Tech stack for remote working

Posted by on August 03, 2019 · 3 mins read

Remote working requires a technology stack that enables people to work together. I operate a 20 person company based in the United States with employees in other States and internationally located in Germany, Mongolia, Japan, and the Ukraine: here is the current “stack” of the tools that we use on a near daily basis to work together.

This is still a work in progress, but I imagine eventually every remote company will have a “stack” that they rely on for optimal workflow and communication within their teams.

One important thing to note, just because you have a team that has a stack, doesn’t mean it will function well. The key is setting expectations on how to utilize the tools within the working environment.


  • Slack - chat and immediate file sharing. I use the word “immediate” because we’re finding that a lot of files/messages are get lost when they are not immediately actionable. Unspoken expectations across cultures and timezones estimate that chats get ephemeral around 1 month. You can’t replace email yet.
  • Zoom - when needing to talk to people remotely we found this to be the most reliable and secure so far. There are a lot of other services that I like, but we got stuck on Zoom very early. One worth mentioning is RemoteHQ.
  • Gmail - email.
  • Google Calendar - calendar. I think Google Calendar can do better scheduling times internationally. There needs to be a better solution that can help sync all overlapping work times.
  • Google Docs - real time collaboration and commenting. Used mostly for project based tasks that can be contributed to async.
  • Google Sheets - spreadsheets for sharing.
  • Pivotal Tracker - engineering and project management tasks.
  • Confluence - customer success and internal documentation.
  • Discourse - internal discourse for more permanent information and announcements/projects. This is something that the company initially debated about at length. Just set one up if you’re approaching 10 people. It’s a nice bulletin board for random things.

Operational Tools

  • Gusto - payroll, benefits. This tool is only good for running payroll in the United States. This is a severe limitation running on Gusto, but it’s not like any other payroll platforms have this type of functionality either.
  • Transferwise - this is a hacky way of running payroll for international employees that don’t live in the US and need foreign bank accounts in different currencies.
  • Mode Analytics - BI tool to share query data. Useful for KPI dashboards.
  • Github - code versioning. Obviously.

Each remote company puts together their own standards for using these tools. Documenting the expectations for usage in a workflow is critical at onboarding a new employee to establish culture. I’d imagine that there are people thinking about the best ways to standardize these processes because tech companies are definitely becoming more remote enabled.