Top 10 Tools Every Individual & Organization Can Leverage To Work Remotely
It is quite obvious that remote work has come to stay and its growth is recorded every day, especially, in this pandemic period. A past survey had it that virtually 40% of full-time employees are expected to start working remotely before the end of the next ten years. Interestingly, that has been fast-tracked with the emergence of the global pandemic and its impact on the workforce.
This means that a great shift has been made in the way workers communicate and approach their work. Most of the communication and work is done remotely and virtually with little or no physical connection.
In as much as this is a great feat for some organizations, there are still organizations that were not prepared for this great global change. Some organizations did not take any proactive measure to ensure that their employees could work remotely, snubbing the traditional office layout. For example, ecommerce is now the reigning word in the retail business, threatening the entire commercial industry with special emphasis on the brick-and-mortar retail outlets.
Another case is that of Nokia Corporation. It used to be the technology dominating the mobile phone industry. When innovation came upon the industry, Nokia Corporation was unprepared to embrace the new change. As a result of that, they lost everything. Now, they are struggling to gain a few percentages of the market share. The truth is that they were late and may or may not recover from the nosedive. It could be any organisation.
Now, working remotely has become the new buzz in the world of business and organisational settings, whether on a full-time or part-time basis. If your business is yet to embrace this new and innovative change, it means that you might soon run out of business. Clinging to the traditional way of work may not be ideal again for you. This is why we have put down the following tools for your organisation to leverage and make the best of. It is of great importance to note that these tools offer automation feature, are user-friendly and can uninterruptedly integrate with other tools and software.
- Mobile Hardware Tools
Mobile hardware tools are very important for anyone who wants to work remotely. As an employee, you are not going to work in the thin space, you will still need physical tools, but with mobility in mind. You may not need chairs and desks, but you will definitely piece of equipment that will require you to comfortably work from your home or anywhere else. Laptops, smartphones, and others are necessary for you to work with. Not just that, they must be connected to fast and reliable internet in order to work effectively and connect to other members of the team. Printers, desktops, scanners, and other hardware may not be necessary for every employee to have, though they should not be totally ignored.
- Project Management Tools
Project management and coordination are as important as the job itself. It may not be as easy as one could speculate to manage and coordinate projects when employees are working from different directions and reporting to a particular person. Remember that physical meetings are no longer valid in this case which may lead to difficulty in getting everyone to be present at a time when information is needed to be disseminated with an urgent emphasis. However, there is a way out if the right tools are used to track down the activities and progress of each worker. This could be done online and every member of the team seamlessly set their goals, track their progress, hold one another accountable and ensure that deadlines are met. Some of the tools that are relevant for project management include Microsoft Teams, Trello, Monday.com, Basecamp, and so on.
It is no longer news that cybercrimes accompanied the advent of new and emerging technologies in this innovative era. With a traditional office, one could secure the environment with keys and locks, but now, the case is not the same. Cybercrimes, attacking and hacking of accounts are the order of the day. This is a threat to remote working because the internet and mobile connections have been compromised with anyone having access to various cloud platforms and online environment.
To curb the rate of these cyberattacks, organisations with remote workers must invest in their cybersecurity measures with essential backups in case of any crime. The right infrastructures must be put in place to protect such accounts as emails, mobile phones, social media accounts, and other connecting media.
The essential tools for cybersecurity include multi-factor authentication, a virtual private network (VPN), employees monitoring software, real-time security monitoring, antivirus, antimalware, firewall, and other software.
- Virtual Collaboration and Communication Tools
These tools are the livewire of every successful remote working strategy. Chatrooms, video conferencing, among others are taking the place of email tools. The tools help to enhance communication and collaboration among workers. The tools include Skype, Slack, Flowdock, Rocket Chat, Fuze, Dropbox, Google Drive, WebEx, Zoom, and so on.
- Performance and Engagement Tools
It is necessary for the performance of the employees to be evaluated in a way that is measurable and feasible. Though it can be difficult to evaluate the performance of one working remotely when you are not physically present to monitor the activities. In the previous time, a company survey would have been an ideal means, but there are other easier and simpler ways to appraise and evaluate employee performance now. Tracking tools give managers and employers insights into the workforce of the company and identify areas that need improvement with great strategies for implementing their goals. Supervisors, team heads, human resource managers, and other managers, need these tools to make their decisions without having to be in the same environment with the staff. The tools include Trackstar, SAP SuccessFactors, Glint, and other tools.
- File Storage and Management Tools
It is essential to create and share files for the smooth running of the organisation. A reliable platform for the uploading and sharing of files is also essential to enable collaboration between the team leads and their subordinates. When considering a platform ideal for sharing and managing your files, it is also important to put security, accessibility control, easy synchronization of files and content, and so on, into consideration.
Tools like Google Drive for Business, Dropbox, and others are great for this task.
- Time Tracker Tool
The productivity and payroll of remote workers must be managed and good time tracking tools are required. The purpose of having a time tracker is to monitor and record the amount of time your employees spend working remotely, as well as the time spent to complete each task. Time Doctor is a very reliable tool you should not joke about. It sends you screenshots of the work done and helps your employees to manage their privacy and edit tasks.
- Password Manager
A password manager encrypts passwords and helps people to manage tools without revealing the passwords of the tool to the user. This is another way of ensuring cybersecurity and protection of your assets, with employees having access to the tools and resources of the organisation. LastPass is a perfect tool for this performance.
- To-do List Tools
Almost everyone has a place he or she stores his or her to-do list. Some people use their inbox, while some use a spreadsheet or special apps. Some apps you can use include Todoist, TickTick, Microsoft To-Do, Google Tasks, and so on.
- Note-taking Tools
Note-taking tools are tools you can use to take notes. The apps have web-clipping features that could enable you to quickly save things that you can read or have access to later when you are less busy. Evernote and OneNote are the most popular tools you can use to save your notes for future reading.
The Best Ways to Work Remotely
For those working remotely, it is important to put the following into consideration to ensure enhanced and coordinated work experience.
- Know that any transition takes time to get used to: It is very normal and okay to feel frustrated, isolated, stressed, anxious, unmotivated, and other negative feelings that are associated with transitioning and doing things for the first time. So, cut yourself some slacks, but do not deliberate too long on the negative feelings.
- Take scheduled breaks: Set an alarm to get up and stretch every 15 minutes to one hour. Keep your work tools very handy or in a place that you could get up to pick in order to allow blood circulation. Walk around once in a while to get fresh air. Go to a separate place to eat.
- Know the remote work policies of your employer: If you have not read the rules and regulations handed to you for remote working, do it. Ensure you do not break the rules guiding your work.
- Communicate effectively with your manager or teammates (as the case may be): It is better to get a particular communication channel where everyone could get across easily to one another. Also, create a system for sharing documents. Google Docs, Dropbox, Google Drive, and so on are good tools for that.
- Do not neglect normal communication habits: If you are used to communicating, before the commencement of work or chitchat while working, you can still pick up your phone and do exactly that, check on your colleagues and get the usual gist that enhances your relationship.
- Keep up with the existing organizational culture: Ensure that the little things you did in the office continued. Do everything within your capabilities to do the right thing, whether at home or working from anywhere.
- Dress professionally: Do not work on your bed with your pyjamas on. Do your normal morning routine and get dressed as if you are stepping out to the office.
Both organizations and their staff are leveraging on the right tools to work remotely. The right tools and platforms are very essential for flexibility and productivity. They will also enable you to grow your business and build a more loyal staff. Do not forget the usual working habits you are used to. Ensure you comply with the rules and regulations. You will need a lot of discipline so as to keep up with the right work ethics. Have fun.