When you are working for a company, that is fully-distributed (the workforce are working in different timezones, all over the world) various challenges can cause difficulties. Tasks must be completed so that projects can be completed on-time.
This article will focus on highly recommended remote work tools to learn because they will be used day-to-day in most companies.
Think of this as your all-in-one communication tool that you will use every single day. Most companies set up channels for each team so, conversations can occur. You can also post GIFS, images and videos. On Slack you can host audio and video calls, but most companies use other solutions for this.
During the pandemic, Zoom has become a hugely popular app for video conferences and virtual events. Teams can meet and have a more face-to-face experience. You will find that most companies also use Zoom for remote job interviews.
Like Zoom, this is also a video conferencing app that connects teams within the company. This is an app within Google Workspace, so companies that use this service will likely use this tool.
Many companies, monitor time spent on tasks, because either the work is billable to a client, or they want to use the data to manage projects.
Harvest allows you to set a timer for each task and log it on the app. You can then report how many hours you have worked in a specific period, and management can track your progress.
If you track time to submit a timesheet or invoice, this tool can save you time because you can send reports directly to the company. Another advantage of using Harvest is you can connect it to third-party apps.
Another option is Toggl, but it does not have as many features as Harvest. It is pretty basic, but if you just need an easy to use tool to track your time, then this app is worth checking out. Most companies will use Harvest, but both are a reliable time management solution.
Part of a group of products to help teams manage work. Originally it was designed as a bug and issue tracker. Over time though, Jira has evolved into a powerful work management tool. When tasks need completing, tickets will be created, so teams work collaboratively and track the process to ensure that deadlines are met.
Asana is the task management tool that has become popular over the last few years. It is a great way to manage even the most complex projects. It provides a platform where teams of various professions can come together and collaborate in one space.
With Basecamp, you break up your work into separate projects. Each project contains everything related to the work; all the people involved, every discussion, every document, file, task, important date, etc.
While working on projects, it can be hard to find files and documents, but with Basecamp, it is all stored in one place.
You often find that productivity tools are down to the individual, rather than an app that the company specifically asks you to use. So, these are my personal favourites to check out to keep yourself productive while working at home.
Trello has become my daily tool to keep my workflow in check. It is easy to use, with each project having its own board. Within this, you can create various lists to manage work. In one glance, Trello tells you what is being worked on, and where it is in a process.
In fact, Trello describes it as a whiteboard, filled with lists of sticky notes, with each as a task for you and your team. Those sticky notes can also be photos, attachments from other data sources, and a place to comment and collaborate with your teammates.
One of my favourite tools right now is Noted. You can download it on your desktop or mobile device. Have a meeting and need to take notes, no problem, you can type content or record audio notes. Everything is well organised and can be easily found.
When learning a new skill in a webinar or listening to a podcast, you will find me frantically typing notes. There’s a free version, but the premium version is highly recommended. Wherever you are, it’s easy to add notes for reminders, to-do lists, anything!
In need of a to-do list tool that is easy on the eyes and powerful? Todoist is worth taking a look at. When you are a little overwhelmed, take time at the end of the day to plan your work for the next day. You can set up recurring tasks, with due dates, tag and prioritise work.
Unlike many other to-do list apps, it takes a few seconds to add new tasks. It’s also available on all mobile and desktop devices so you can get access to your to-do list wherever you are.
COMMON REMOTE WORK TOOLS
The majority of companies will give you access to Google Docs, so you can create documents, spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations. The advantage of this suite is being able to easily share work and collaborate with your team.
Security is essential to ensure that you are protecting personal and business data. Having the same username and password for all of the tools we have discussed today, opens you to data protection issues. Using LastPass means all of your passwords are stored securely.
Not sure about you, but forgetting passwords used to be an issue for me until Lastpass came into my life. It stops you wasting time getting your password reset. You can also create long passwords, thus reducing the chances of people discovering your login details.
While we are on the subject of security, having a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when working in public spaces like coffee shops and co-working spaces is essential. Basically, the software hides your IP address, resulting in no one being able to gain access to your laptop.
There are many VPN options nowadays, but Surfshark is my go-to app for the past year. There is an annual subscription fee, but it can be downloaded on desktop and mobile devices.
WHAT IS NEXT?
If you are unfamiliar with any of the tools and apps, then it’s a good idea to download them – they are a mix of free and paid, but most will offer free trials. Become a little more familiar with how they work and then add them on to your resume. Companies are going to be looking for people who have experience with this type of software.