Years ago, remote working was considered a low-end job with below the minimum wage salary, but trends changing, it is becoming a full-time career for some. Technology is making it possible for persons to get work done and not necessarily showing up at the office.
With the changing needs of employees from the current workforce, businesses are adapting to his new principle of remote working.
Our current situation will demand a lot of remote work for the next couple of months and this article would be the right place to start for anyone getting into this environment for the first time.
Here are some of the reasons that remote work is becoming a trend:
- Employees set their schedule
- The comfort of working from home
- Ability to travel and still deliver
- Less stressful to a large extend
- More satisfying
Notwithstanding all the above, remote work is very important in this period of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Remote teams can work across cities and even countries with ease.
The tools to ensure results from remote working within teams will be to find a software or application for each aspect of the working remotely.
- Project Management
- File Management
These are tools that handle everything from assigning tasks and seeing progress from mainly the perspective of the project manager or head of any work assignments. It also allows colleagues to see what others are working on so there are no duplicates. Some project management tools also incorporate client dashboards as well.
There are several project management tools out there like ProofHub, Basecamp, Scoro, Jira and many others. These softwares come with some basic features at no cost but extra features come at a cost billed monthly.
Our recommendation is the web and mobile application Asana (1st Tool) which is designed to help teams organize, track and manage their work. It is a software-as-a-service platform for team collaboration where teams can create projects, assign work, specify deadlines and see progress.
Check Asana here: https://asana.com/
Communication is one of the most important but also the most challenging part of remote work. Not being in the same office space as your team members or client may pose a huge challenge.
But fear not, there are several communication/collaboration tools out there to ensure there is a swift and timely conversation amongst team members. This communication can either be in the form of text, audio or video.
Google Hangouts, Join.me, Zoom, Whatsapp Groups, Skype and others can all be used for this purpose but our recommendation under this bracket would be Slack, for text and Zoom for video/audio communication. Slack is one of the most popular remote work apps out there. The real-time chat allows one to stay in touch with team members while providing countless integrations with other service providers.
Slack (2nd Tool) is a digital space that helps communication, allows the sharing of ideas and commenting in real-time. This is available on the Web, Desktop, iOS, and Android. Slack allows the creation of various channels to discuss specific items at the workplace where specific team embers are added to specific channels.
Check slack here: https://slack.com/intl/en-gh/
Zoom (3rd Tool) on the other hand is a group calling app with an amazing quality of the video. It is easy to use and most affordable. During remote Meetings & Video Chat, you can record any call with a full-length video. You can also share your screen with teams for combined discussions. Zoom allows for very large team members looking to host everyone in a single period.
Check zoom here: https://zoom.us/
One other important aspect of remote work is the ease of sharing files. Sending email might sound the best but an issue arises when the file to be sent is huge. And this is where remote cloud storage and sharing of documents and multimedia files come in.
Examples of these tools are Box, Quip, Dropbox and others. The classic Google Drive is what we recommended as most people are already used to. Google Drive allows the sharing of files and much more with your normal Google Account.
Google Drive (4th Tool) is free cloud storage that comes with google doc, google sheets and google slides for real-time creation of files and editing by co-workers.
Check Google Drive here: https://www.google.com/drive/
Staying productive during remote work might be one of the biggest struggles. Too many potential distractions at home and too many things to keep track of. But worry no more! There are a couple of brilliant applications that help you throughout the day.
Some of these tools include Todoist, TomatoTimer, Focuslist, Forest, Microsft To Do, and many others. Our selection under this group is Perdoo.
Perdoo (5th Tool) is a simple but powerful toolkit for turning plans into results where tasks are assigned to each member of the team and progress of the tasks is reported back. This allows the project manager and others to see in real-time the progress of work being done.
Check Perdoo here: https://www.perdoo.com/
NOTE TAKING TOOL
Another tool that can make working from home much easier is note-taking as information can be messy somethings. Also, we will need some information to work with across our devices (Laptop, Desktop, Phone, Tablet, etc).
There are several note-taking applications out there. Evernote, Microsoft Onenote, Apple Notes, Bear, etc. are all examples but our recommendation for this bracket is Google Keep.
Google Keep (6th Tool) is available on Web, Android, and iOS. It is one of the many Google products that save your thoughts conveniently and synchronizes them across all your devices that Google Keep is installed on. It allows one to add notes, lists, photos and even audio.
Check Google Keep here: https://keep.google.com/
STEP BY STEP RECOMMENDATION FOR FIRST TIME REMOTE WORKERS
For every group of beginners, I would suggest starting with the following:
- Create Whatsapp Groups to hold the various departments at work / Or download and create a Slack Workspace to invite everyone to their appropriate channel for work to continue.
- Get Zoom installed to video call and keep in touch with everyone.
- Upload your files to be shared on Google Drive and share the link across the Whatsapp group or Slack Channel.
- Install any of the productivity applications mentioned above to see the progress of work or project managers can keep tabs of this, by periodically asking team members where they are.
With all these remote work tools in your hands, it is very likely to have a fruitful work-life even in our current crisis.
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