April 22, 2020

5 Essential Tools for Working From Home

Workplaces all across the country are expanding remote work programs to help their employees work while social distancing. With the rise of COVID-19, working from home has become the new normal.

But when you’re working with a virtual team, you’ll be facing a unique set of challenges. Productivity, communication, and collaboration can be difficult without the face to face interaction of a typical workplace. Finding and using the best technology can make all the difference.

Here are five essential tools you’ll need to start working from home.

1. Google Docs

When you’re working from home, an effective file-sharing system is essential. With Google Docs, you can create documents, folders, and presentations that are easy to share with your team members. It’s also a great tool for collaboration on a single document.

You can decide who has access and what level of access they should have—through direct sharing or a link. This will keep personal data safe and simplify the sharing process for everyone on the team.

2. Slack

When it comes to out of office communication, it’s hard to beat Slack. Through this instant messaging service, you can easily create channels for different teams, topics, or projects to keep things organized.

Using Slack, you can keep your team updated on your progress, set reminders for weekly meetings, or do daily check-ins with your colleagues. This real-time chat might not be the same as in-person conversation, but it comes pretty close.

3. Zoom

While other conferencing programs have ruled the web up until now, Zoom has recently emerged as the top contender professional video engagement.

Through Zoom, you can host small group conversations, team meetings, or webinars all in one place. You can break down a meeting into smaller “conference rooms,” share your screen to collaborate on the same document, or record your conversation for later use. All of this—plus the fun backgrounds—can help bring your team together, no matter where you are.

4. 10to8 Scheduling

Without the structure of a typical workday, it’s more important than ever to stay on schedule. Through scheduling software like 10to8, you can keep in touch with your coworkers by arranging recurring meetings.

Whether it’s a daily check-in, a weekly team meeting, or a team conference call, 10to8 allows you to organize all of your meetings and make sure everybody is on the same page. The software integrates with Zoom and Google Calendar, so it’s easier than ever to stay connected.

5. Trello

Not only does Trello help you stay in touch with your supervisors and coworkers, but it’s also a great tool to help you manage your own productivity. On the Trello dashboard, you can organize projects you need to complete and break them down into separate tasks. You can prioritize these tasks and check them off when each goal is completed.

You or your supervisor can assign tasks with deadlines to different members of the team, as well as keep track of your team’s overall progress.

The Bottom Line

It’s not easy to navigate the virtual workplace. But these tools can help make things a little bit simpler. When you have access to the right tools and resources, working from home can be just as collaborative and productive as a day in the office.

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