Top remote work tools for productivity, via GitHub, GitLab, Facebook

  • With remote work a long-term reality for many companies, tools to help employees work productively from home are critical. 
  • StackShare shared which tools are most popular on its platform, while execs from companies like Facebook, GitHub, Gitlab, and Atlassian also dished on their go-to products. 
  • It’s not just about the specific tools, though, it’s about how they’re used — including to keep company culture alive. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Because of the pandemic, remote work has become the new normal for many tech companies. 

Firms like Facebook, Twitter, and Atlassian are allowing employees to work remotely permanently, if they wish — a practice already adopted by startups like GitLab — and adapting to new productivity products in the process. It’s not just about the tools a company uses though, but also how they use them. 

StackShare, a website for companies to share what apps they use, has seen more traffic during the pandemic on its pages for remote work tools like Zoom and Google Meet. 

“The most popular tools that we’ve seen on StackShare throughout this whole pandemic have been the ones that help keep culture — help you keep that alive,”  Yonas Beshawred, founder and CEO of StackShare, told Business Insider. 

Execs from GitLab, Facebook, GitHub, and more shared the tools that they’ve been using to help employees make remote work work:

Companies are turning to video conferencing tools like Zoom and even Discord

StackShare users often look up comparisons between Google Meet and Zoom, says Yonas Beshawred, founder and CEO of StackShare.

“Zoom is really popular of course, but people have all sorts of issues with it, whether it’s security or costs,” Beshawred told Business Insider. “The fact that it’s still being compared to alternatives means there’s still demand for better video chats or video

Productivity Commission claims wide-spread regtech adoption will lift compliance

An information paper by the Productivity Commission has highlighted how there is scope for Australia to adopt regulatory technology (regtech) beyond the financial sector, with the belief it can improve regulatory outcomes and reduce the costs of administration and compliance.

In its regulatory technology information paper [PDF], the Productivity Commission noted how Australia is “well-placed” to develop regtech solutions given its “relatively stable and sophisticated” regulatory systems, but currently, extensive use of regtech remains relatively low.

“Low awareness can dampen both demand and supply responses — business need to see value in changing their software so that developers see value in investing in applications, which in turn deliver the value businesses need to see,” the paper stated.

It went on to suggest that Australia could extend its existing use of “low-tech” solutions, including digitised data, forms, registers, and transactions to streamline business and individual transactions with government, as well as reduce compliance costs, improve the efficiency of regulatory practices, and generate flow-on benefits to the community.

Some of the specific areas that the Productivity Commission believes regtech solutions could benefit from include where regulatory environments are particularly complex to navigate and monitor, explaining that there is scope to improve risk-based regulatory approaches; technology could enable better monitoring; and technology could safely unlock more uses of data for regulatory compliance.

While regtech could improve regulatory outcome, it should not be used as a substitute for regulatory reform, the Productivity Commission warned.

The paper also examined the costs, risks, and hurdles associated with the wider adoption of regtech. It pointed out that while regtech has the potential to deliver benefits, the wide-spread implementation of it could take some years, particularly when it comes to the adoption of “advanced” regtech, which requires specialised resources and longer development times.

See also: 3 ways to

Slack’s next phase is to close productivity gaps between humans and software

CEO wants to increase integrations so users never have to leave the collaboration platform to get work done.

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At the company’s Frontiers 2020 conference, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield said his vision for the next iteration of the platform will connect the productivity gaps between humans and software.

Image: Slack

Slack is steering into the idea that there’s no going back to the old way of working and taking on the more challenging element of remote work. The collaboration platform is building new features to make it easier to onboard new employees and work with outside partners.

Stewart Butterfield, CEO and co-founder of Slack, opened the two-day Frontiers conference on Wednesday. He said that the company’s next phase will focus on closing the gaps between productivity software and building new workflows instead of reinventing old ones. He described the familiar task of taking a screenshot of a graph or image from one system and pasting it into presentation software and then emailing the document for review.

“Sometimes the task will be improving step 3 and sometimes the goal is skipping from step 1 to step 11,” he said. 

SEE: Software as a Service (SaaS): A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

He also used the example of a recruiter hiring a new employee and then completing a workflow that spans several business systems and requires email updates as well. 

“These productivity gaps are everywhere and whenever we find one we think there are opportunities for improvement,” he said.

Another focus is creating tools that allow synchronous processes to be asynchronous. He used the example of a daily check-in and showed a series of video updates. The idea is that team members could post a video update wherever it’s convenient and other people could consume that update when it is convenient for them

Lessons from ex-Google employees about productivity and culture

Ex-Google marketeer Ismail Jeilani founded edtech platform Scoodle.

Ismail Jeilani



Ismail Jeilani


How long were you at Google, and what did you do while you were there?

I was at Google for about a year as an associate account strategist.

In simple English, that meant helping businesses in the UK and Ireland improve their advertising campaigns. By showing the right ads to the right people at the right time, both consumers and businesses are happy.

What did you learn while working there?

I obviously learned a lot about digital marketing. By helping so many businesses, I was able to get pretty comfortable setting up and optimizing marketing campaigns for businesses of almost any size.

The importance of being around smart people is that – without realising – you raise your standards and you raise your expectations of success. This can be really powerful, regardless of what you do in the future.

I wish I’d learnt the value of maintaining relationships sooner. The people I met four years ago are at the heart of a lot of the things I’m doing now. The most powerful thing you can ever do is just grab a coffee with someone. You’ll be surprised where it ends up.

Why did you leave?

Google is a great place, but nothing beats the excitement of creating something from scratch. I’d always recommend Google as a great place to work. But what’s really important to me is the sense of your own impact. For me, a startup is where you make the most impact.

Of course, this wouldn’t have been possible without the support and talent of my cofounders. I remember we were all pushing each other to leave our jobs. It was a funny time. But without them, I wouldn’t be here on this journey.

What have you been

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