A good portion of the global workforce has had to get used to working from home during the COVID-19 quarantine. Even as economies around the world re-open for business, it’s unlikely that a lot of companies will rush everyone back into the office.
It’s more likely that both staff and managers have found that work can still get done from home and that it could be advantageous—for reasons of public health and employee satisfaction—to do more work from home. Here are 4 indispensable tools for working remotely; all of them have free plans that enable you to test the waters before making a financial commitment.
Communication tool – Slack
Communication is the biggest challenge anyone remote worker faces. You aren’t walking by anyone’s desk and the “little things” that might be discussed organically in an office environment now required a concerted effort. Not to mention the problem of feeling isolated, a psychological challenge that can take an especially big toll on those who are sociable by nature.
Slack is an ideal tool. You can set up multiple “channels,” which allow for either group conference calls or parallel one-on-one calls. You’ll have the ability to see your colleagues in person and get the benefits of social interaction, while still enjoying the quiet focus that your home office hopefully provides.
Presentation tool – Zoom
It seems the world has gotten very familiar with Zoom during the pandemic, for everything from work to group calls with friends. There’s good reason: accessibility. As long as one person is signed up for Zoom, no one else needs so much as a free account.
A link is automatically generated and even the least tech-savvy among us can be told to just click that link and access the meeting. What’s more, there is screen-sharing capability, making it ideal to do a work presentation.
Time management tool – Google Calendar
Your colleagues will need to know where you are. Instead of a mass email telling everyone you’ll be on a call with a client at 11 a.m. or that you need to pick your kids up at practice at 4 p.m. (after things return to normal), just put it on your calendar and give access to everyone who needs to know where you are.
Sharing & storage tool: Dropbox
You may need to store a presentation and give access to multiple people. Or perhaps there’s a file that’s simply too big to send to anyone’s inbox. A professional environment is full of projects that several people need access to and where the files are a heavy load. Cloud storage is the way to address that and Dropbox is an ideal tool to use.
We’re heading for a “new normal,” to use the current cliché. Part of that new normal may well be more opportunities to work remotely. These tools will help you make the most of the moment.