A recent 2021 survey found that over 65% of Australians now work from home—at least some of the time. And if your company isn’t offering this yet, you may have to soon. The question: how do you handle all of the changes working from home brings effectively? Instead of having a trial-and-error season, learn from those who already discovered which tools for remote workers REALLY work.
One person who knows what it’s all about is Michael Rosenbaum. As CEO of Parkhound, an online parking marketplace, his employees work completely remotely across 11 cities. The company is gaining popularity, helping Australians find affordable parking Melbourne, in Sydney and other cities around the country. You can be sure it takes a lot of hard work to manage the over 10 000 parking locations they currently have listed.
Now, this team has been working remotely even before the pandemic started and they have no plans currently to return to an office. Thanks to these years of experience with remote working employees, Mike is now an expert on this topic, even when it comes to managing a global team. What helps him keep his finger on the pulse and all the balls in the air? He believes the following 6 digital tools for remote workers should be part of your work day.
In short, Slack is the messaging app that your team needs to stay connected. Its features include text messaging and calls but you can also share documents or even record and send videos. So, any information your team members need to share can be sent on this one platform.
Employees find it fun to interact this way and you can even add someone from outside your company to a ‘channel’ or chat group, if you need their input. Notifications help members stay up to date with any discussions others may be having about a specific topic.
Slack does have a free trial option, so no reason not to try out this one.
To organise all the projects you’ll discuss on Slack, it does help to have a project management tool. Trello works for remote teams because on its online boards, lists and cards team members will quickly see which tasks need attention.
Keep your projects organised with features like:
- Easily moving tasks between boards
- Assigning tasks to individuals
- Setting up workflows customised to your needs
- Use calendar and timeline functions to deliver by due dates
Trello offers a free option with limited features to get you started.
Aesthetics is important in business, which makes good graphics essential. Just think of creating a graphic for an urgent social media post. As a web-based tool, Figma is easy to access and it’s user friendly for your team members to quickly get the hang of.
Furthermore, especially for tech businesses, you can easily share visual mock-ups of potential app interfaces or a wireframe for a new website. The tool is created for collaboration, so your entire team can brainstorm together.
Not sure if you need it? Try the free version and you’ll soon see why users often mention how it adds value thanks to collaboration feature.
Time tracking is often a controversial topic when working from home. Regardless of how you feel about it, giving your employees the option to use it can often work in your favour.
Toggl allows your team to input the projects and tasks they’re working on and break down how much they’re spending on each. Its design isn’t so much about micromanaging a team. Rather, users can visualise what they spend time and how that compares to business priorities – so they feel confident they’re managing their time wisely and keeping themselves on track. Features include planning and time tracking, weekly reports and more.
It’s all about saving time with Toggl and you can try it out with a free plan.
Google Data Studio
You can’t improve your business without proper reporting. Share data in a visual way that gives a clear indication of the current results and state of affairs. This will empower everyone to make informed decisions. Google helps you do this with its Data Studio, offering templates and making it easy to share with your employees, no matter where they are.
Why type an email—hoping everyone will understand your meaning and emotion behind the words—if you can express yourself better on a video? Loom helps you records yourself, your computer screen or both and then send it to those who need it.
Try this one for your company wide updates, and everyone will feel involved and informed, without reading lengthy briefs and boring reports. Your team can even interact with the video, adding different emojis throughout to show their reactions to all your news!
The pandemic may have transformed your business forever, but if you manage this season correctly, the change could be for the better. With tools for remote workers like the ones Michael listed, efficiency and productivity could be better than ever. As a bonus, no one can blame traffic for being late for a meeting!