If you’re among the many who’ve had their work-worlds flipped upside down, adjusting to the new way of working remotely can be challenging, especially if you’re leading a team.
While working from home might sound leisurely, it takes strong communication, leadership and teamwork to make it work well. Enter the tools that make ‘normal’ work things possible- from sharing files and ideas to having team-wide formal meetings, there are plenty of options out there.
We’ve pulled together some of the best so that you can help your team navigate through working from home.
The app’s name speaks for itself- if you’re part of a team, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better platform for collaboration than Microsoft Teams. For messaging, sharing documents and group meetings, Teams is a hub for your communication and collaboration needs.
TIP: You can even record your audio or video meetings to refer to later using the “Record Meeting” option- so no more worrying if you’ve remembered everything when you walk away from your meeting!
A video-conferencing app with an edge. With Zoom, you can chat and video-call up to 100 people at once! You can even customize your background to feel like you’re off on a tropical island somewhere, or even back at the office if you really miss it. So close to real ‘face time’ that you’ll forget you’re online.
TIP: Don’t forget to turn your mic and camera off if you’re going to the loo! Better yet, just wait until the call is finished. Home is comfortable, but seeing your co-workers do their business is not.
Project Management Tools
If you’re struggling to keep track of what the different members of your team are working on, tracking progress of just maintaining big picture oversite of projects there are a wealth of tools out there to help you through. Microsoft Planner, Trello and Redbooth are all great options that are intuitive and easy to use. There’s also a good chance that once everything goes back to normal, you won’t be willing to give your project planner up. It’ll change your life for the better!
GoogleDocs is like a virtual team brainstorm, allowing everyone to collaborate in a document together. Share ideas, make edits, and track progress and updates all in one place.
GoogleDrive is a place where you can upload and share files with individuals or teams. No more attaching and loading individual files via email- just drag from your desktop and drop! Easy.
Have something you want your co-workers to see? Or trying to explain a complicated process? Sometimes it’s easier to show someone than explain in writing, and recording your screen is the next-best thing to having your team sitting over your shoulder. Screencast-o-matic allows you to record your whole screen or just a section of it as well as provide commentary as you go. It’s free, and easy to use and has a great library of tutorials.
Sending a large file, images or video? WeTransfer allows you to share up to 2GB of files in just three easy steps, without crashing someone’s email. Better yet there are no fees or sign-up needed. Think of it like a virtual USB stick or hard drive!
While it’s not an app, this is one of the tools you’ll probably need most when working with your team virtually. Poor internet connection, screaming kids and technology hiccups are just some of the challenges you’re likely to face. Remember that for a lot of people, working from home is totally new territory, some things are out of our control, and it takes time to adjust to new ways of working. Practice patience as much as possible and remember that everyone’s doing their best.