Shifting the routine
Human beings are creatures of habit. Our daily routines make us feel comfortable – be it our commute to work, exercise class or local lunch spot.
With many of us adjusting to home working, it can be difficult to keep a sense of normality when we break our usual routine. Yet, we are living in a digital era, where it is possible to do almost anything online from anywhere in the world. So, we have put together a list of our must-have tech tools to help you maintain productivity (and routine!) whilst working remotely.
With 12 million daily users, Slack is one of the most popular professional messaging programs for internal communications. Founded in 2013, this real-time communication platform sits somewhere in between instant messaging and email – so it’s very well suited to remote working.
The app supports private messaging, as well as team and topic channels for different departments. You can also catch up on previous messages, unlike other instant messaging tools that mimick face-to-face video chats and do not keep a record of previous chats. Slack allows you to send files, flag messages and pin documents for quick reference, cutting down on the need for numerous internal emails.
When working from home, you can sometimes feel somewhat isolated from the rest of your team. Slack provides a hub for workers to gather and communicate. At Hyve, we’ve even got creative and started hosting remote crossword and quiz challenges in our team-building channel!
Face-to-face interaction is essential for building relationships, especially if you are working from home for a long period of time. Video conferencing has become a standard form of communication in many businesses over the past few years – even the Prime Minister has started using it!
Video conferencing platform, Zoom, combines HD video with features such as screen-sharing and local recording, as well as the option to host webinars and larger team meetings. An easily accessible app, Zoom only needs one person to download the program, as when the host sets up the meeting, everyone else is able to join just from a link.
The record option is also particularly useful for home-workers to be able to re-watch/listen to meetings later down the line – for example, if it was a sales pitch, this feature could be useful once back in the office with the decision-makers.
Working on multiple projects involving many members of the team can get confusing – especially when you are not physically in the office together. Tools such as Asana are great for tracking the progress of projects and to-do-lists in real-time dashboards.
You can assign tasks to yourself or other members of the team, update on the status of the project, and set deadlines. Once tasks have been closed you are able to move the tabs into a ‘completed list’ – try it, it’s oddly satisfying.
A downfall of collaborative work is the multitude of documents that inevitably get made due to many edited versions of the same document.
File-sharing systems such as Google Drive solve that problem, cutting down on endless email chains with updated versions of documents. All of the essential files that we use every day – such as word documents, spreadsheets and presentations – are all available online, for free.
This cloud alternative to Microsoft Office allows employees to work on the same documents simultaneously, seeing each other’s edits in real-time, as well as having access to past versions in case they need to be restored.
Tech vs. coronavirus
Amongst the fear and disruption, it seems that the virus has forced us to use the internet for good – to share information, connect with one another and collaborate to solve problems. As with all technology, it is important to check the security and credibility of the tool before using it.
Could it be that the coronavirus is showing us how to live in a virtual world, whilst the physical one heals?
Do you know any other handy tools for remote working? Let us know @hyve!