With the apprehensions and vagueness, we’re all facing in light of COVID-19, one thing we can be sure about right now is the rise of remote work. According to a recent Forbes article, remote work has risen 159% since 2007. And that number has risen steeply in the past few weeks to reduce the further spread of the novel coronavirus.
In what the Times is calling the “World’s Largest Work From Home Experiment,” global tech companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon are all recommending, if not requiring, their employees work from home, and other companies around the world are following suit. Not to mention the thousands of small businesses who are now struggling to figure out how to stay open with their workforce stuck at home.
You may find yourself working remotely for the first time, not knowing the best ways to adjust or stay productive, especially if your whole family is home with you.
The previous editions of this selection were quite a hit, so feel free to check them out, as well :
Which tools do you need to work from home?
1. Team Communication tools-
Ease and productive internal communication are the main obstacles for remote teams. If your team can’t talk to one another, people will step on each other’s toes or lose touch altogether.
· SLACK- Slack calls itself a “collaboration hub,” but it’s necessarily a chat platform for teams and individuals. It’s one of the most popular team communication tools today, and it also has video calling, file distribution, and integrations with other tools like Google Calendar and Jira. But, at its core, it’s a simple way to talk in groups or one-on-one in real-time.
Slack is a communication management app well-suited to remote work. You can create team channels for every subdivision or department, and send direct messages. Slack lets you drag-and-drop files, bookmark messages, and pin documents for quick reference. This app cuts down on internal emails since it’s smarter, more competent, and more user-friendly.
· TROOP MESSENGER- Troop Messenger is a compact remote work tool for small businesses, medium, and large enterprises during this global pandemic. This high functionality, low-complexity tool discourses various field specificities. Team members can interact via instant messaging, audio and video calling, location and file sharing, and by creating unlimited groups on the go.
This Slack alternative allows admins to add vendors, suppliers, and freelancers as orange members who get restricted access to the workspace. Troop Messenger can be combined with essential apps like Dropbox and Google Drive. With Troop Messenger, your team can migrate their files, documents, and do a lot more than texting. It is the best work from home communication tools your team needs to ensure business continuity during COVID-19.
· Zoom is a group calling app with a remarkable quality of the video. It is easy to use, most affordable, and forthright pricing and is also available for free depending upon your requirements. During remote Meetings & Video Chat, you can record any call with a full-length video. You can share your screen with teams for combined discussions. Other zoom solutions include video webinar, meetings, Zoom room, business IM, and voice sharing.
2. PROJECT MANAGEMENT-
If you own your own company or work for a small business, you know that project management is a task that often falls in your lap. It doesn’t matter what your degree or job title is- even large companies often assign tasks that necessitate specific project administration skills to employees at any level. Of course, any project management task is much easier to achieve when you have the right tools.
- Basecamp- If you are used to managing projects through emails and meetings, but your needs are outgrowing that, take a look at Basecamp. It’s a brilliant PM tool for beginners. Basecamp provides a centralized location for companywide and team communication, as well as your projects. For example, instead of sending email chains to update one another on tasks, team members post to a centralized message board. There’s also a to-do section where project managers can assign and track tasks. The tool also includes a place to attach essential files to each project and a calendar for arranging meetings and launching targets. This makes it perfect for businesses to stay intact while facing the pandemic. Asana- With Asana you can use its standing templates to add new workflows swiftly, create lists of tasks for yourself or other team members, generate projects where tasks can be posted to shared boards, break larger tasks down into subtasks, and even convert a task into a project should it become too big. Team members can comment on tasks. They can also sign up for email updates on the progress that matters to them. This is ideal when starting one business task depends on the completion of another. Managers can check the status of any project instantly quickly without venturing into their inboxes or contacting team members for updates.
- Todoist- Good project management means ensuring that communication is valid, those collaborative efforts are fruitful, that scope is managed, that tasks are completed on time, and that things don’t fall through the cracks. Todoist can cover all of these basics while remaining simple enough for beginners. Even better, because the tool is available via apps and extensions on ten different platforms, project teams can collaborate while still using their preferred browsers and devices. This can lead to much faster adoption for small businesses to big enterprises while trying to cope up with COVID-19.
3. PRODUCTIVITY TRACKING
These tools will help boost your team’s productivity and help you keep track of everyone’s progress. If you can manage to have a clear indicator of performance and success, your remote team will work from home like a well-oiled machine.
· Toggl- Toggl is a pretty popular time tracking tool in the freelancer community. It has a user-friendly and intuitive interface and provides you with a straightforward way of time management. You only need to push a button to start tracking your time. Toggl’s browser extension lets you track time within more than 80 online apps. Besides, you can produce comprehensive reports too so that you can find tailbacks and figure out how you can expand your productivity.
· TopTracker – TopTracker has been designed with freelancers and remote teams in mind. Therefore it takes all their precise needs into deliberation. It has a centralized dashboard where you can see all your data at the same place and quickly draw out how to tweak your performance. You can fully control the way TopTracker tracks your time by setting the type and occurrence of the screenshots.
Moreover, it also comes with great confidentiality features such as blurred screenshots. Best of all, it is free.
· Time Doctor- Time Doctor is an excellent time tracking app that allows you to track the work of each of your team associates using screenshots and screen monitoring. With Time Doctor, you don’t only see the time they consumed working but also a breakdown of which tasks or projects they were working on during that time.
This way, you can bill your clients based on hours and ensure that everyone on your team works efficiently for businesses. Time Doctor also assimilates with several popular tools such as Basecamp, Asana, GitHub, FreshBooks, Google Apps, and many others.
4. FILE SHARING
· Google Drive- Google Drive is an online service for storing and sharing digital files. It’s a useful tool in any case but especially if you’re also using other Google products like Docs, Gmail, etc. Google Drive can also be used to save and work with files from other systems like Microsoft and Apple. A neat bonus for Google Drive is that you and your whole team probably already have accounts if you use Gmail, so there’s no sign-up necessary.
· Box- Box is the file-sharing app for businesses as well as freelancers. Over 50,000 companies around the world use it for sharing files, collaborating in real-time, and staying caught up with rules and agreements. Box does so much more than just store files. You might say companies that opt for this service think outside the box. Create, share, and store in real-time while managing workflows and securing your team and clients no matter where you are.
· Drop-box- DropBox is the most comprehensive, secure, and powerful file sharing tool for businesses of all sizes, but especially for small to medium-sized companies while we combat the novel Coronavirus. Everything is stored offsite on extremely secure servers and accessible on any device you have connected to your account. That makes it easy for teams to create a doc on desktop and instantly have access to it on their smartphones without having to transfer anything.
5. DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT
Of course, tools for design and development are critical for companies working in those fields. But, almost every company has a website (or even an app), so this kind of software is needed almost everywhere.
· GitHub- GitHub lets your developers share code. You can ask for feedback, comment on each other’s code, and work on projects collaboratively. Plus, with Github’s Slack integration, code reviews and pair programming are even more natural. The beauty of GitHub is that it keeps you from accidentally overwriting someone else’s or even your work and also makes a history of changes so you can go back to them if you need to. A lifesaver for freelancers and teams too.
So which of these tools will help you while you work from home? Let us know through the comment section below.
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