Before the coronavirus pandemic, working from home was considered a luxury that few could afford, not a requirement. THowever, since the advent of covid-19, many companies have resorted to telecommuting. and some are planning to adopt this system on a permanent basis after the pandemic is over.
In the case of the United States, a recent Gallup poll shows that on average 52% of employees, including 72% of those working in offices, worked from home permanently or seasonally, from October 2020 to April 2021. AND According to a January 2021 report by professional services company PwC, 83% of employers believe telecommuting benefits their companies.
However, teleworking poses a number of significant challenges, and experts advise companies to prepare for them.
“Be prepared to be in constant touch and find ways to encourage people to work together rather than separately,” said Thanh Pham, founder and CEO of Asian Efficiency, a company that offers productivity workshops.
Whether a company uses remote work of choice or out of necessity, it should consider digital tools and applications in these five areas to optimize productivity.
1. INSTANT MESSAGES
Instant messaging software is becoming more and more popular on the job site. A good system allows you to send individual messages or groups of people. You can also share documents and images with people on your network.
Companies can create channels for ongoing communication between departments and / or employees with similar interests. Channels can also be established with clients or contractors.
Slack and Microsoft Teams are two of the most popular instant messaging services for computers and phones.
2. VIDEO CONFERENCE
Video conferencing software enables face-to-face conversations and announcements. Virtual meetings with images eliminate the need to send a lot of emails and instant messages, while allowing you to observe the facial expressions and body language of the participants.
Zoom gained immense popularity overnight during the pandemic and was used not only for work purposes, but also in schools and for personal contacts. Other popular services are GoToMeeting, Google Meet and Join.me.
They all offer free basic services, with the exception of Join.me, which is a paid service.
3. OPENING HOURS
One of the benefits of working remotely is that it gives you a lot of flexibility in scheduling. However, keeping track of a person’s hours of work can be tricky, especially when there are different time zones.
You may already be familiar with Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook, which sync the calendars of everyone in your organization. When you try to schedule a meeting, these tools show the availability of each invitee.
Doodle and Calendly are arguably more functional if you’re planning to meet people outside of your organization.
All of these tools are available for free. (Outlook for business offers a free trial for one month, after which you will be charged $ 5 per month.)
4. PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Project management systems facilitate collaboration by setting objectives and actions to achieve a goal. A good tool allows you to find collaborators for each project, set and assign tasks to individuals and groups. You can set deadlines for assignments and add notes for reference.
There are dozens of project management tools out there, many of which are very similar to each other, such as Trello, Asana, Basecamp and Monday.com… They all offer free basic services and other more advanced payments.
5. STORAGE OF DATA
The cloud stores files through providers. For the user, accessing this content is almost the same as deleting it from the computer’s memory, although large files such as videos may take a little longer.
The most famous storage services are arguably Google, Dropbox and Box, which offer free basic services and other payments.
TOO MANY TOOLS?
Choosing from so many options can take time and energy. Smaller firms can get by with Google or Microsoft, which offer a full-service bundle of most of these solutions for $ 6 and $ 5 a month, respectively.