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7 Best HR Systems for Remote and Flexible Working Teams

If you’ve fully embraced hybrid or remote working, your team might revel in the freedom and flexibility it provides, but also face hiccups along the way.

Picture this: you’re orchestrating time-off requests for your team, only to find that your spreadsheet has become outdated and you can’t help but chuckle (or sob). Or maybe you’ve just onboarded a fantastic new hire, but welcoming them remotely makes it difficult to track their progress, leaving them feeling isolated.

Navigating these challenges may seem like a Herculean task, but, from employee self-service portals and automation to reporting and compliance management, the right HR software will streamline your processes and reduce your workload.

In this article, we look at the main reasons for implementing HR software, discuss the key features you’ll need from your solution, and make seven fantastic recommendations, including which HR system also offers award-winning customer support.

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Benefits of HR software for remote teams

A successful HR system touches every aspect of your employee lifecycle, including recruitment and onboarding, training and development, and performance management and reporting. Here are some key benefits. The best HR software:

  • Automates tasks and saves time 
  • Simplifies compliance management
  • Provides a central hub for employee data  
  • Makes your team more connected 

1. Automating tasks and saving time 

Mundane tasks like tracking employee hours and managing leave requests are time-consuming and repetitive. The best HR software includes a self-service portal that empowers employees to submit time-off requests and for managers to approve within the platform. Plus, everyone gets real-time insights into who’s off, making it easier to maintain an up-to-date record.

2. Simplifying compliance management

A complete HR solution includes document management features that let you categorise and store information like labour laws, employee benefits, leave policies and taxation laws. It can also automate compliance-related tasks, like generating reports, managing digital signatures and tracking employee hours. 

3. Providing a central hub for employee data 

Integrating an HR system into your workflow allows you to easily store and access the handbook from anywhere. This means current and new hires won’t have to wait for physical copies to arrive in the mail or spend hours searching through folders of out-of-date documents on their hard drive. And, you can better protect the business and your team with intuitively simple management of contracts and agreements.

4. Making your team more connected 

The best HR solutions support performance management and training and development initiatives, which enable employees to set goals, track their progress, and access resources for continuous learning. 

This helps combat burnout as managers can better understand their teams’ needs. Plus, communication and collaboration among remote team members helps break down silos and promote a sense of camaraderie.

Most important features for a complete HR platform 

When choosing a good HR solution for your remote team, we recommend looking out for these features:

  • Time and leave management: In-app timesheets for clock-in with GPS; create projects for teams and individuals; create work patterns; staff and managers have a simple leave management tool.
  • Project management: Assign and manage tasks, set deadlines, monitor progress, and identify bottlenecks or potential issues in real-time
  • Recruitment and onboarding: Centralised platform that automates the organisation of new hire documentation, scheduling orientation sessions, and assigning training programs.
  • Performance management: Set and manage clear objectives, conduct regular performance evaluations, and real-time feedback for continuous growth and development.
  • Training and certification management: Centralised platform to design targeted training initiatives, and monitor employee progress.  
  • Reporting: Track employee performance, attendance, and turnover.
  • Integrations: Unified ecosystem with payroll providers, productivity tools, and single sign-on (SSO) systems. 

7 best HR systems for remote working 

Here are our top seven recommendations of HR systems for remote working and hybrid teams. You’ll find an overview of each with key features and pricing.

  1. HRLocker: Best all-in-one solution and customer support
  2. Bamboo HR: Best for performance review management
  3. Bright HR: Best rota planning solution
  4. Personio: Best applicant tracking system
  5. Cezanne: Best for multi-language support
  6. BreatheHR: Best for location management
  7. Oyster: Best global payroll solution

1. HRLocker: Best all-in-one solution and customer support

HRLocker’s self-service time management solution

HRLocker’s self-service portal lets employees request time off and gives real-time visibility into leave balances and accruals.
Source: HRLocker

HRLocker is a cloud-based all-in-one solution for remote and/or hybrid working teams that need core HR processes like leave management, performance management, recruitment and onboarding, and training and development. 

The platform also offers 24/7 customer support that resolves any issues quickly, so you focus on your core responsibilities without worrying about technical problems or system downtime.

What sets HRLocker apart is its integrated human resources information system (HRIS) database that allows you to store and manage employee data in one secure, cloud-based system. The platform is also available for iOS and Android devices. 

HRLocker has been awarded the ‘All-Star HR Software Company of the Year’ three times in a row and is an honourable mention in the All Ireland Business Foundation (AIBF) Register Of Irish Business Excellence, a national body that accredits outstanding companies.

Key features

  • Time and attendance management is a self-service portal, so your team can log their work hours and request time off with real-time visibility into leave balances and accruals. 
  • Digital document management system lets you create an accessible repository of policies and also request digital signatures on important documents. 
  • Recruitment and onboarding streamlines candidate search, and manages new hire documentation, orientation and training. 
  • Training and development lets you organise, deliver and track employee training and certifications, ensuring continuous learning and compliance with industry standards.
  • Performance management helps you set goals, and conduct regular evaluations and provide feedback to promote employee growth and development. 
  • Project management lets you create projects, assign roles, and track progress at a glance so you can focus on achieving key objectives.
  • Integrations with 20+ popular applications like Google Calendar, LinkedIn, and Microsoft Office add essential tools for the team and streamline your workflows.
  • Reporting and analytics enable you to generate custom reports on employee leave, timesheets, headcount, training, and Right to Work documents.


HRLocker is free for six months for up to four users. If you have a team of 15 employees, you can scale up to the HR Essentials plan at €4 or £3.50, or $5 per employee per month. You can also opt for the HR Professional plans at €6 or £5.50, or $7 per employee per month. 

You can request a custom quote if you have a team of 250+ employees. And if you’re a charity or non-profit, you can get a substantial discount on any plan and don’t need to pay to register volunteers on the platform.

2. BambooHR: Best for performance review management

 BambooHR’s timesheet management

BambooHR’s timesheet tracks employee check-in and check-out times.
Source: BambooHR

Like HRLocker, Bamboo HR simplifies processes like hiring and onboarding, payroll, and time off management. It’s ideal for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). What sets this platform is that it lets you run three types of performance review: manager and self-assessments, peer evaluations and goal appraisals. 

While some users appreciate the platform’s ease of use, some say they wish the BambooHR  app had more features like employee scheduling and messaging features, which make it less effective for teams that work on a shift-based system. 

Key features

  • Applicant tracking system (ATS) helps you manage the recruitment process, from posting job openings and tracking applicants to sending offer letters.
  • Reporting with automated workflows and pre-built analytics streamline repetitive tasks and provide insights into workforce trends that enable data-driven decision-making.
  • Employee experience lets you conduct frequent surveys and check-ins to improve company culture and engagement.
  • Time tracking and benefits recording helps you assess employee satisfaction and identify areas for improvement to promote a healthier work environment.


Complete an online form to contact the sales team for a quote.

3. BrightHR: Best rota planning solution

BrightHR’s core HR software

BrightHR gives a complete overview of employee data.
Source: G2

BrightHR is another cloud-based solution for small and medium enterprises that want an  intuitive and user-friendly platform to optimise their HR processes. While this platform offers features like leave management, performance tracking, and document storage, it’s best known for its rota-planning solution. 

This solution provides a visual interface where managers can easily assign shifts, make changes, and view staffing levels at a glance. But some users say they wish the platform would let them create rotas directly from Google Calendar and the flexibility to calculate annual leave entitlements, which makes it less effective for part-time and casual workers.

Key features

  • Staff holiday management lets your employees request time off within the system, and managers are notified. 
  • Attendance tracking helps managers monitor employee work hours and absences for better workforce management and increased accountability.
  • Cloud-based storage space for contracts, policies, and training materials reduces the risk of loss or misplacement of important data. 
  • Payroll reporting generates reports for employee absence, annual leave, and timesheet and maintains it for up to three months. 


You can request a quote by answering an online survey. 

4. Personio: Best applicant tracking system

Personio’s central repository

Personio lets you maintain employee data and documents centrally.
Source: G2

Personio caters to three major aspects of a business: HR management, talent management, and payroll. Like BambooHR, it offers an ATS that simplifies recruitment and lets you post job openings across 600 job boards and create a dedicated career page. A dashboard lets you easily review each candidate’s application status and streamline the hiring process.

While Personio enables you to generate customised reports, some users share a common pain point: the platform has a steep learning curve and is not very user-friendly for someone without previous technical expertise.

Key features

  • Time tracking allows employees to log their work hours, breaks and overtime. 
  • Digital employee file automatically reminds you of your employee’s anniversaries and expiring contracts and lets employees update their personal data
  • On-boarding and off-boarding lets you easily manage necessary paperwork, assign tasks and send automatic reminders. 


You can request a quote by answering an online survey. 

5. Cezanne: Best for multi-language support

Cezanne’s dashboards

Cezanne lets you customise dashboards.
Source: G2

Like HRLocker, Cezanne’s core features are built around people management with its self-service portal. Ideal for mid-sized companies, Cezanne lets you personalise the HR system to reflect your brand and lets your team earn badges whenever they’re appreciated or given a shout-out. 

What makes this tool different is that it translates up to 11 languages and lets you create portals specific to your team’s or department’s region or country. 

Key features

  • Self-service portal lets employees submit time-off requests and updates to their personal data.
  • Training and development lets you keep track of employee skills and qualifications and assign development activities.
  • Form Builder helps you create forms for performance evaluations, onboarding checklists, employee surveys and time-off requests that trigger automatic notifications.
  • Integrations with 10+ business tools like SmartRecruiters, Microsoft Office 365 and Salesforce. 


Complete an online form to contact the sales team for a quote.

6. BreatheHR: Best for location management

BreatheHR’s rota and shift planning dashboard

BreatheHR lets you assign shifts, make changes, and view staffing levels at a glance.
Source: G2

While BreatheHR offers similar features as Personio and Cezanne, it has three core elements: leave and absence management, people management and reporting. But, because of its location management, the software works best for small businesses with remote and hybrid working

You can easily set up locations and see who’s working from home or in the office, and staff can also book the days they want to visit the office so you can manage capacity. 

Key features

  • Leave and absence management lets your employees and managers easily handle holiday requests and sick leaves and monitor leave balances.
  • Rotas and shift planning support enable you to assign shifts, make changes, and view staffing levels at a glance.
  • Time tracking and timesheets enable your employees to log their work hours, breaks, and overtime.
  • Breathe API lets you integrate the platform with third-party software solutions for a unified ecosystem. 


While BreatheHR offers a 14-day free trial, the paid plans depend on your team size. For example, if you have a team of 1-10 employees, the standard plan starts at £13.00 per month per account. But if you want to add additional features like rota, time and attendance, and the Learn module, the cost increases to £25.00 per account per month. 

7. Oyster: Best global payroll solution

Oyster’s email automation feature

Oyster lets you send automated emails to new hires.
Source: G2

Oyster is ideal for SMBs that want an international global contractor management tool. Its self-service portal helps you onboard contractors and make payments in 120 currencies across 180+ countries. And you can automatically generate 1099 and W9 tax forms if you have US-based contractors. Plus, you can send reimbursements in your next pay cycle. 

Key features

  • Employer of Record (EoR) services help you onboard new hires and avoid compliance issues.
  • Guided and automated hiring features support your recruitment needs with ​​customizable workflows, automated notifications and expert guidance.
  • Locally compliant contracts are generated automatically based on the employment type and country. 
  • Reporting features generate reports related to payroll, employee details, invoices and expenses for you (the employer) and the employee or contractor. 


Oyster’s basic Contractor plan starts at $29 per contractor per month, which lets you hire from 190+ countries. But if you want to hire full-time employees, you can opt for the employee plan starting at $599 per employee per month or request a custom quote if you want dedicated support. 

So, which HR software is right for your remote team?

Whether you’re dealing with distributed remote teams, a hybrid or flexible working arrangement, or a traditional office setting, dedicated HR software contributes to a more efficient, engaged, and high-performing workforce. 

All the tools in this article provide essential HR functionalities around recruitment and onboarding, leave management, document management, and performance tracking, improving the employee experience, productivity and satisfaction. 

But if you want a cost-effective solution that scales as your organisation grows, HRLocker is an all-in-one solution that’s intuitively simple to use, cuts down your workload with automation, and provides fantastic customer care. 

Whether you’re an SMB, enterprise, non-profit or charity, HRLocker lets you tailor a plan that fits your HR needs – from automated compliance management to people management with a self-service portal and free tools for fast calculations.

Reduce your workload and empower remote teams
Replace manual tasks with self-service and automated processes, and benefit from our award-winning customer care team
Book a demo

Frequently asked questions

How can HR work remotely?

HRs can work remotely by using  HR software to manage employee records, track performance and automate processes. These tools also enable HR teams to communicate with employees, handle time and attendance, manage benefits, and oversee recruitment and onboarding. HRLocker, BambooHR, and BrightHR are popular solutions for remote and hybrid teams. 

What are typical HR issues with remote work?

Some HR challenges with remote work include:

  • Engaging employees with the company culture and their colleagues
  • Managing communication when people work in different  time zones
  • Tracking and evaluating employee performance without direct supervision or in-person interactions
  • Managing compliance in line with laws and regulations across regions
  • Ensuring remote employees follow best practices to protect sensitive company information

The best way to resolve these issues is by investing in a HR software like HRLocker that helps you with processes like leave management, performance management, recruitment and onboarding, training and development, and allocating TOIL. 

Is HR relevant in a remote work environment?

Yes, HR is extremely important to remote working teams. Key HR responsibilities in a remote work environment include:

  • Adapting policies and procedures to accommodate remote work
  • Implementing remote-friendly recruitment, onboarding and training processes
  • Providing support for mental health, wellness and work-life balance
  • Ensuring clear communication channels 
  • Overseeing performance management and offering growth and development opportunities for remote employees
  • Addressing legal and compliance issues specific to employees in different jurisdictions
7 Best HR Systems for Remote and Flexible Working Teams was last modified: September 27th, 2023 by Jenny Martin

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