Working from home comes with its benefits, as well as its downsides. For example, not having to commute in traffic and being able to intertwine some personal responsibilities with work throughout the day make remote work appealing.
Some challenges of remote work include staying on task and effectively communicating with team members and coworkers. Fortunately, there are several fantastic work from home tools to make it less complicated and difficult.
Communication is critical for the majority of employees to complete their work successfully, regardless of location. Some great virtual communication tools to help freelancers and remote employees stay plugged in include Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype.
Slack is one of the best apps for working from home. It offers real-time chat capability between team members. You can also divide projects up into teams or group chats, helping you to locate past communications and cut down on the number of emails sent more easily. Slack is free to use and allows for numerous integrations.
Zoom is one of the most reliable online video tools for remote teams. It can host a large number of participants at once and allows you to record and broadcast meetings.
Microsoft Teams is an all-in-one platform for chating, video conferencing, calling, sharing files, and much more. It's fully integrated with other Microsoft products, including Outlook and SharePoint, for extra convenience.
Skype is one of the most commonly known virtual communication tools. It’s been around for years, so it’s been tried and tested. Skype has a chat, group call, and video meeting capabilities.
Google Hangouts is a great option for video meetings. It has integration capabilities with Slack and is free to use.
Some of the best project management work from home tools help employees stay on top of tasks within a single application. Asana, Basecamp, Monday.com, Jira, and Trello fall under the project management tool category.
Asana is one of the best apps for working from home for larger businesses. It has professional layouts for project organization and supports a large number of team members working together.
Basecamp is one of the most popular work from home tools for freelancers, allowing you to share projects with others including clients and colleagues.
Monday.com is used by some of the world's largest brands to easily create, automate, manage, and scale workflows.
Jira is an effective app for project management. It allows for seamless issue tracking within assigned teams.
Trello is a commonly used project management app. You can use different boards to organize projects, issues, and to-do lists with sharing capability among team members.
Maintaining structure is essential for remote work. Dropbox and Google Drive are two commonly used tools for remote teams and freelancers.
Dropbox is a great tool for file organization and sharing. It allows you to create folders and share them with assigned individuals. Dropbox offers a free subscription and the ability to upgrade for additional storage capabilities.
Google Drive is a commonly used file organization and sharing tool. You can upload, create, and share files with team members. You can also edit files directly in Google Docs, leave comments, and see other team members making comments in real time. Similar to Dropbox, it’s free to use up to a certain storage limit, with the ability to upgrade for additional storage.
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Staying on schedule and tracking productivity is critical for anyone working from home. RescueTime, Time Doctor, and Toggl are all apps to help you manage your time.
RescueTime is great in that it helps you track the amount of time you spend on social media, checking emails, and other applications. RescueTime allows you to limit your time on these types of activities and track your productivity.
Time Doctor helps you track tasks and stay focused on reminders. It can be integrated with other apps considered to be remote work office essentials, and it automatically generates bills for clients.
If you’re a visual person, then Toggl might be appealing with its visual time tracking capability. An entire team can view an open calendar in Toggl.
Having the right remote work office essentials can make a huge difference in your ability to be productive at home. The above list is a great starting point for researching work from home tools to help you or your team members effectively work remotely.