COVID-19 has changed our lives drastically. It taught us the real meaning of the English proverb “Necessity is the mother of invention.”
We are forced to rethink our daily lives and to seek new ways to achieve our business objectives while working from home.
Countries have implemented various measures to stop large gatherings of people to limit the spread of the virus. The imposition of travel bans, the lockdown of various cities and the closure of workplaces and institutes are the strong steps taken to fight the pandemic.
Corporates all over the globe have rolled out remote work strategies for the employees amid the spread of Coronavirus. To keep some semblance of normality, companies are turning to online work from home tools to support remote work.
It will be a new experience for many employees to shift completely to the home office and at the same time, keep up the productivity levels and deliver results.
Usually, employees spend their day in close proximity to their team where communication is easy and effortless. But when we talk about remote working that’s all out the window and there is a high probability of communication breakdown if the employees are not familiar with work from home protocols and remote team communication tools.
However, there are ways to match the productivity level, to avoid anxiety and managing conference calls with your team.
Systematic remote team communication is the key to break all such disruptions and this is where digital work tools come into the picture.
If you find yourself thinking, ‘how to work from home effectively?’, here is your answer! This handy list of remote work tools can help you make a perfect work from home plan.
Slack — Real-Time Communication Via Text, Audio, and Video
Slack is a remote team communication tool that helps you communicate with colleagues and virtual staff in real-time.
It also has a team management function to handle tasks, appoint staff, recruit new workers, write and execute codes, schedule releases and job openings, monitor contracts for workers, and more.
Slack offers unique features such as group chats, shared messaging space, etc. All the discussions, decisions and meetings in your team are accessible through a searchable database that can be used to find the information you need. This makes it a must-have tool for managing remote employees.
Zoom — For Group Meetings
Zoom is another common remote collaboration tool. It is primarily used for meetings and video conferencing. Zoom rooms are the unique meeting rooms designed to work with the teams.
It can be a great alternative if you need many people to attend a meeting at once. The tool's video conferencing functionality is ideal for long-term meetings, online training, assistance, webinars and events.
The app includes many notable features such as instant messaging, file sharing, cloud storage, audio, camera, and screen sharing.
GitHub: Remote Team Software Development
GitHub is a programming and development platform that can also be viewed as the remote workers' productivity tool since it facilitates remote team software creation.
Most developers are already familiar with this platform and know that GitHub helps you to work with other remote developers to review code, manage projects and create software together in a team.
Trello: For Project Management
Trello is one of the most commonly used tools for remote team project management.
It has a very fun and collaborative task management panel where you can control teams, tasks, goals, completed projects with cards, boards, and lists all on the same page.
On Trello, you can build various project modules and assign tasks accordingly. You can also update the project reports on the panel of the specific module so that they are available to those concerned.
Google Drive — Document Sharing and Collaboration
Managing digital files is important for the smooth running of any company.
It's even more relevant for remote-first companies because geographically scattered workers need to access files during periods when they can't reach their colleagues.
Google Drive helps to communicate and collaborate with team members and also helps to keep up with their feedback regardless of the time-zone difference. Due to its popularity and versatility, google drive is one of the most extensively used work from home tool on this list.
Workplace By Facebook
Workplace is a remote work platform for group collaboration introduced by Facebook.
It gives the company the facility to link all the workers with common resources over the same network. The feature helps you to build teams and share similar files with specific individuals.
The live video tool allows you to broadcast through your smartphone camera directly to your team or company.
Security is another great aspect of this tool as the platform is supported by industry-leading security technology of Facebook.
Follow These Golden Rules for Remote Work
Have a Designated Room for Work at Home
A separate room without distractions is ideal to build concentrated mental space. Make sure the room is well lit and has good ventilation.
Make a Facetime Routine
Ensure your team has a chance to meet and bond daily. This way, all employees will feel connected, and get a basic idea of everyone's tasks. When everyone is on the same page, it makes the task of managing remote employees easier.
Teams Must Have Shared Time
Shared time provides a common opportunity for employees to work together, interact and fosters remote team communication. Time differences are much less of a concern if everyone is on the same page when they are available for cooperation and can use the rest of the working day for other meetings and tasks.
Have The Tools to Get Your Work Done
Every team must use a common digital toolset and each person needs a good Internet connection. Let’s say your office uses Trello for project management, Slack for chat, Zoom for all video meetings and Google Drive for doc sharing. It's important to select the tools for remote communication as a team to build a common context.
Work from Home Has Great Benefits Too
It’s a good way to start your remote work with the above-mentioned tools.
They work well for the small as well as large teams and make your remote work stress-free.
Many big corporations, including Amazon, Facebook, Google, have made a compulsory remote work policy for all their employees.
It’s beneficial to work remotely, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other than this, there are many benefits to working from home.
It saves the Time and Cost of Commuting
Employees will use less petroleum or public transportation which will save both cost and time. At the same time, it will boost productivity as employees will be enthusiastic and less tired.
No commuting means Less Pollution
Even a small action can have a great impact on the environment. When more people are working from home every day, the world's vehicle emissions will decrease.
A reduction in pollution would mean less smog in the air and better air quality, especially in metropolitan cities.
Strike Work-life Balance
People working from home have a much easier time eating healthy and striking a work-life balance. Eating healthy and spending more time with family will help them feel less depressed, which will make their workday happier and more productive.
Enjoyable and Effective Meetings
Not only will the employees be able to choose their breakfast and their seat when they work from home, but they can also be a lot more effective. They can have 10-15 people on a video call with only a few clicks which will possibly last just 15 minutes instead of an hour.
Remote work doesn't have to feel remote:
In an age of rapidly evolving technology, hyper-connectivity can make it possible to give your best without being in the same workspace as your colleagues.
With some of the above resources, you can better cultivate a sense of unity within your team. It's going to pay off because everybody will feel more linked to their colleagues and more likely to function as a team even when working remotely.