By John Martin
Having the right tools is about the most important thing when allowing staff to work from home. You can’t make a house without bricks and mortar, after all, and many of the companies struggling with sudden remote processes have simply failed to build the right foundations. Luckily, it won’t take long for you to tackle this issue.
The simple fact is that the ever-shifting remote landscape means there are now countless tools out there that make this working style possible and even preferable on a business-wide scale. And, you don’t need months, weeks, or even days to set them up. You simply need to do your research and sign up for the options that meet your needs today.
In reality, there are a fair few tools that you could choose from, and each of them offers something slightly different. Whether you pick one or a few to work in tandem, the top options to look out for right now include:
It’s impossible to consider remote work without hearing about the collaboration hub that is Slack. This is something of an industry favorite, and it can work wonders for helping your team to stay together even when you aren’t in the same office space.
With straightforward communication at its heart, Slack can help you to develop project-led conversation channels, and even integrate with outside apps to ensure a steady flow of information. This ensures your staff are still communicating well despite distance, as well as allowing for centralization that keeps downtime to a minimum at this tricky time.
Online conversations are all well and good, but they can also take a fair amount of time waiting for replies, etc. That’s where video conferencing options like Zoom come into play. This program makes a great deal possible, from online meetings to virtual conference sessions. The cutting-edge software even means that you can train staff through their screens.
The communications on offer here are as fast as they would be face-to-face and Zoom also has the benefit of reducing risks of loneliness while you all self-isolate. What could be better?
Our very own Jibble does, of course, also deserve mention here. After all, those other tools won’t do you much good if your staff aren’t committing to remote work the way you had hoped. That’s why Jibble’s attendance tracking capabilities are critical to your success. Jibble’s activity tracking feature means your staff clock in with an activity/project, so you know exactly what everyone is working on.
Integration with Slack and MS Teams ensures seamless time tracking without interrupting workflow. Even better, automatic timesheets ensure you can look back at attendance over weeks/months to guarantee both that you’re getting payments right, and an overview of what people are working on.
Basecamp is a favourite of ours because it’s just so easy to use. Project management can be a challenge where remote work is concerned, and it’s one that Basecamp attempts to tackle. This project management software will certainly save you from having to track remote tasks across multiple email chats, etc. Instead, the ability to group and track each project from one central platform can save untold amounts of time for you and your team.
In fact, implementation could well see you managing projects better than ever before, even though everyone’s in a different location!
G-Suite keeps everything – email, calendar, slides, sheets, docs, and folders – under one company account for just $6 a month. The package also includes Google Hangouts, which you can use as a free alternative to Zoom.
G-Suite is perfect for effective collaboration and sharing, especially since so many people already use Gmail, Drive, Google Docs and Google Sheets.