13 Tools That Can Increase Efficiency When Working Remote
The pandemic has changed the way we work, there is no doubt about it. If you and your company have just started adopting the remote work style, and you are not sure how to better organize your activity, it’s probably difficult for you to get on with your tasks. To help you out with this process, I compiled a list of remote working tools and applications that you can use and that will ensure a smooth transition.
Except for software developers, the rest of us mortals don’t necessarily have the programming abilities that would allow us to automate business processes or to build integrations that make workflows more efficient.
That’s why I propose that you choose applications with simple and intuitive user interfaces so that each member of your team, regardless of their technological literacy, is able to quickly learn how to use.
But before you make any decision about what digital solution is best for your organization, I invite you to analyze the following aspects:
● What are the characteristics of your industry;
● What is the size of your organization;
● What are the gaps that you are looking to fill with a specific application (a quicker way to communicate, storage, accountancy, etc.)
● How often do you estimate that you and your colleagues/employees will use that application;
● What are the security aspects you need to cover and what technical support is offered with the app.
If you don’t choose the right remote working tools, the ones to fit perfectly the needs of your team, you risk losing money because nobody will use those applications. At the same time, if you have too many applications that are not integrated within a platform, you and your colleagues will get lost among them.
Most of the digital solutions available on the market offer a large variety of advanced functionalities. On the one hand, this is a good thing because there are so many options to choose from. But on the other hand, the multitude of offers can confuse the potential buyer, making it more difficult to take a decision.
To make sure you choose a tool with sufficient features and functionalities, here is a list of things to consider:
● The compatibility among the different operational systems;
● The possibility to offer exclusive access for the members of your organization;
● The ability to use the solution simultaneously from multiple devices;
● The ability to regularly change the configuration to accommodate personnel turnover;
● The file transfer speed;
● The possibility to manage documents and data remotely.
Each team is different, that’s why it is important that before you make any decision as to what remote working tools to buy, to analyze the work habits of your colleagues. Once you understand what it is that makes your team function as clockwork, it will be a lot easier to identify the elements that can boost success.
Here are the apps that I recommend when it comes to increasing efficiency:
- Slack – it’s a tool that allows team members to quickly exchange information. Since it works like an internal chat system, it will accelerate the communication process, and it will allow you to avoid long email chains. In my opinion, Slack is the professional version of messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram, and it allows for a clearer separation of private and business communications.
- Google Meets, for online meetings. This application is wonderfully integrated with the rest of the Google apps: the e-mail service, the calendar, and reminders/notifications on both the computer and the phone.
- Meet.jit.si and the already famous Zoom, as well as other video conferencing tools.
- Trello or Jira, if you work with large teams, and you need to be able to track the status of a project or on what tasks the team is working on a specific day (for sets of deliverables or specific tasks).
- Instagantt, to set up a planning that is easy to follow.
- Confluence, for documenting the decisions made within your team.
- OfficeVibe, for measuring the degree of motivation of your colleagues/employees through sets of questions that can be set to be answered anonymously.
- MetroRetro or Retrium, for retrospective meetings.
- Sales Force or Hubspot if you work in marketing or sales, and you want to track your efforts in the relation with potential clients.
But regardless of the apps you decide to purchase, you must remember that any new tool you buy comes with a learning curve. And the more people will be required to use the new tool, the stronger they will resist change, preferring instead to use the old methods they know and have been using for longer.
Therefore, don’t expect people to enthusiastically adopt the new style of work from the first days. Change is happening over time and only after you all start seeing the benefits of using the new internal work tools.