The pandemic turned the world upside down, radically changing the usual way of life. A couple of years ago, the phrase “remote work” seemed to be something unattainable for the majority of the population, remaining a lot for IT specialists. However, according to the forecasts of the Upwork company, by 2025, every 5th American will work remotely.
Fortunately, new technologies and innovations in internet communications make this possible. Therefore, every employee who is already working online or will soon switch to such a system should familiarize himself with the basic tools for successful remote work.
1) Video Conferencing Apps
Even after leaving for remote work, general meetings and meetings with partners will not go anywhere, but they will move to the virtual plane. And what kind of online meetings can there be without video communication? Even psychologists agree that non-verbal communication, that is, facial expressions and gestures, makes up 93% of the entire communication process. So the first thing to think about is choosing the best video camera online and group meeting app.
Work on the background, lighting, and angle, all of this will surely be remembered by your interlocutors. Do not think that virtual meetings are anything different from meetings in the office, there are also rules of etiquette that you need to adhere to, so you should take care of all the problems with video communication in advance.
Software to consider: Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams
2) Messaging Apps
It’s much easier to communicate with colleagues when they are sitting a few meters away from you, but with the new work environment, you need to get used to utilizing messaging apps. It is an effective and fast way to conduct business correspondence, exchange facts, and plan collaboration. The list of such applications is really large, so each team can find what suits them. Some of the applications have evolved into real virtual offices, helping not only exchange messages, but also plan joint projects, keep statistics, and the like.
Software to consider: Slack, Google Chat, Discord
3) Document Collaboration Apps
After establishing communication, you should think about organizing work on joint projects. Fortunately, here, too, dozens of companies delight with a variety of products. Many of them are using the cloud to replicate the web collaboration experience. These apps help you brainstorm, edit and comment on your colleagues’ work, and even work on the same document at the same time. In this area, the undisputed leaders are the Google Drive and Microsoft 365 applications, which allow users to store files, exchange information, and collaborate on documents from any device.
Of course, you cannot customize the use of these programs alone, so you should consult with the technical support team to help you. It won’t take long, but it’s a prerequisite for successful remote work.
Software to consider: Google Drive, Microsoft 365 applications, Confluence
4) Project Management Apps
Research shows that telecommuters are more productive than office workers. However, they are also more vulnerable to distractions, as there is no supervisor nearby to follow up on assignments. That is why it is important for remote workers to constantly keep abreast of all matters and keep track of their schedules. For such a task, digital calendars are ideal, which are used by a huge number of people throughout the country.
In addition, if you want to help your subordinates keep track of deadlines and ongoing projects, you can implement the use of project management tools.
Software to consider: Asana, WorkSection, Trello
5) Data Storage Apps
The main problem for any person working at a computer is the limited space in the device’s memory, which is sometimes not enough even for personal use. This is where cloud storage comes in. The cloud storage technology itself is relatively new, but it is already strongly entrenched in the life of a modern person. In addition to providing users with additional free space, the developers also solve the problem of data safety. Remote workers do not have to worry about data leaks or account hacking because their storage will be closely monitored.
Also, an important plus will be the ability to share files with your colleagues. Some applications allow you to share entire folders, or archives, making them indispensable tools for a remote worker. Fortunately, there are dozens of different companies on the market that provide cloud storage services, so each team can find what works for them. Large files and vast volumes of data are becoming more difficult to move swiftly and safely across industries. Latency concerns with FTP become more serious as file sizes grow larger. FTP uses TCP, which reduces bandwidth usage to a fraction of what is available, regardless of the internet provider. This data transfer calculator can be used to determine how much data was sent.
Software to consider: DropBox, TeamDrive, Sync
6) Motivation Apps
In addition to the practical part of the work, it is worth considering the morale of the employees. In the office, bosses may have regular corporate meetings to keep the spirit of work, celebrate victories, or simply build stronger bonds between employees. However, this is much more difficult to do if employees can be separated by thousands of kilometers from each other.
These and similar applications allow you to organize virtual meetings with the entire staff. This practice will surely help strengthen the corporate culture, motivate employees, develop common priorities for the entire team, and so on.
Software to consider: Kazoo, WooBoard, Fond
7) Remote Desktop Apps
In fact, this software will be useful not only for remote workers, but it will help them avoid many critical situations. The bottom line is that applications like these allow you to connect one device, be it a phone or a computer, to another computer. Thus, wherever you are, you can access your desktop and, for example, share an important file or make urgent edits.
Of course, if you are connecting to an office computer, the IT department should help you set up access. But it is definitely worth it because after that they will also be able to provide you with technical assistance without the need to come to your home or conduct long telephone discussions. You can also benefit from such software and help your relatives with their mail from the comfort of your couch.
This market is also represented by a large number of companies. In addition to Google, a similar product is produced by Apple, and you should also pay attention to the TeamViewer program. They all have their advantages, so you should consult with your technical support team in advance.
Software to consider: TeamViewer, Dameware Remote Everywhere, Mikogo
To work remotely, just like to work in an office, you should prepare competently. Several basic programs will dramatically increase your productivity as a telecommuter. Do not rely only on your bosses and feel free to express your suggestions for improving work and introducing new technologies. They will allow remote teams to take full advantage of more flexible schedules while maintaining the same productivity and good mood. You will definitely be surprised at how much your remote work experience can change with the use of modern technology and advanced software.