Remote work is becoming more popular and widespread than we ever thought possible. Many people are now working from the comfort of their homes, far from the stress, and time-consuming routines of commuting to work or having to deal with strict working hours, among other things.
While remote work is an incredibly practical and flexible option, it comes with its own set of unique challenges. Working remotely involves being away from your colleagues, which can make communication and collaboration much harder. You might experience some difficulties trying to focus or manage your time, especially if you’re not used to working alone or independently. If you’re thinking about starting remote work, or even if you’re already working remotely, it’s important to be familiar with the tools and resources that can help make remote work easier and more efficient.
Video Conferencing Tools
Video conferencing tools are essential for remote work because they help remote workers and team members stay in touch. The most important thing here is to have a tool that allows video chats and other specifications that you’d require for better working experience. Tools like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Skype are the most popular video conferencing tools people use to stay connected to their team members.
Video conferencing tools help remote workers reduce feelings of isolation while also fostering a sense of belonging and inclusion. They also make it easier to collaborate effectively, hold meetings, conduct interviews, and present reports without having to go to a physical location. Besides, with video conferencing tools, you can connect with your colleagues from anywhere in the world, which means you can work productively without compromising your remote working situation.
Cloud Storage Tools
If you’re working remotely, you’ll most definitely require cloud storage solutions as a means to storing and accessing essential files smoothly. With cloud storage, you can easily share files with team members, refer to previous versions of documents, and have access to your files from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. Some popular cloud storage tools include Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive in this category.
Cloud storage is also a crucial tool for remote businesses since it provides remote teams with access to their files regardless of their physical location. It reduces the chances of facing a data security problem since data is usually encrypted and secured by many data storage companies. Besides, remote workers can access their information effortlessly, which means more time working, and finally leading to more productivity and accuracy.
Collaborative Work Tools
Collaboration is an essential aspect of remote work amongst individuals from different locations. Collaborative work tools such as Asana, Trello, Slack, and Microsoft Planner can help remote teams focus on their goals and work together as if they are in the same office. These tools make it easier for team members to share and assign tasks, track progress, and communicate with each other effectively.
Collaborative work tools also help remote team members stay organized and keep track of their team’s progress towards specific goals. They enable remote workers to provide real-time feedback on any task, leading to improved communication and productivity. Such tools also come with features that promote accountability, making specific team members responsible for certain tasks.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
When working remotely, security is usually a top priority, and VPNs have become increasingly important as more people work outside of their office spaces. VPNs are a type of software that encrypts the internet connection of remote workers, making it nearly impossible for cybercriminals to intercept sensitive information.
VPNs ensure data security when using a public network by creating a secure connection. For instance, if you’re accessing your company’s files on public wi-fi, you can use a VPN to make sure your internet connection is encrypted and secure.
Time Management Tools
Remote work requires a lot of self-discipline and time management, and dedicating enough time to each task can be a real challenge. Time management tools like Toggl, RescueTime, and Harvest can help remote workers be more productive and efficient.
These tools track the amount of time you spend on each task, helping you identify areas where you could be more productive. They work with multiple devices and provide real-time reports on personal and team activity. Plus, they help remote workers identify and limit their distractions, leading to better focus and productivity.
Working remotely can be very distracting because of, for example, pets, children, or even chatty neighbors, among others. This is why remote workers need organization tools like Evernote, Trello, and Google Keep, to name a few. These allow remote workers to pull up random ideas, create to-do lists, and set reminders at times that work best for them.
Organizing tools are lifesavers for remote workers, particularly for individuals who have trouble organizing their work schedules, and can also track progress on different tasks, which aids in time management. When used properly, remote workers can make better decisions based on their daily schedules, boosting their productivity and output levels significantly.
Screen Sharing Tools
Screen sharing is an important tool when trying to collaborate remotely, particularly when working on a project or troubleshooting an issue. Screen sharing tools like TeamViewer, AnyDesk, and Chrome Remote Desktop are particularly useful when you’re working across different time zones, locations, or devices.
Screen sharing is crucial when discussing project progress as remote workers can see what their counterparts are doing live, offering insight, suggestions, and/or ideas. This tool also reduces the cumbersome process of sending screenshots or trying to explain technical problem-solving via emails or texts.
Online White Board Tools
Online whiteboard tools are becoming popular for collaboration remotely, particularly when working on creative projects. Google Jamboard, Miro, and AWW App are all great options that offer collaborative workspace features that can be accessed from any location.
Whiteboard tools also allow team members who are not in the same location to see what’s going on and contribute accordingly. Besides, they offer a relatively more intuitive approach to visual representation, fostering more creativity and active contribution.
Communication tools like Skype, Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams are useful when working remotely. They facilitate smooth, instantaneous messaging and quick video chats, making it easy to communicate with colleagues and clients regardless of their location.
Great communication tools are critical to remote teams’ productivity levels as they play a significant role in overcoming barriers to communication. With these tools, remote workers can easily reach team members for emergencies or just to collaborate on certain tasks. Communication tools help teams ensure that everyone is on the same page and avoids any miscommunications that may arise.
Remote work could require that an individual needs to access multiple online accounts, and these accounts invariably come with passwords. Password Manager tools like 1Password, Dashlane, and LastPass allow you to get around the hassle of trying to remember multiple passwords, making it easy for remote teams to keep their digital assets secure and well-organized.
Password management tools help you easily remember multiple passwords and keep them secure, reducing any risks of data loss, corruption, or external intrusion. These tools also allow team members to share passwords securely and set up individual profiles with varying degrees of authorization.
In conclusion, it is essential to stay up-to-date with new tools and resources that make remote work easier and more efficient. Working remotely can be daunting at times with the long hours and constant distractions, but with the right tools in your arsenal, you can take the first step towards a comfortable and productive remote working experience.