During the first week of September, 52% of working days in Victoria (and 40% of working days in New South Wales) were completed at home.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything about the way we work. Experts were already estimating that 70% of people would become at least part-time remote workers by 2025—and that was before the current pandemic.
So, how is everyone coping with the switch to working from home?
It goes without saying that you need a computer and an internet connection to work from home. You’ll also be able to focus best if you have a dedicated workspace in your home.
But here’s a tech tool you might not have considered yet: noise-cancelling headphones. If you’re the type who gets easily distracted while working from home, these could be a real game-changer!
These high-tech headphones block ambient noises while allowing you to listen to music or your computer’s audio at a safe, comfortable level. Not only will this reduce your daily stress levels, but your productivity will soar.
It’s easier than ever for remote workers to stay connected—provided they have the right tools. If your company is still relying on emails and phone calls, it’s time for a communication upgrade.
Slack is one of the best work tools for teams separated by physical distancing. It’s designed for clear, quick communication between multiple people. You can talk one-on-one or in a group thread. It’s also easy to upload and share files or make video calls.
You can create different chats for different projects, which keeps everyone updated in real-time. You can also have a separate “non-work” thread to replace those break room chats.
Even if your work revolves around phone calls and video meetings, chances are you still have a lot of written communication on your daily to-do list.
Make sure your emails, texts, and support documents are error-free by using Grammarly. Think of it as your personal writing assistant that ensures your editing is perfect. It will even tell you the overall tone of your writing (formal, friendly, surprised, etc.) to make sure you’re conveying your words the right way.
The Grammarly app is available in desktop and mobile versions, as well as convenient browser extensions.
Do you have multiple teams working on multiple projects? Things can get messy fast if you’re emailing each other back and forth.
Remote workers need to harness the power of a file-sharing service such as Google Drive or Dropbox. This is the easiest way for team members to collaborate, upload, share, and view documents.
Because files are saved in the cloud, remote workers can access the information they need anytime, anywhere.
Even if you’re not a professional designer, chances are you need some creative tools at your disposal. If your work involves websites, advertising, social media, or other visual elements, make sure you’ve got the remote working supplies you need.
Canva is a terrific free tool that allows you to create, share, and edit anything related to design. It has countless stock images, videos, and templates you can use to design anything your business needs.
Are you having trouble managing your team’s tasks and coordinating their responsibilities remotely? What you need is one central project management tool that everyone can refer to.
Asana is a popular choice for companies with remote workers. We like Basecamp and Dropbox Paper too. You can use the platform to plan, track, and review everyone’s work in real-time. Each team member can log in and see exactly what they need to accomplish on a daily or weekly basis.
Do you need a timer to keep track of hours for your clients’ projects? What about a tool to track status updates for yourself and your team?
Stay on track with Toggl, an essential time management tool. It’s easy to track and report your working hours for any project. You can also organise your own schedule and coordinate with colleagues (or even customers) for meetings and work sessions.
Even with all these remote working tools, you might still struggle to manage your time and meet deadlines.
Keep yourself accountable (and on track) with Stay Focused, a free app that lets you block social media and other distracting apps and sites for a set amount of time. Your workday will fly by and you’ll hit your deadlines before you know it.
Since you’ve been working from home, do you sometimes feel lonely and isolated from your team? It’s one of the biggest challenges remote workers face, especially when a special occasion or life event goes unnoticed.
Don’t let that happen to you (or anyone you work with). Whether it’s a farewell, get well, or congratulations, physical distancing doesn’t mean you can’t organise an amazing gift for your colleague. GroupTogether offers a digital solution that makes contactless group gifting a breeze.
Go to GroupTogether.com, create and share a link, and let everyone chip in and sign the card online. Easy! GroupTogether can even sort the gift. You can choose a gift card, give an AnyCard which lets your friend choose which shop to spend it in, or use it to buy a gift to give.
Best of all: It’s free!
Working from home can be a challenge, especially if you had to make an abrupt transition.
The key to success for remote workers lies in the right home office tool kit. If you aren’t already using these remote working tools, give them a try and watch your productivity soar.
What about that gift-giving tool we mentioned above? Do you have a colleague in mind who would appreciate a gift from your team? Click here to learn more about GroupTogether’s free, easy-to-use gift-giving service.
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