The second lockdown has put a downer on a lot of businesses, but we are here to tell you that things do not have to stop just because we are in lockdown again! We wanted to share some of the positives that working from home can bring, as well as recommending some useful collaborative tools which allow your employees to stay connected.
Working from home makes for happy employees
Although we all love a bit of office banter, many employees prefer working from home. No commute means more time can be spent with loved ones, and money is saved as it is not being spent on public transport or petrol. Commuting is not only expensive, but also very time consuming. A typical one-way commute can take around 45 minutes – but this can be even longer with traffic. That is nearly two hours a day dedicated to travelling to and from the office.
Working from home means that time can be spent doing some chores so that the weekend can be used to truly relax. Those extra two hours a day can be spent preparing food, spending time with your children, or in bed catching up on sleep! It has also been reported that around 53% of remote workers are more likely to work overtime, compared to 28% of in-office workers. Cutting out that commute for your employees can hugely benefit your business!
But how can employees continue to communicate with each other whilst working remotely? Luckily, there are programs and services in place to assist with this. We listed some below that we personally recommend for your business!
The name is Teams…. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is a useful tool with a mixture of features! Not only does it have an instant messaging service, but it also has integrated video and audio call features. Microsoft Teams also allows you to send and receive files between colleagues and edit them together in real time. This can make collaborative projects much easier to work on. Using Microsoft Teams to create group chats is an effective way of managing projects & teams when working remotely.
Say hello to Trello!
Trello is a handy online dashboard tool that allows you and your teammates to post updates on tasks, projects, and events. It makes the organising of projects much easier and can provide a good overview to anyone reading the boards what the progress is on certain areas.
Trello is also very customisable, and different cards and labels can be used to indicate different things across different businesses. You could effectively replicate a physical project board on Trello, and the maid difference would be saving the paper!
Check up on your team with TeamViewer!
TeamViewer is a tool that allows you to share your screens with other people, and even allow them to have remote access to your device.
This can be incredibly helpful when working from home, as tasks can still be demonstrated to you. In fact, many people may find on-the-job training a lot easier via TeamViewer, instead of having a set of instructions written out for you to follow, you can see how to perform tasks in real time. If you are ever confused about something, don’t worry! Simply send a colleague your TeamViewer code, and they will be able to access your device and show you how to complete it.
Get on the Skype-hype and Zoom into your meetings!
Zoom and Skype are both reliable services that allow teammates to instant message, video, and audio call each other while working remotely.
These are also effective tools for meetings with potential clients, and work as a good substitute for face-to-face interviews for new employees. Video calls can also be beneficial for those who are living alone, as lockdown restrictions can mean that it is difficult to meet up with your family or friends. Seeing other people’s faces can remind you and your employees that you are not entirely alone!
Make a date with Google Calendar!
Google Calendar is the ideal tool for noting down important dates! It can be used to remind your team when other members have annual leave booked, and when deadlines are due. You can also use Google Calendar to track sick days, and to arrange meetings.
There is an option to add where the meeting is taking place, so if you are not in the office you could include the location as a particular voice channel that you may have in another collaborative tool, such as Microsoft Teams. When you are back in the office, you can use this to show everyone what room the meeting will be in.
So, as you can see, working from home is entirely possible! Is your business working remotely now? What collaborative tools do you use? Let us know via social media, we would love to hear about the collaborative tools that you and your business use.
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