedback to share, feel free to drop us an email at feedback@use-together.com.

USE Together is now free for students with the GitHub Student Developer Pack!

Six years ago, GitHub launched the GitHub Student Developer Pack program to offer students the best real-world developer tools and training for free. We're proud to announce that we're partnering with GitHub Education and now part of the Pack.

Students are our future. At USE Together, we strongly believe they should get access to the best tools available. That's why students can now get the best USE Together offer: a free Premium subscription, allowing them to pair from anywhere, at any time and with anyone, as long as they're students!

How to get the offer?

If you're at least aged 13 and enrolled in a degree or diploma granting course of study, redeem your GitHub Student Developer Pack. You'll then be able to get your free Premium subscription here.

You're a teacher, member of a nonprofit organization or open source project

We may offer discounts to teachers, educational and nonprofit users. We'd be happy to hear from you and know more about what you're doing with USE Together. Contact us and share the maximum details about your project or organization. We'll review each case individually.

USE Together is coming out of beta

USE Together, the screen sharing app that lets you collaborate with your teammates from anywhere in the world as if you were all at the same desk 👩‍💻👨‍💻 is finally coming out of beta.

USE Together online beta has been available for free for about 20 months now and it sure has come a long way. We made it a point to listen to all of you and over these months, we received quite good feedback 👍 that allowed us to improve the app considerably.

From all the team, and to everyone who have been using USE Together since the beginning or have just started using it, thank you 🙏.

We're thrilled today to announce that USE Together is finally getting out of beta on Wednesday, March 20.
 

Continue to collaborate with USE Together for free


You will be able to choose between two plans:

Both of these plans will allow you to invite up to 3 guests on your screen.

Only Basic users who share a screen will have the limitation. You will still be able to take control of a Pro user's screen with a Basic plan, even if the daily limit has been reached on your account.
 

Manage your team subscriptions from your account


We made it simple for teams to manage their subscriptions from one place, with centralized billing. Add, remove team members and change their plans (Basic or Pro) at anytime. Each invited team member will get the whole team added to their contact list on the app.
 

New 2.1 version


Last but not least, some brand new features are coming:

📹 Record the session (screen share and audio chat) to re-watch it later on. A nice feature to make instructional/demo videos and keep track of what has been said during the meeting.

🖥 A new lightweight session bar will appear on top of your screen when a session is running. It will enable you to quickly change what you're sharing, mute your microphone, record or end the session. You'll be able to hide it completely.

🔗 Opening a shareable link will now ask if you want to join the session from the app (instead of the web browser only) if you have it installed.


Please note that starting from Wednesday, March 20, you will need to update the app to the latest 2.1 version to continue using it. You will automatically be subscribed to the 15 days Pro trial.

We'll be happy to answer any question you might have. You can reach us at contact@use-together.com.

Happy screen sharing 🙂

USE Together integration for Slack is now available!

Today, we announce that USE Together is now available on Slack. Communication is smoother when all your tools are connected together, so you can use all your apps easily from one place.

What is Slack?

Slack is a collaboration tool that allows you to connect and communicate efficiently with your team. It brings all the communication together in just one place. Slack also lets you integrate tools like Skype, Twitter or Evernote.

With Slack, you can create a workspace and invite all your teammates to join it. Your workplace is a shared hub where members of your team communicate and collaborate easily. Slack is a great tool for small, medium and big companies.

On Slack, your workspace is divided into different sections: channels, messages, search and notifications.

Slack helps teams to improve their productivity and have a better communication.

How to add USE Together to Slack?

First, you need to install the USE Engine app on your machine. Then, you can add USE Together to Slack. It’ super easy!

  1. Click on the button below:

  1. Click on “Authorize
  2. USE Together is installed on your team’s workplace!

How to use Slack with USE Together?

Before sharing your screen with USE Together and using these commands through Slack, note that you need to have the USE Engine app v2.0.2 or later installed on your machine.

To invite your team to join your screen, you just have to enter a command in a channel or DM. When you send the request, a link appears, just like below:

When USE Together is added to your Slack workspace, you can use commands to:

Invite your teammate through the USE Engine app:  

/use invite @slackuser or email@email.com

Send an invite by email (they’ll join you from their web browser):

/use web-invite @slackuser or email@email.com

Generate an invite link (they’ll join you from their web browser):

/use web-invite

Make a call only:  

/use invite @slackuser or email@email.com audio-only

Switch back to screen sharing when inviting:

/use invite @slackuser or email@email.com screen

Add a contact to your contact list:

/use add @slackuser or email@email.com

You are now ready to use USE Together from Slack! If you have any question, feel free to send us feedback at contact@use-together.com. Your feedback is deeply appreciated. We want to give you the best screen sharing experience.

Happy screen sharing with USE Together… and Slack!