COVID-19 Working Remotely Tools Heels Agency Demi KaranThe future of business is what we are seeing more of today, remote based work. With freelance work already on the rise, and the current Covid-19 pandemic, distant work is more valued than ever.

Managing a successful remote working team during this time has many ‘untouched’ benefits. These include increased team productivity, time efficiency, employee loyalty, and access to worldwide networking opportunities.

Remote work is the future of work. — Alexis Ohanian

However, a lack of transparent communication and collaboration among a remote team can lead to poor business performance. If you’re working remotely, you need to ensure you are equipped with the most up-to-date software and tools to increase productivity and maintain boundaries for a healthy work-life balance.

In teamwork, silence isn’t golden – it’s deadly. – Mark Sunborn

Below are some highly useful software solutions, programs, tools and apps to help you and/or your staff work remotely successfully, in any location.

Video Conferencing

[ Zoom ] – virtual communication

Large businesses should take advantage of Zoom’s ability to virtually connect remote workers together. This impressive app can hold up to 1000 participants during a meeting making it the ultimate tool for great-sized teams.

The high usage of this app is very prevalent at the moment due to its many reliable features. Containing a simplistic design, neat integration, and HD video and audio quality, you can consistently rely on it to collectively bring your team together as one.

Coming together is a beginning; Keeping together is progress; Working together is success. — Henry Ford

Forget note taking, you can instead fully engage in your meeting while Zoom’s auto-generated transcripts do all of the work for you. The fun additions of a ‘Virtual Background’ mode can make your meetings more amusing and the ‘Touch-Up My Appearance’ tool will make you look ‘meeting ready’ any hour of the day.

Zoom is free to sign up for basic personal meetings but there is a cap of 40 minutes per meeting. The Pro version is more ideal for small teams with unlimited meeting time, with a starting cost of $20.99 monthly.

The fact that tools like Skype and digital collaboration are letting people work better at a distance – that is a wonderful thing. – Bill Gates

A free of charge alternative is ‘GOOGLE MEET’ which is suited to smaller teams, connecting up to 25 people per meeting.

Communication Platform

[ Slack ] – live discussions

Where the right people and the right information come together, helping everyone get work done. Conversations happen in channels — organized by topic, project, team, or whatever makes sense for your company.

Open and comprehensive communication is at the heart of running a successful remote team. Slack is the leading application at providing teams with real-time messaging, regardless of time zones.

In many ways, communication is the lifeblood of an organisation.  – Jeremy Duvall

This app is commonly seen as a ‘virtual office’ which allows employees to receive instant feedback and reach out to colleagues both one-on-one and in groups. You can share files with your employees, take voice and video calls on the app and integrate with other tools such as Google Calendar.

You will not have to worry about your messy email inboxes filling up and constantly keeping on top of the number of cc’d emails you appear in anymore. Instead you can neatly organise your message channels by sorting teams into different groups themed around departments, task, etc.

Email is familiar. It’s comfortable. It’s easy to use. But it might just be the biggest killer of time and productivity in the office today. – Ryan Holmes

Basic access is free for small teams trying out Slack for an unlimited period of time. Standard cost  for small to medium sized teams starts at $8.00 per person/month.

File Management

[ Google Drive ] – store files

Digital file management is particularly important for remote companies and employees that are working remotely or from different parts of the globe to have smooth accessibility to files.

The Google Drive software offers a space for collaboration that allows all employees to share, store and access files in almost any format.

Great things in business are never done by one person. – Steve Jobs

This software allows you to grant certain employees access to Google documents and allow them to view or edit them as you desire. The collaborative nature of this tool allows all employees in a team to work on a document and leave real-time comments from any device while working from afar.

Effectively, change is almost impossible without industry wide collaboration, cooperation, and consensus. – Simon Mainwaring.

Store, share, and access your files from any device. Your first 15 GB of storage are free. With Drive Enterprise, businesses only pay for the storage employees use starting from $8 per active user/month.

Project Management

[ Monday.com ] – manage workflow

Bring out the best in your remote tea monday.com connects your team so you can continue to collaborate, manage and track work in one easy-to-use platform, wherever you are.

The power of a project management tool is that it will ensure your team has a plan in place to ensure regular milestones are met on schedule. Monday.com is a perfect tool that allows you to collaborate and track your work progress from anywhere.

Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. – Peter Drucker

The software’s customised workflows and ease-to-use brings many benefits one being mass team productivity. The added features of time tracking, automated notifications, a timeline view of workflow ensure all project milestones are met to a great standard.

Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating the talents of those who work for us and pointing them toward a certain goal. – Walt Disney

Create your free limited account, a standard account starting at $67/month, pro at $108/month or contact to discuss an enterprise plan that suits your business.

A free of charge alternative is ‘GOOGL’ which is suited to smaller teams, connecting up to 25 people per meeting.

You may also like to look at ‘Trello’, for teams of all sizes, it’s flexible, offer a free basic option to organize plans, projects & more. Business  Class plans start at $9.99/month.

Time Management

[ Time Doctor ] – tracking software

Time tracking software is an essential tool for conducting remote work as it ensures employees are being rewarded for the amount of time they spend on a task. Time Doctor is a great tool that will help you and your team reduce time wasted while working remotely.

You may delay, but time will not. – Benjamin Franklin

This tool allows you to keep track of time as close as it would have been recorded in the office. You can keep track of employee attendance when they start and stop their work for the day. Automated screenshots and task reminders users will keep workers accountable for completing their work on time.

The integration of web usage tracking  will reduce employee use of unproductive sites, and payroll management will aid in separating employee pay.

If you don’t pay attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves. – David Allen

You can trial this app free of charge for two weeks, and the long-term charges start at $12.00/month.

Design Platform

[ Invision ] – design collaboration

Working remotely does not mean that your team’s creativity and product design has to suffer. Instead, it can soar with the correct digital design software. Invision is a digital product design software that is the most detailed and effective on the market.

Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent. – Joe Sparano

This outstanding tool allows all remote team members to be in sync during the entire design process through real-time collaboration and communication. The Invision freehand features a whiteboard that allows remote designers to wireframe, plan, design presentations, give and receive feedback between each other.

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. – Steve Jobs

With this app, business employees creating product designs or projects can clearly contribute and view the designs process from start to completion. The pricing of this app is free for 1 project and costs $15.00/month for 3 projects.

(Please Note: We do not endorse digital products, apps or programs mentioned above. You will need to further investigate suitability of apps, programs etc.)

Stay tech savvy & virtually connected during these difficult times. – Heels Agency Team x

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