Today’s workforce is changing rapidly with 66% of employees now working remotely at least part time. Having a computer is only the first step to a productive remote work setup — you also need the right tools to go along with it. In truth, there’s a lot of software and services out there that can power this era of telecommuting. Here are some of our top picks:
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1. Video Conferencing: Zoom
It’s safe to say that Zoom, the cloud-based video conferencing platform, is everywhere. Everyone — from newscasters to yoga instructors — is using the software to connect with their colleagues and clients.
Business Insider reports that users like the functionality as well as the consistent quality of Zoom call over other platforms. Hosts can share screens, and meetings can be recorded and disseminated for later viewing. The software also offers four pricing plans, starting from the free Zoom Basic to Zoom Enterprise for large businesses. For one-on-one client meetings, you can get the most out of the basic plan. But for smaller to medium-sized teams (more than three people), Zoom Pro and Zoom Business will allow you to schedule, join, and host regular meetings for constant collaboration.
2. Virtual Chat Room: Slack
Staying in contact with your staff and co-workers is one of the keys to successful management and collaboration. Fortunately, there are various tools that facilitate communication among remote teams. Slack is one of those. Aside from the direct messaging feature, what sets Slack apart is the ability to create different channels. For instance, you can set one up for important updates, another for daily to-do tasks, and another for informal group chats. It’s also solely dedicated to messaging, whereas tools like Messenger are disrupted by unrelated posts and plug-ins, like games.
3. Cloud Content Management: Box
Working outside an office doesn’t mean you can’t store, access, and share files. You can do so through cloud content management on Box. One of the major concerns of centralizing data on the cloud is cybersecurity. To minimize threats, Box uses classification and security controls that can protect your precious content from hackers or leaks. Box can also be integrated with over 1,400 apps that are used by various businesses today, like G Suite and Slack. This is why it’s an indispensable tool for managing your data as well as facilitating seamless collaboration.
4. Project Management: Trello
Managing projects from a distance is certainly a challenge. But it can be made easier with tools like Trello. Trello is essentially a digital corkboard where you can pin cards that contain pertinent information. You can map out workflows and list down specific steps needed to complete projects. Aside from the checklists, participants can also add comments to provide necessary feedback.
5. Performance Appraisal: Trakstar
For managers or team leaders, reviewing employees’ job performance and facilitating two-way feedback are some of their main responsibilities. Chron highlights how this aspect of employee management is essential for improving the work environment and setting goals. For telecommuting teams, Trakstar can be used in place of face-to-face consultations. This performance management software helps managers facilitate reviews on a regular basis. The results can be used to increase engagement, set SMART goals, and plan for the company’s future.
All in all, this list only scratches the surface of software and services that have become invaluable tools for modern professionals. Hopefully, these five tech tools can help you get started on successful remote work.
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