The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything about the way we work. Experts were already estimating that 70% of people would become at least part-time remote workers by 2025 - and that was before the pandemic.
So, how is everyone coping with the switch to working from home? There's no doubt we've also changed how we work, including our daily habits and tools, to make this 'new normal' possible. Here's our wrap-up of the top 10 tech tools that have made remote working a little easier.
Since you’ve been working from home, do you sometimes feel lonely and isolated from your team? It’s one of the biggest challenges remote workers face, especially when a special occasion or life event goes unnoticed.
Don’t let that happen to you (or anyone you work with). Whether it’s a farewell, get well, or congratulations - remote working doesn’t mean you can’t organise an amazing gift or card for your colleague. GroupTogether offers a digital solution that makes it a breeze!
Just want a card? No worries - create a beautiful group card with unlimited messages. It's 100% free! No catches.
There are a few essential things that deserve an honourable mention in this list. If you don't have these sorted, forget about how much productivity Slack is going to add to your day.
It’s easier than ever for remote workers to stay connected—provided they have the right tools.
If your company is still relying on emails and phone calls, it’s time for a communication upgrade. Slack is one of the best work tools for teams separated by physical distancing. It’s designed for clear, quick communication between multiple people.
You can talk one-on-one or in a group thread. It’s also easy to upload and share files or make video calls. You can create different chats for different projects, which keeps everyone updated in real time. You can also have a separate “non-work” thread to replace those break room chats.
Even if your work revolves around phone calls and video meetings, chances are you still have a lot of written communication on your daily to-do list.
Make sure your emails, texts and documents are error-free by using Grammarly.
Think of it as your personal writing assistant that ensures your editing is perfect. It will even tell you the overall tone of your writing (formal, friendly, surprised, etc.) to make sure you’re conveying your words the right way. The browser extension in the way to go.
Do you have multiple teams working on multiple projects? Things can get messy fast if you’re emailing each other back and forth. Remote workers need to harness the power of a file-sharing service such as Google Drive or Dropbox. This is the easiest way for team members to collaborate, upload, share, and view documents. Because files are saved in the cloud, remote workers can access the information they need anytime, anywhere.
If you need to send a large file, we love WeTransfer! They have an amazing free option where you can send up to 2GB.
Even if you’re not a professional designer, chances are you need some creative tools at your disposal. If your work involves websites, advertising, social media, or other visual elements, make sure you’ve got the remote working supplies you need.
Canva is a terrific free tool that allows you to create, share, and edit anything related to design. It has countless stock images, videos, and templates you can use to design anything your business needs.
Figma is fantastic for more complex designs such as website or app.
Finally, Unsplash is a great library for beautiful free images that don't look like hideous stock photos.
Are you having trouble managing your team’s tasks and coordinating their responsibilities remotely? What you need is one central project management tool that everyone can refer to.
Depending on the level of detail required, we love Trello (basic) or Jira (Advanced).
You can use the platforms to plan, track and review everyone’s work in real-time. Each team member can log in and see exactly what they need to accomplish on a daily or weekly basis.
Most importantly when using these project management tools are the habits and rituals in place with your team. Agile methodology is becoming increasingly popular - we love the 15-minute daily 'stand up' where everyone from the team gives a quick update. You might do this along with fortnightly planning sessions and a review session at the end of the two weeks.
Whether you need to book client meetings, user research or anything else - Calendly is a must-have. You can link it with your work calendar so it only shows your availability, then let users select a time that suits them. Choose the duration of your appointment slots and even link with Zoom so it automatically creates a Zoom link.
Then sit back and watch your calendar fill up. Magic!
Gone are the days when we would walk over to someone's computer if they wanted to show us something. Sometimes it's really important to both be looking at the same thing.
Doing it in real-time? Nothing beats screen sharing on Zoom.
Need to send it? We love Loom. You can easily record your screen and send it as a link or download.
Possibly one of the harder work rituals to recreate remotely is brainstorming/workshop sessions. The nature of these sessions is that they're a bit 'messy' as everyone contributes before the information and ideas are synthesised.
The best tool we've found to recreate this online is Miro - everyone can contribute at the same time with sticky notes, images, etc. But the trick to getting the most out of your session is have a clear plan to begin with, and set the Miro board up so it's ready for audience participation.
Working from home can be a challenge. The key to success for remote workers lies in the right home office tool kit. If you aren’t already using these remote working tools, give them a try and watch your productivity soar.
What about that gift-giving tool we mentioned above? Do you have a colleague in mind who would appreciate a gift from your team? Learn how GroupTogether’s free and easy group gift platform works.
Need a farewell card or gift?
Forget passing an envelope around the office, let everyone chip in and sign the card online instead.
Life’s busy. That’s why we’re here to make it easy for you to collect money from a group. Less wasted time, less packaging waste, and spending a little less but giving a lot better!