As COVID-19 spreads its way across the country, many businesses find themselves paralyzed as they attempt to quickly throw together a work from home strategy. Thankfully, with advances in software and technology, what was once the impossible has quickly become the new normal as more and more employees find themselves working from home. But beyond a strong internet connection, what do your employees need in order to make sure they can work as easily and efficiently as possible? With all the different apps and programs out there, how do you know what's best? To help, we've put together a list that touches on communication, collaboration, and project management programs that will create the strong foundation your work from home plan needs.
When working from home or remotely, you don't have the luxury of simply turning around in your chair and asking your desk mate a question (I mean, you can, but your cat might look at you a little funny). These programs not only give you the ability to chat one-on-one with your co-worker, but when it seems like the message isn't being understood or you have questions that would be more easily answered face to face, you can move your conversation to a video call. They also give you the freedom to easily catch up or look back at past conversations if you were away from your desk.
- Slack: An instant messaging platform with file sharing and video calling capabilities.
- Zoom: Video and audio-conferencing app great for large group calls.
- Microsoft Teams: Microsoft's version of Slack with the bonus feature of Microsoft Office 365 integration.
Working together on a task with teammates usually isn't much of a problem when in the office together, but working from home easily throws a wrench into the equation. You need programs that make collaborating together while separated just as simple as when you're in the same room. The programs listed below all consist of editing shared files, which makes it easy to review what your co-worker has done or work on them together in real-time.
- Office 365: Microsoft's all-in-one platform integrates their robust suite of apps including Outlook, Teams, Word, Excel, SharePoint, OneDrive, and more!
- Google Drive: Google's file storage and synchronization service which allows users to edit and access documents in real-time.
- Microsoft OneNote: A program for free-form information gathering and multi-use collaboration on note taking.
Project Management Programs
When you're working on multiple projects at a time, with each project consisting of different tasks that need to be completed by various members of your team, it's natural to worry that something is going to fall through the cracks. But big or small, these tools make it easy to manage your projects. Not only are they great for managers, they're also extremely useful for the team members themselves. Utilizing shared dashboards, everyone is able to see exactly what they should be working on and mark it complete once finished.
- Trello: A web-based Kanban-style list making application which allows you to create boards and move tasks around.
- Microsoft Planner: A planning application used for tracking multiple tasks across multiple users and projects.
- Todoist: A to do list app for tracking tasks and collaborating on projects.
Bonus Fun App
It's okay to have a little fun too - that's where Netflix Party comes in! Netflix Party is a Chrome extension for watching Netflix remotely with friends, family, or colleagues. After a long week of working from home, it's okay to let loose!
While it might seem like your company won't be able to adapt to working from home, utilizing these programs will give you the tools you need to make it feel like you're back in the office. If you need help creating your plan or have questions about any of these systems, please contact the experts at Informatics.