It’s undeniable that the COVID19 crisis changed the working environment permanently. While many have returned to their offices, a good part of the working population continues to work from home. With remote work demand rising, business owners are required to provide this alternative to their workers. Conversely, valuable individuals might look at jobs with competitors that might offer this type of working arrangement.
That said, if you decide to offer your employees a full-time work-from-home program, you will require some tools to make sure they remain efficient at their job. In this article, we go over some of the most essential apps that should make everyone’s life easier when working remotely. Let’s get started.
Slack’s slogan touts “Where work happens” and it couldn’t be closer to the truth. This communication tool is considered to be the “Discord for business”, making collaboration between users a breeze thanks to its simple and intuitive interface.
The app has advanced scheduling and task management/assignment features, which enable you to stay on top of your team’s activities. You can set up a range of channels that can be organized by subject or group, with direct messaging also available. Files can be shared within conversations, while video calls via Slack can feature up to 15 people.
Asana is a mobile project management app that helps you track your work projects from anywhere. It gives you constant updates on your team’s tasks and if anyone on your team is on leave. You can use Asana to add tasks for to-dos, reminders, requests, and create new projects.
To manage projects, you can set deadlines and assign different tasks to different participants in the project. More importantly, Asana also allows you to communicate with your team for clarifications of instructions and questions. This is one of the greatest advantages of Asana for those that work from home.
Google Workspace is a collection of tools that are ideal for employees working from home. The collaborative nature of Google Workspace makes it especially useful if remote workers are required to communicate and collaborate with colleagues on a regular basis.
Applications include video conferencing tool Google Meet, group messaging utility Google Chat, and Calendar – which can be integrated with the diaries of others you work with. For collaborative efforts, Google Sheets, Docs, and Slides allow several people to work on documents concurrently. Then there is Gmail, Google’s email client used by over 1.5 billion people worldwide.
If you choose to subscribe to these services, you will access larger amounts of storage and be able to customize your email address (so it doesn’t end with gmail.com) All in all, Workspace is one of the best alternatives to Microsoft products when it comes to working from home.
Working from home has tons of benefits for the employee, but also brings a fair share of distractions. Some employees have a hard time concentrating or get constantly distracted by social media. Freedom is designed to improve their productivity. It does this by eliminating distractions and bad habits, prompting users to set blocks for websites, apps, or even the entire internet depending on their requirements.
Blocks can be scheduled for certain times of the day, preventing access to common distractions like Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube during work hours. Freedom also offers browser extensions to complement the app, allowing you to install website pauses and limits, along with insights into online behavior.
Time management might be the most challenging part when working remotely. And some employees need a bit of guidance with their time management in order to be efficient.
Consequently, Toggl helps you track your hours and manages your workflow. With that, you can monitor how you spend your time and break down your hours by projects, clients, or tasks. The app also contains analytical tools to help you improve your time management and rearrange your work hours to be more efficient.
When you need to track everyone’s timesheets, there’s no better solution than Clockify. This time tracking app lets your team track their work hours. Once the team is done working, you can all generate reports and identify who worked when, on what, and for how long.
It’s a great way to manage a team of freelancers as team members can set their hourly rates, and track billable time, and have their earnings calculated automatically. Additionally, you can track non-billable time such as short breaks and lunch breaks, in order to build a complete report of how exactly they’ve spent their work hours.
All in all, it’s a great tool for tracking the man-hours your team is putting in. At the same time, it’s a good way for employees to prove their dedication to their job and the amount of hard work they’ve invested.
Snagit is a screen capture tool meant to help you capture video display and audio output, and then share them to facilitate communication between team members. It can equally improve training and teaching activities.
Simply, capture the process you want, and add visual instructions that explain or comment on the said process. The app supports video capture as well, so you can quickly make an explanatory video for your colleagues. Then, you can share it through the app, including annotations and graphical explanations.
Work from home is clearly becoming the new normal. While some might find it challenging to adapt to this new working method, everyone can benefit from it if it’s done the right way. Employers can cut costs and reduce absenteeism while workers can enjoy more freedom and avoid wasting time in commutes.
Hopefully, the above tools and apps will help you improve your efficiency, reduce distractions, and boost communication levels with your clients, colleagues, and collaborators.