The CoronaVirus outbreak has forced a remote working situation on most companies meaning for those who weren’t already regularly adopting ‘work from home’ as an option or who have had to implement emergency procedures to make it a possibility for more people than usual, it’s a time for learning and adopting new technologies.
For those of us who’ve been doing it for a while (which includes us) we’re a bit more familiar with some of the best tools for supporting remote working and we’ve shared our favourites and recommendations below:
Our favourite by far is Slack, the multi channel platform which allows chat between teams, private instant messaging and the ability to share documents and more all in one place. The downside is with a large team it can get really busy so we wouldn’t recommend managing your workflows in here (more on that in a minute) but it’s a great home for team communication. Microsoft Teams works in the same way and has recently made it’s offering free to help businesses get to grips with remote employee communication.
Chat is great, but people need to see people, especially as we ‘lock down’ likely for a period of several weeks. It's more important than ever to get that all important ‘facetime’ with colleagues and teams. We’ll start with our favourite which is Zoom, easy to use video conferencing software including screen sharing, recording and live chat, it makes 100% remote working infinitely easier and has a free option along with paid plans and relevant add ons allowing you to design what you need. Other options include Google Hangouts and GoToMeeting.
This one could be a blog on it’s own, there’s a lot of competition here and we have used more than one of these but we’ll start with Basecamp, it’s our big hitter and the one which keeps our tasks in order and on track, allows us to manage projects and workflows and is able to flex with our business need - important in the current climate, it’s not free but starts at around £100 a month for unlimited users. We’ve also used Trello which is a more visual tool, perfect for managing short projects and daily assignments, it’s also great value for money at around £10 per user. The final one we’re going to go for is Asana which is a combination of the two previously mentioned with parts of project management, file storage and cross team collaboration.
If everything is on an internal server and you suddenly can’t access it, that’s far from ideal but this is where ‘ the cloud’ plays a huge part in business continuity, moving all your files to a cloud storage application makes good sense (even without the impact of CoronaVirus) our preference is Google Drive, with endless storage and the ability to share with multiple team members links to folders or individual documents, lock down access where needed and create the same infrastructure you’d have on an internal server. DropBox also offers similar functionality and both are free up to a certain amount of storage used.