In the age of modern technology, it’s easier to stay in contact with people than ever before. For example, if you have a smartphone, you basically have a computer in the palm of your hand. But despite this ease, working from home isn’t as easy as socializing.
Working from home requires more tools and more effort on your part to make things efficient. Luckily, the Internet is full to the brim with a variety of remote work tools that can you can use with the click of a few buttons.
1. Google Suite
Google is every curious or confused worker’s best friend. But did you know it’s more than a search engine or email provider? Google has everything from documents to spreadsheets to slides, and it’s all online so it doesn’t clutter up your computer.
You can share all of these documents and spreadsheets, too, and allow anyone with the link to view, edit or comment, which is really useful in a working environment. G Suite (which features collaboration and productivity apps for business users) is also secure and affordable. Plus, you can utilize Google Hangouts for conference calls. It seems like Google has an answer for everything.
Trello is an excellent tool for assigning tasks. It lets you create boards for free with an option to upgrade for more boards. On these boards, you can create columns – for example, “In Progress,” “In Approval” and “Complete.”
In the columns, you create tasks complete with assignees and due dates so everyone knows what’s expected and when it’s due. The tasks have titles, descriptions and the option to move them from column to column. You can also label the tasks with a tag that includes colour and text options. For example, you can choose a red tag for spreadsheets keeping track of sick days, a green tag for finance, an orange tag for documents that need editing and so on.
There’s also an activity area for you to watch the progress of your team. It’ll tell you who commented on what card and who moved what where.
Many people will be familiar with the classic Skype, and the old fashioned among us might swear by it. But even the most loyal to Skype can be turned over to Zoom when they see how much better than Skype it can be.
Zoom is a video conferencing desktop program and phone/tablet application that not only lets you have virtual video conferences but record them too. You can schedule them, share your screen, and even play with effects and backgrounds to make dull work meetings more fun.
Zoom puts several programs into one easy one. There’ll be no need for a screen-sharing app, a recording app and an app like Skype to make the calls.
Zoho is one of the newer ones as far as remote working tools go, but it’s nifty. It’s a lot like Trello where you can create boards and tasks and assign tasks and set deadlines. But there’s so much more to it.
Zoho has a chat function where you can do private messaging and create various group chats. Members of your team can also make posts on a social-media-like feed, like company announcements, which people can emoji-react to and comment on.
There’s a place to upload company documents, and you can add custom apps to your team’s portal, create surveys and events and hold “town hall” meetings. It’s yet another application where it’s several programs in one.
Zoho is available as a website or as several apps for your phone, for example, Zoho Cliq for the chats and Zoho Connect for the tasks.
Companies might have Adobe Creative Suite in-office but can’t supply it to remote workers or to people temporarily working from home. An alternative that’s much easier to use for newbies is Canva.
Canva lets you create accounts for your team and you can design and share templates, like graphics, infographics and CC0 images you can edit and add to. It’s great for writers needing images to accompany articles, and for any team/company branding, you need to make, access and share while working remotely.
6. Time Doctor
Time Doctor is an incredible tool for tracking efficiency productivity and is especially useful for hourly employees. It lets you keep an eye on how your employees spend their time. It’s easy to create a project and start a clock to time their tasks. At the end of the day, Time Doctor shows what projects took the longest and how long someone has worked that day.