For a majority of businesses, working from home is now the ‘normal’, with coronavirus throwing the corporate world into unknowns and new territory.
Mastering remote work isn’t easy. It takes self-discipline, an inspiring environment and the ability to free yourself of distractions. In fact, 54% of remote workers report that they often feel more stressed when they’re on the clock, compared to being in the ‘typical’ office.
So, if you’ve made the move to WFH, the first key to success is making sure everyone in your workforce is backed by resources and platforms that fuel positive outcomes. To really thrive in this new way of operating, all industries need to adapt and overcome – and that means assessing communication as a whole.
Right now, physical interaction isn’t necessarily possible, so it’s integral to give your teams the best chance at maintaining productivity and transparency. These are the go-to tools you need to do just that.
The Must-Have Tools For Working From Home During COVID-19
As a digital marketing business, Edge has long been a fan of adopting some of these tools and platforms, but they’re even more crucial to our success, now that our staff have gone remote. These essentials allow us to keep on top of our client projects, allow for consistent communications and streamline all aspects of Google Ads campaign management.
Whether you’re in the marketing field or not, these resources are paramount to keeping your business grounded while things are less than practical right now. Roll out an approach with your staff members, adopt new, agile ways to increase output and keep on track as the work days tick by.
FOR REMOTE DESKTOP USE
- Teamviewer: Available across multiple operating systems and devices, TeamViewer provides an easy way for users to access, conduct file transfers or to access their desktop on another site. You don’t need to forward ports and it’s backed by two-step authentication.
- Splashtop: If you’re not a fan of TeamViewer, Splashtop is the next best thing. For personal use it’s free, but you’ll need to pay for business needs. There’s also a charge for iOS users, but the software lets you share screens – super handy for IT professionals.
FOR MEETINGS AND CONFERENCE CALLS
- Zoom: Making headlines across the globe, Zoom is a video conferencing platform that lets you show your pretty face to clients, colleagues, stakeholders – you name it – in an easy-to-use interface. Conduct your meetings over video when there’s no physical option available, and maintain that much-needed face-to-face interaction. There are both free and paid versions available, depending on your requirements, but it’s important to note that the unpaid version does cap your meetings to 40 minutes.
- Google Meet: Formerly known as Google Hangouts, this one is an oldie but a goodie. Meet is the ultimate free option for communications both video and audio-focused. Call staff across your teams or conduct client meetings, all setup through Google’s native calendar features. Easy.
FOR PROJECT MANAGEMENT
- Slack: Probably the most important tool you could possibly use right now, Slack eliminates confusing email threads and creates one central location for your work-related discussions. Create channels via hashtags, use search functions to find threads or content, and keep in touch with all members of your workforce all on any device. There’s also plenty of integrations and add-ons to choose from, like Gmail extensions or Asana. The options are endless.
- Basecamp: A classic example of project management done right, Basecamp provides outstanding messaging and collaboration features, all combined with reporting and scheduling. See the output of your departments and manage everything easily in one spot. The downfall is that you are looking at splurging a few dollars to get started, but it’s worth it.
- Asana: Just like Basecamp, Asana gives you a visual viewpoint (think Pinterest or Trello) of your projects, and lets you see the workflow easily. Assign tasks, keep track of deadlines and report back with an intuitive interface that’s really nice to look at. For premium functionalities, you will need to upgrade.
FOR KEEPING TRACK OF TIME
- Timely: See how much of your work day is dedicated to certain projects and track all tasks through a no-hassle app. Employers can even see total time spent on certain tasks and projects, and earnings relating to each.
- Toggl: Just like Timely, this tracker gives you the opportunity to label every single minute of your workflow, Know exactly how productive you (and your staff) are, and really visualise how your colleagues/employees are spending their time when they’re not in the physical office. If using email too much is a big problem for your departments, this one’s a biggie.
Handy tip: Some video conferencing platforms are offering free versions of their software, to meet the needs of WFH employees during COVID-19. So hunt around and do your research to see who has a competitive offer on hand.