Best Digital Tools for Working Remotely During COVID-19

Work from home 2020: Checklist of things to consider before you start working from home These are the things every business, seeking a remote workforce should ensure before implementing a work from home policy,

  • Access to the Internet: In order to use online tools, one must be connected to the Internet.
  • Access to Resources: Make sure that all employees have access to the information and resources on the company’s server (Cloud or Drive).
  • Availability: Discuss the availability if you want employees to be available at certain times of the day.
  • Set Targets and Follow-up meetings: Set specific goals for each team and individual employee, follow-up on them, and hold daily meetings to discuss the progress.
  • Set Remote-Work Policies: Planning and policy-making will ensure the successful implementation of work from home. Set specific rules on working hours, goals, time-limits, and methods of collaboration.
  • Provide Training: If you are using a new remote working tool to make work from home easier for your employees, it is important that you provide them with the necessary training to familiarize them with the tools.
  • Set a Routine: Finally, set a routine and discuss it with other employees so they know about what times you’re going to work.

Working remotely from home does not mean that one has to work all the time; take a break from work and follow your set routine to maintain the balance between your life and work.

Digital Tools To Help You With Working Remotely During COVID-19 Pandemic

Having the right set of tools can make working from home easy and efficient. We have researched and selected some of the best tools in each category.

For Communication- Messaging and Conferencing – Work from home 2020

Due to the lack of face-to-face interaction between employees, working from home often have trouble collaborating and communicating with team members or managers. This gets more troublesome for those who work on team-based projects.

If you’re working remotely from home and need chatting and messaging tools to communicate among your coworkers or managers, here are some of the best tools for you,

1. Slack

Emails are not sufficient if the nature of work requires frequent exchange of information between a team. Here Slack software application is what you need to keep yourself connected with your coworkers or team. It is developed by Slack Technologies. Slack is one of the best instant messaging apps in the market, and several companies are already using it to connect while working remotely. It brings all your team and interactions together and helps you to maintain work efficiency and productivity.

The app can be downloaded on the mobile or employees can also use the web application for free. With Slack, you can create different channels for different topics of discussion to keep the communication streamlined and relevant to the topic of that channel. The software can be a virtual office as it allows seamless communication between team members, departments, and the entire organization. It is also a great tool for managers responsible for managing different teams to communicate and collaborate with each team through their individual channels to keep things organized and clutter-free.

Slack can also be easily integrated with other tools, cloud storage, and applications such as Dropbox, Google Calendar.

So, Slack can be an all-in-one remote working tool rather than just being a messaging application. Stay at home and bring all your communication together with Slack instead of wasting time on writing formal emails during this Covid-19 pandemic.

2. Google (Hangouts) Meet – Work from home 2020

It is a communication software developed by Google. It is not just only a communication app, it can be used to do face-to-face meetings through video conferences. With Google Meet, you can easily start a video meeting immediately or schedule it for later. You can add your coworkers or invite them by sharing meeting codes.

One of the important benefits of Google meet is that one can schedule a meeting right from his Google calendar app and add all the guests for that meeting. This would automatically send a notification to all the participants about the scheduled meeting, the meeting ID, and other relevant information. Employees can also join the meeting by dialing the meeting number on their phones.

Due to Covid-19 employers are trying to make the work productive and meet business targets even while they work from home, and Google Hangout Meets makes it easier for managers to conduct daily or weekly meetings with their teams to discuss their progress and work targets.

3. Zoom

Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing/web conferencing application developed by Zoom Video Communications Inc. Employees can download and install the software on any platform as it is available for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.

In the wake of Coronavirus, where everyone is forced to work from home, applications like Zoom can solve the problem of distance connectivity. What makes Zoom one of the best free remote desktop software and mobile app is that you can start a meeting with just one click and share the joining link with other members. With Zoom, you get to know how everyone reacts to your suggestion or opinion as it is similar to face-to-face meetings. Zoom also provides many great features for your meetings, you can use its inbuilt features like screen share, chatbox, virtual background. Through it’s recording feature you have an option to record all your meetings so that you may refer to them later if needed.

So, if you are a digital product seller or an HR manager, with Zoom you have easy-to-use tools for webinars and online interviews.

According to SEMrush data, search for Zoom has increased web traffic to 108% in just one month, also it has a 50% share increase in 7 days(16-23 March).

Few more alternatives to these applications include:

  • Workplace by Facebook
  • Microsoft Teams
  • join.me
  • GoToMeeting
  • Cisco Webex Meetings

With these communication tools, you can work seamlessly from home and collaborate with others.

Project Management and Productivity Tools

After collaboration and communication tools next come is Project Management and Productivity Tools. These tools are necessary for managing and monitoring your employees’ and coworkers’ performance while they work from home. The following are some of the best Management and Productivity tools.

4. Trello

It is a web-based task management tool developed by Atlassian that helps in organizing your projects. It uses boards and cards to manage projects and tasks.

Using Trello, you can organize specific projects on individual boards, and create a list of tasks related to that project, add notes and keep track of what tasks are completed and what is still being completed. You can create cards to add information, due dates and use combinations of texts, emojis, images, or attach a file on the boards.

For teams, Trello can be used to create and share boards among all the team members. The app will integrate with apps of other members and keep track of the project’s progress. Managers can use Trello to define the roles and responsibilities of each member and track their performance.

Trello is based on the Freemium model, which means after a trial period you have to upgrade the plan.

5. Asana

Asana is also a work management tool similar to Trello, developed by Forrester Inc. It is a software-as-a-service designed to improve team collaboration and management. Using Asana teammates can create projects, assign work, specify deadlines, and communicate about tasks.

You can create checklists and boards for every project and task and can cross it over once completed.

Using Asana’ Calendar you can set important deadlines for tasks to make sure you never miss any of them.

6. Evernote

Evernote is a project management and productivity tool developed by Evernote Corporation. Evernote is compatible with all platforms including smartphones and personal computers or laptops. Evernote works similar to Trello. Using Evernote you can create to-do lists and assign tasks to your entire team. You can create notes using text, images, or attach a file or web content.

Few more alternatives to these applications include:

  • Time Doctor
  • HiveDesk
  • Toggl
  • Basecamp
  • Everhour

Cloud Storage and File Sharing Tools – Work from home 2020

Every business or employer requires a sustainable space to organize and store valuable files and information which can be easily shared with employees. During work-from-home employees often struggle to access information, resource materials, and other important tools.

Following are some tools which will help you solve these problems,

7. G-suite: Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides and Google Drive

Google’s G-suite apps like Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and Google Drive doesn’t need any introduction. Docs, Slides, and Sheets are just online versions of MS Word, MS Powerpoint, and MS Excel. Through these apps, documents and PPTs can be easily shared and worked on online during work from home.

Google Drive automatically saves all the Google files, with 15 GB of free cloud storage.

With G-suite you can access your documents from any device and from anywhere around the world, with an active internet connection.

8. Office Online Suite

Office online Suite is basically Microsoft Office Suite for the web where you can save and share all your work with your team, and access it while working remotely. Microsoft Office Suite is easy-to-use as everyone is familiar with MS Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Office suite comes along with cloud storage application OneDrive, which gives 5 GB of free online storage.

  • Other alternatives for Storage and File Sharing tools include,
  • Dropbox
  • Sync

Summary

So, work-from-home or remote work is not a difficult way to do provided you have the right set of tools to work with. If you find working from home challenging or if it is your first time, there’s no need to panic, there are tools to help you with every aspect of work-from-home. Just find the best one among them and enjoy the work as you do in your office.

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