Sunday, 19 April 2020

8 Tools and Resources to Work Remotely

The recent rise in remote working has made it clear that a lot of Businesses/Brands would be embracing the digital office come post-COVID-19. COVID-19 has forced workers to look for flexible ways of carrying out tasks at home. 

Owing to the fact that it's a growing development, workers, particularly of the extrovert nature, are having a hard time adjusting to working remotely.

Putting aside challenges involved, challenges such as Poor team communication, Poor time management, Distractions, etc, the benefits are what should be focused on. Some of these benefits include Effective self-management, Increased productivity, Less time commuting and many others. 

Going by a report from Intuit, "Contingent workers will constitute over 40% of the workforce by 2020. Traditional full-time, full-benefit jobs will be harder to find. Small businesses will develop their own collaborative networks of contingent workers and self-employment. Personal and micro-business numbers will increase." In simpler terms, Remote work is here to stay for good. 

The Tools and Resources You Need To Work With Remotely


1. Video Conferencing Apps

Whether you are a freelancer or work with an organization, you need to communicate with your client and team members as often as needed. Emails and instant messaging apps can sometimes be a bore. Not only that, but they also might not be as effective as you need them to be in certain situations. A little Face time might just be what you need to get your message heard the way you want. Asides that, things are much more lively, interesting on video conference. You might even feel like you are actually in your physical office, in the conference room with your team members. Get video conferencing apps such as Zoom, FaceTime, Slack, Zapier, Gruveo, Bluejeans or Pexip. They are currently the best you can get out there.

2. Project Management System

If you find yourself handling too many tasks at once, tasks that demand effective management and workflow, A Project Management tool is what you need. You won't have to be frustrated about organizing your task accordingly or reaching a milestone on time. The software is to keep things from going out of control and prevent serious issues from occurring. You'll be able to complete any task in whatever time frame you set and achieve your desired results. Every Project Manager definitely wants this. You'll have to try different software before you find the one that best suits your working needs. Apps such as Client-Focused Projects, Customizable Project Tools, Core Project Management are your best bet. 

3. Mobile Hotspot

 The saying "Data is life" has never been truer in these recent times. Who can actually survive in the digital space without data? Maybe, those who are not used to technology. Some of the tools you work with might have an "offline" feature, many of them still need the internet to fully operate. Working remotely is totally dependent on secure and continuous internet access. You can easily connect your computer to your mobile device's internet connection through a wireless LAN (Local Area Network).
Mobile hotspot serves as your instant internet access and also as your back up data when your internet breaks out on you. You can get the Verizon jetpack MIF to connect to wirelessly. 

4. Automation Software

Repeating tasks daily, doing everything all by yourself will no doubt become both physically and mentally tiring. You'll burn yourself out before you even realize what's going on. There are automation tools that can help take those tasks off your hands and relieve you of unnecessary stress. Try out any of the following; Trello, Buffer, Mailchimp, Zoho or Pipedrive. They are great!

5. File Encryption

It would be very painful should you lose your personal information, most embarrassing if you lose your client/company's data, and might demean you professionally. Working remotely, you'll have to be extra cautious about every data you store on your computer, most especially work-related data. They are the most sensitive and extremely valuable.  Software such as 'Mac OS X's Disk Utility' can help keep your data safe with strong encryption in the event it gets into the wrong hands. You actually do not need to go for full-disk encryption, although, it's more secure that way, you can opt-in for manual encryption instead. Best encrypt those files right about now!

6. File Syncing Tools

Working remotely will have you saving a lot of your works and information not just on your device but on a more secure app for easy accessibility to your customers and co-workers. File syncing tools are more of virtual hard drives that ensure your files are always ready to use by anyone who has access to them. The app you need is either Dropbox, Google Drive or Sync. Chose one that works well for you. 

7. Screen Sharing Software

It's not just about making a video conference with your clients or team members, there are times you'll need to illustrate whatever it is you are working on your screen, hence, the screen sharing. Screen sharing is another way to get much-needed support and collaborate with your colleagues. You'll almost feel as if you were in a physical working environment.  It makes others see how credible you are, liven up meetings and can also be effective in discovering the mistakes you make which can be pointed out by those you are currently talking to. Apps that work best for this are Skype, Zoom, Surfly, Screenleap, Join.me, CrankWheel among others. 

8. Apps To Keep You Focused

Are you easily distracted? Do you always feel the need to interrupt your tasks at every slightest opportunity? You need help with staying focused. There are virtual tools that can help reduce or totally eradicate (depending on an individual's commitment level) distractions, especially distractions from app notifications, chatting while working and visiting unproductive sites. These apps can help you plan and limit the amount of time you spend working on a specific task. They can even help you temporarily block some sites that are not useful. Such apps include Freedom, Focus@Will, Brain.FM, LeechBlock5, RescueTime among others.

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