Posted on March 24, 2020 by Renae Erickson Hi my name is Renae, and I wanted to share some great tips and tools to help with telecommuting. As you all know, during our current pandemic of COVID-19 a lot of businesses are closing down their offices to help contain the spread of the virus by working from home. There are employees working from home who are facing challenges relating to communication with both internal and external collaboration, file sharing, cloud storage and, most importantly, data protection. It’s critical that you protect your business and team! Here is a list of great useful tech tools that can be extremely resourceful, helpful and boost productivity. Tip #1: How to Stay Connected? Slack – is an internal communication tool for your entire company, designed to cut out the need for emailing while continuing to communicate with your team. It lets you create separate channels for departments and have fun with each other while sharing ideas, comments, post opinions, and photos. It also allows for private messages and/or small groups to share information, files, and more all in one place! Google Hangouts or Zoom – both are video conferencing communication tools that can be used to collaborate with team members and clients for hosting meetings. They are both easy-to-use cloud platforms for video and audio conferencing for quick chats, webinars, and meetings, and allows you to share content. It can be extremely handy if you want many/groups of people together virtually. Onsip – is a phone system app that allows your clients to contact you directly, giving you the ability to stay connected and transfer calls to your team. It also offers face-to-face video calls and meetings. When you sign up an employee under the company, they will receive an extension for call transferring. No more automated systems, speak to a real person! Tip #2: Best Ways to Stay Organized I love organization! ActiveCollab – is an integrated project organizer and collaboration tool that combines task management, time tracking, and billing into one easy-to-use and well-designed app. The solution helps you organize your projects, tasks, and files in one place so your teams are on the same page right off the bat. Trello – is another project organization and collaboration tool. The visual Kanban boards are flexible, shareable, and empowers you to share up-to-date files, documents, add meetings to others’ calendars, and much more. You can also customize your employee’s and client’s home page according to their taste and make it FUN! Dropbox or Box – any business involves regularly sharing documents and tons of data, and that shouldn’t be unmanageable when you are operating remotely. Both of these tools let you securely share information with your team by using hassle-free yet strict data security, a sharing experience that allows anyone with the authority to comment, approve and edit information. It also has set workflows in place to detect and automate repeated tasks that involve sharing information, a must-have solution for any employee working from home. Tip #3: Let’s Stay Motivated! Serene – The go-to app for reactive employees who are constantly battling to get their work done or gets easily distracted and have too many short tasks. It lets you do two things: Set a goal and break it down into smaller portions to achieve it throughout your workday. It helps provide breaks and provides follow-ups to check if your goal is achieved. It shuts out all distractions by blocking apps or websites that divert you from regular work and silencing your phone. Set a goal for each day Keep working to achieve your goals and keep distractions at bay. Tip #4: Keep Your Business SAFE! Lastpass or 1Password – When you work remotely, sharing confidential passwords for the tools and applications used by the team can be tricky. These tools help you easily maintain secure passwords without worrying. They also let you share vaults and can be used as a digital wallet. Boxcryptor – The biggest problem when sharing information is the risk of someone impersonating your colleague or boss to acquire sensitive information. How can you prevent this from happening and how do you know that the information you are sharing is safe? Worry No More! Boxcryptor provides end-to-end encryption and data security. It can be integrated with Google Drive, Dropbox, and some other major programs on the platform, providing an easy way to secure your files on the cloud. It’s a Wrap…For Now! I hope you found this helpful. Remember: remote working employees could easily overlook certain challenges. For example, it requires a lot of forward-thinking, planning, discipline and motivation. Take advantage of all these helpful tools to breeze your way through any challenges you may face and think might hinder your productivity when working from home!