Select a Set of Tools to Increase Work-from-Home Productivity

 In Virtual

When everyone’s working from home, it’s not just a change in where employees work; it’s a change in how employees work. There’s no more chance to just stop by someone’s desk with a question or to show them a document for a signature or to ask their opinion. You can’t gather the team in a conference room to review the latest version of a critical presentation. It’s harder to share documents and track the status of a project. Every interaction is online, and the tools that support those interactions are vital to the success of the business.

There are three basic types of tools businesses can use to help employees work from home more effectively: communication tools, collaboration tools, and project management tools. In practice, the distinction between types of tools isn’t that clear-cut, because many tools have features that cross those functional boundaries.

In addition, choosing among the wide number of available products can seem overwhelming. The reality is that all of the well-known, leading products are solid, stable options. To pick, consider whether you need bells and whistles or just the basics, and compare what you get for free versus what you need to pay for with each vendor.

Here are some of the top choices in each of the tool categories.

Communication Tools

Skype

Skype is a popular tool very well known for its web calling and videoconferencing services.

Zoom

Dysfunctional Zoom meetings have become a running gag during the coronavirus crisis, but Zoom is a solid choice for videoconferencing and team meetings.

GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting is another popular conferencing service.

Slack

Communication doesn’t need to be face-to-face. Slack provides teams with direct messaging, making it easy for remote workers to share information and ask a quick question. Organize conversations by topic or project to make following key communications easy.

Microsoft Teams

Businesses with a strong commitment to Microsoft products will want to consider using Microsoft Teams as their communication tool. Teams provides enterprise-level security for remote work.

Collaboration Tools

For file sharing, free services may not be the best fit for business. Consider paid versions that offer additional levels of security.

Google Suite

Google’s cloud-based tools enable you to create and share text documents, spreadsheets, and other documents.

Dropbox

Reliable file-sharing service.

Box

Another reliable file-sharing service.

Project Management Tools

It’s not enough to give everyone access to the documents they need; businesses need tools to track work assignments and project status. Popular options that support work from home include:

Trello

Assign project team members to boards listing assignments. The cards can have deadlines and checklists, and employees can assign cards to the next responsible person when they’ve completed their task.

Asana

Like Trello, Asana provides a board for listing and assigning tasks.

ProofHub

Manage project assignments with boards and workflows. ProofHub also supports collaboration with proofing, markup, discussions, and chat.

Basecamp

Online tools for managing tasks and sharing files.

Wrike

Users’ personal dashboards let them see their tasks and projects, along with a masure of their process. Write also has proofing and markup.

Remote work is challenging, especially for employees who are not used to working away from the office. The right tools will help them communicate, collaborate, and still get the job done effectively, even when everyone is working from a different location. If you need help selecting the best remote work tools for your business, contact Prescient Solutions. We aren’t bound to a specific vendor or product and will work with you to craft a solution that fits your business and your employees.

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