Today, due to the vast increase in the number of COVID-19 cases around the world, government authorities have suspended various social gatherings until further notice. These actions aim to ensure safety by preventing further spreading of the virus. Public places such as schools, movie theatres, gyms, malls, worship centers, and so on have been ordered shutdown by the government authorities.
However, most private offices are not affected by the order from the government authorities but many employers are taking similar steps to ensure that their employees are protected by asking them to work from their homes.
For instance, if you’re a corporate employee working in an office function, there’s a great opportunity for you to successfully adjust to the new system of working from home during this critical period. All you need is just accurate tools, then you are good to go.
To get started, you need an efficient computer or laptop and a good internet connection. Immediately you have these two basic things, there are some reliable tools and software that will keep you in touch with your entire team members and also ensure that your workflow keeps going without any interruption.
Written below are various tools and software you can use to work effectively from home during this period of Corona Virus Pandemic:
1. For Official Work
Microsoft 365 has the accurate tools you need to work on any type of device either your laptop, computer, tablet, iPhone, Smartphone, etc. anytime and anywhere. It provides you with the ability to share files that can also be accessible later on with your team members either online or offline and also help you stay in sync with your team.
Microsoft 365 provides you with up-to-date applications and also ensure that you achieve great results with a little time. Examples of Microsoft office applications include Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.
2. For communications
There are some work collaboration communication tools available for free, such as Slack, Discord, Workplace by Facebook, Microsoft Teams, and Basecamp. Although they are available with paid plans, they provide basic free packages with some restrictions that may not be an issue for some users.
Microsoft teams is an incredibly wonderful chat based tool that lets your team work together and share information through a common space. Microsoft teams has full integration with other Microsoft office 365 apps like SharePoint, Skype, Yammer and Exchange. Features like one to one chat, team chat, document collaboration, audio or video call help global, remote or dispersed team to work together effectively.
Teams lets you view your schedule meeting, subject, people who would be attending the meeting along with the complete time taken for the meeting. Teams being the Microsoft product allow you to work seamlessly with office 365 group including tools such as Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, Delve and Power BI. Security is also one of the very important aspect while using teams and makes it stand apart from its competitors
Team Viewer allows you to remotely access and control the desktop of your computers and servers from anywhere. It helps to keep your IT secure and your uptime high through remote support. It is the fast, simple and friendly solution for remote access over the internet. It is a tool that shares your desktop screen with another user for windows, Mac and Linux. It is a complete solution for a secure, connected workplace.
Join.me lets you stay connected from anywhere through simplest and easiest way of audio and video conferencing by phone or internet(VoIP) that makes you see and hear anything in real time. It also lets you share your screen with other users. Also help you to schedule meetings in advance through scheduler, or directly in outlook or Google calendar.
This tool enables you to have one-on-one chats with your team members, develop groups for specific sections or topics within your team, and also keep message history. The free version has restrictions in terms of searchable message history and the number of apps you can link to your Slack team.
Irrespective of this restriction, it’s a useful, feature-filled option that makes sure you’re active online and connected even outside the office. Slack has different apps across various platforms, such as iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows.
Google Hangout was formerly an instant messaging tool. Presently, it can be used not only for text messages but also for group or conference video calls. You can practically switch between participants, switch off and on video or audio for comfortable communication and also provides big uninterrupted conversations remotely.
Google also possesses a business solution based on Hangouts called Google Meet. This tool allows you to automatically integrates with your work calendar to reveal your meetings. Also, it enables you to share your screen with your team members in case you want to show the correct steps to carry out a task without stress.
3. For worklists and projects
Nothing assists better in keeping a record of your tasks like a to-do list. Some tools will enable you to keep lists or work logs, which can be shared with your team members so that they have visibility of the tasks at hand. Examples are Microsoft Planner, Trello, Google Keep, Zoho, Asana and Paymo.`
It is a web-based tool designed for employees within an organisation to work together to organize their plan efficiently and work cordially on various ad-hoc projects. The application integrates and work well with entire Microsoft Office 365. Microsoft planner display your checklist on the test cover which helps to preview your task without even opening your task card.
Trello helps us in effectively manage specific projects, keep track of them through every process, and also enable you to include comments or collaborators on these where required. Trello’s visual interface and drag-and-drop feature help in making project management much easier.
This tool allows you to develop certain lists, take notes with pictures and audio clips, and share them with team members when necessary. However, Google Keep is best used individually, but its ability to share lists and clips makes it a competent tool for easy communication among team members.
4. For productivity
Even though you are working from home, you’ll need to work with documents, worksheets, and presentations. Examples of tools used for this process are Microsoft OneDrive, SharePoint, Google Sheets, Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Drive: Whatever you want to do, Google already has a tool for it. Google’s suite enables you to work on worksheets, written documents, presentations, by making use of a browser.
These files can be saved to offline versions if required, but they are usually saved on the cloud, and linked to your Google account. You also have the ability to share them with specific users or develop shareable links that anyone can easily access.
Microsoft OneDrive is a cloud storage service that allows you to store all your important files and photos securely in one place and then access the virtually from anywhere. It works like a traditional hard drive, the only difference being it’s on the internet and with some added features.
SharePoint is a document management and collaboration tools developed by Microsoft. With SharePoint you can share files, data and resources by an intranet and content management system to be used for internal processes and assist to bring organisation together.
Google Drive links every other Google apps, but it also allows you to share large files such as videos or image albums with your team members. Such large files are stored on the cloud, and Google gives a modest 15GB of cloud storage per account for free. While other tools like Google Photos may commonly be used for personal use, but it has a similarly efficient method of sharing images and videos with other people.
The fact that the COVID-19 is bringing global commerce to its knees is a proof that we need to start looking for alternatives. Working from home is a great option and doesn’t stop you from achieving the goals you set. All you need to do is to have the right tools, then you’re only a step away from achieving productive results.