Many people who don't usually work remotely are now working - and learning - from home, and as a team that is always working remotely, we understand that it can be difficult. However, we also know that there are tools and resources available to your team and family to continue to work efficiently and effectively.
We know that many businesses and individuals have been thrown into the unknown, and our team wants to help ensure that you and your business can continue to run despite any changes and limitations that may currently be in place.
If you or your organization need help adjusting to these new work days, or need more information on any of the tools below, please reach out to our team for help!
Here are some tools that our team utilizes to work remotely:
Communication within the team can be the biggest challenge when your workforce is remote.
Google Meet: Video meetings where the attendees can see each other's expressions and react to one another in real time can replicate the benefits of face-to-face meetings you would have had in the office. Google Meet allows your team to feel “together in the conference room,” and allows screen-sharing capabilities, recording, live chat, call in features, and more. All of which can add an extra layer of communication and understanding to your meetings.
Another conferencing option: Zoom
Google Chat: For ongoing conversation, check-ins, and sharing, your team will need a way to communicate with one another (beyond email). Google Chat keeps your entire team “together”. Different “Groups” and “Rooms” allow people to discuss work, brainstorm ideas and stay connected to each other throughout the workday. You may already be using Chat - or another platform like Slack - but it may now become the primary method of communicating for your team.
These tools can also help your team feel less isolated while practicing social distancing.
Keeping your team on track and maintaining everyone's regular workflows while you're all working remotely will require a top-notch project management tool.
Asana: A robust system that makes project management from a distance possible, Asana is a collection point for every single product, client, project, and task in your company. Simply, Asana coordinates work. It organizes everything from the immediate details all the way to the big picture, offering teams clarity instead of chaos.
One of the challenges of working remotely is the lack of access to your company’s internal servers. This is where cloud storage applications come in handy.
Tools like Google Drive and Dropbox ensure that your team has uninterrupted access to important documents, spreadsheets, presentations, videos and more. It's also easier to collaborate in real time and avoid sending versions of documents back and forth internally and even with clients.
Other options your team may already be using: Office 365
Depending on your business needs, your team may require creative resources to keep things (client needs, internal projects, marketing, etc.) moving. Now more than ever you may need these resources to provide digital resources and communications to your clients and audience.
Adobe Creative Cloud: Used at LinkPoint by our designers as well as our developers, it includes a collection of individual Adobe software programs like Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and more. It brings ease of keeping apps up-to-date and syncing fonts and elements across computers and devices. The Creative Cloud streamlines the process of going in between programs like Photoshop and Illustrator, and the options and tools just continue to grow.
Here are more design and creative tools you can utilize.
Productivity and Time Tracking
When working from home, it can be easy to get off task, especially if your team is not used to working outside of an office setting. Productivity and time tracking apps like Toggl, Todoist and focus booster can help your team balance time, track our progress and even remind them to take breaks.
We also know that beyond the technological limitations there are also mental and physical challenges to working remotely. Here are some tips from our team to get your mind in the right place and find your “new normal”:
- Get up and get dressed as if you were leaving to go to the office. While it may be easier to stay in your PJs, becoming too relaxed makes your work day feel more like a vacation.
- Create and stick to your routine. Grab a cup of coffee, eat breakfast, then head to “work”. Set a lunch time, take your normal breaks. Whatever it may be.
- Set aside a space in your house as a designated work area. You may not have a home office, but you can still find “your space.” Be it the kitchen table, the front porch, the guest bedroom, or where have you. Your best place - if possible - will always be a room with a door that you can enter at the beginning of the work day and leave at the end of it.
- If you are used to having others around you while working, turn on the radio and listen to music - not the TV.
- Most likely, you have others at home - kids or spouses - who are not working or not working with you. Make sure you have your quiet space and time to stay on track and committed to the work at hand. We know this won’t always be easy, but it is important to set those boundaries.
And in these uncertain days...
- Keep spirits up. The more effort you put into communicating with colleagues, the better chance you have of avoiding feelings of isolation, which can lead to depression.
We know it’s not easy to suddenly be thrown into a remote working position, but together we can take an uncertain situation and keep ourselves and our businesses running smoothly. Again, if you or your organization need help adjusting to these new work days, or need more information on any of these tools, please reach out to our team for help!
And remember, this is an unprecedented situation, and you're doing the best you can.