10 Tools for Remote Work in 2020
Updated: Apr 4
Remote work continues to grow in popularity. Consistent work from home has grown 159% since 2005. However, currently working from home is not an option for companies to show their flexibility for their employees, but mostly an obligation following the Covid-19 Coronavirus spread.
Today, with Coronavirus having spreading to 186 countries (From 195), many companies have gone fully remote, practically overnight. Some without much preparation - just winging it.
However, there's no need to panic. With the advances of technology, there's many tools out there to make it possible to drive productivity and continue the daily tasks of your employees at home.
Below, we will discuss many tools to help you through this difficult and unforeseen times for your business.
There are many tools for you to access online in regards to your financial and business expense control, social platforms to hold business meetings, and tools to improve the motivation and productivity of your employees at home.
With employees all over the place, how will your teams pay for the things they need or ask for a budget raise if they need it? Online subscriptions and tools, office supplies, and travel are all essential. And most of your team probably doesn’t have an acceptable way to manage them.
Haslle is the ideal way to manage company expenses for remote teams. Every team member has access to different categories of budgets when they need them, but your finance team is always has complete control and visibility as well as real time data analysis of the financial information regarding company expenditure.
Which is basically the definition of a good remote tool!
When most companies embrace remote working, they take care of the technological aspects right away. They have tools for video conferencing and project management, and they think about how they’ll do their stand up meetings and one-on-ones.
But most don’t think about the less glamorous aspects. Including spending. How will your team members pay for the things they need at work when they’re far away from their managers and the finance team? Obviously with employees working from home until whenever the Coronavirus gets under control, they won't be able to fill out traditional forms to ask for a budget or fill out a company petty cash voucher.
Haslle is a tool you can install on your smartphones as well as using it on your computer to manage your teams. What are you waiting for?
Trello is a classic project management tool. Teams put their projects on Trello boards (Kanban-style), and move them left-to-right as steps are completed or they’re ready for review. Our engineering and product teams use Trello because it’s probably the simplest and clearest way to track their projects - even with all the other tools we have.
There are also a few sample Trello board templates specifically designed for remote teams, so you don’t have start from scratch.
Lots of resources on this list focus more on the practical aspects of remote work. They’re full of tips and tricks to be productive and effective while disconnected physically from your team.
This post explores the psychological effects a little more. It shows why companies should prioritize caring and empathy while their teams are far flung.
Work is normally a social space for most people, with lots of little conversations, shared laughs, and shared lunches. When everyone’s working from home, that dynamic changes drastically. And employees may need a little help and understanding to adjust.
Google Calendar is a time-management and scheduling calendar service developed by Google. It became available in beta release April 13, 2006, and in general release in July 2009, on the web and as mobile apps for the Android and iOS platforms.
Google Calendar allows users to create and edit events.
Google calendar can come in very handy for your employees to share with their line managers what they have to do each day. From scheduling meetings and inviting their co-workers to letting you know when a product launch is due, when a social media post will be going up or when you have a digital marketing campaign booked and so much more. You can see the calendar in a day view, week, month and year.
Your employees can have the option of having their calendar show on yours so you can simultaneously track what each worker is doing, or have private events when they share the results with you later during a meeting.
Skype for Business (formerly Microsoft Lync and Office Communicator) is enterprise instant messaging software developed by Microsoft as part of the Microsoft Office suite. It is designed for use with the on-premises Skype for Business Server software, and a software as a service version offered as part of Office 365. It supports text, audio, and video chat, and integrates with Microsoft Office components such as Exchange and SharePoint.
This tool will allow your workforce to join meetings through a link or through the web-app or software. You can see who is muted and who isn't, as well as allowing some employees to be attendees and the others to be presented for specific projects.
The Basic features of Skype for Business include:
Instant messaging (IM)
Microsoft Teams is a platform for teamwork in Office 365. Keep all your team's chats, meetings, files, and apps together in one place.
Microsoft Teams as the hub for teamwork, is where people - including people outside your organization - can actively connect and collaborate in real time to get things done. Have a conversation right where the work is happening, whether coauthoring a document, having a meeting, or working together in other apps and services. Teams is the place to have informal chats, iterate quickly on a project, work with team files, and collaborate on shared deliverables.
Microsoft teams has 5 features:
Teams allows communities, groups, or teams to join through a specific URL or invitation sent by a team administrator or owner. Teams for Education allows admins and teachers to set up specific teams for classes, professional learning communities (PLCs), staff members, and everyone.
Within a team, members can set up channels. Channels are topics of conversation that allow team members to communicate without the use of email or group SMS (texting). Users can reply to posts with text as well as images, GIFs and custom made memes.
Direct messages allow users to send private messages to a specific user rather than a group of people.
Voice over IP (VoIP )
Video conferencing inside the client software
Teams supports public switched telephone network (PSTN) conferencing allowing users to call phone numbers from the client.
Meetings can be scheduled or created ad-hoc and users visiting the channel will be able to see that a meeting is currently in progress. Teams also has a plugin for Microsoft Outlook to invite others into a Teams meeting.
Microsoft Teams allows teachers to distribute, provide feedback, and grade student assignments turned-in via Teams using the Assignments tab, available to Office 365 for Education subscribers.Quizzes can also be assigned to students through an integration with Office Forms.
We probably don’t need to say too much about Slack - it’s pretty much everywhere these days. But if you’re not yet onboard, it’s an easy-to-use messaging app that lets teams talk to one another, with public or private groups for topic-specific conversations.
As your whole team moves remote, Slack becomes the default hangout space. It’s good for important work conversations, but you can (and should) also create channels for jokes, memes, “remote office musings,” and more.
Connect with your team from anywhere. With easy-to-join video calls, you can meet face to face without the added cost of travel.
Meet takes the headaches out of joining a video call at work. Just set up a meeting and share a link. No worrying about whether teammates, clients, or customers have the right accounts or plug-ins. With a fast, lightweight interface and smart participant management, 30-person video calls are a breeze.
Meet is fully integrated with G Suite, so you can join meetings directly from a Calendar event or email invite. All the important event details are right there when you need them, whether you're joining from a laptop, phone or the conference room.
With Meet’s specially designed iOS and Android apps, you can see your meetings for the day with all the important information from Calendar, then join with a tap. G Suite’s Enterprise edition also creates a dial-in phone number for each meeting, so every guest has a great experience – even on the road without Wi-Fi or data.
Teams using Skype for Business or meeting systems based on SIP and H.323 standards (e.g. Polycom and Cisco) can seamlessly join a Hangouts Meet meeting via the Pexip Infinity Platform.
Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creative and curious people, on topics including illustration, design, photography, video, freelancing, and more. On Skillshare, millions of members come together to find inspiration and take the next step in their creative journey.
How amazing that you can start today with two free months of skillshare premium? Explore your creativity with classes in illustration, photography, design, and more.
Skillshare is a platform for members to get inspired, learn new skills and make discoveries, for teachers to share expertise, earn money and give back to the community virtually, and for employees to make an impact, be curios and live a full life.
Using Skillshare, you can teach your employees new skills that could be beneficial for work instead of having inductions or orientation, as well as learning new skills as a manager to better handle tasks and the workflow whilst you work from home.
These are all highly-respected and popular meditation and mindfulness apps.
They all have different levels of paid subscriptions and free trials. Once you sign up, you have access to a huge range of guided meditations, breathing exercises, sleep aids, and other ways to unwind.
During the Coronavirus recently, all these apps are offering more free services to help those who can't afford the subscription to still benefit from meditation and mindfulness practices.
Major change can be stressful, and affects the way people feel and function. Give your teams the chance to relax and disengage from work, with a little help from these tools.
Almost none of us have the time to read everything we’d like to read. Yet we lose countless hours to activities that bring us little joy such as commuting, chores and staring at our phones. What if we could turn these little blocks of unallocated time into precious and rewarding moments for learning and reflection?
Founded in 2012 by four friends, Blinkist now connects 13-million readers worldwide to the biggest ideas from bestselling nonfiction via 15-minute audio and text.
Over 3,000 titles which you can explore vast library and stay up-to-date thanks to the 40 new titles that are added each month.
Blinkst can allow you to read or listen to the summary of business books within 15 minutes. We want to recommend you a few books you can find on Blinkst to better help you get through these difficult times.
The 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen R. Covey
Competitive Strategy by Michael E. Porter
What Philosophy can teach you about being a better leader by Alison Reynolds
Unlocking Creativity by Michael Roberto
The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek
Reboot by Jerry Colonna