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Working from Home Apps We Can’t Live Without

GDR’s working from home apps we can’t live without.

 

As many of us continue to work in any space at home that seems functional are our new make-shift offices here to stay?

Almost 80% of respondents to a OnePoll survey (commissioned by Citrix and queried 1,000 self-isolating office workers in March) believe working from home will be more common after coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

49% of respondents said they are working more productively during the time they would normally spend commuting to work. 36% are less stressed and 32% suggest that working from home helps them concentrate better with less distractions.

Here are GDR’s recommendations of working from home apps to make our lives easier and show the team that we’re ticking off our to-do list and not watching the latest viral cat video.

 

KEEPING IN TOUCH

 

Gone are the days of hopping over to your colleague’s desk to ask a quick question. Here are a couple app alternatives to avoid clogging up your inboxes while working from home:

  • Slack
    Great for any kind of team and its size. It helps consolidate communication and collaboration in one handy, easy-to-use interface to stay on top of team activities minute to minute. Its flexibility lets you communicate and organise work with co-workers, message or call anyone or group, share and edit documents and collaborate with the right people on a project. Slack also lets you integrate third-party apps such as Google Drive, Salesforce, Dropbox, Asana, Twitter, and Zendesk.
  • Basecamp
    This one has been around for a while! Set up over 20 years ago to be the solution for remote working tens of thousands of companies have since used Basecamp. With project management at its core you’re able to create message boards, to do lists, schedules, share files and chat to each other all in one place. You can also create automatic check ins letting you ask your team regular questions, such as ‘Is there an update on this’, on a regular basis, with all the replies rolled up in one easy-to-digest thread.
  • Whatsapp
    Probably one of the most well-known apps in this article but is still worth a mention to get quick answers, share files and send a meme or two to keep each other going. With the ability to create groups why not use this app to bring together your team, but of course be sure to set a few boundaries if using on a personal phone!

 

TIME MANAGEMENT

 

Whether you’re a contractor or permanent member of staff there are apps out there to keep you on track, while working from home. These are a couple options to improve project profitability, show clients how much you’ve worked and see how your team is working.

  • Clockify
    This program is completely free with the ability to have unlimited users and projects. It’s a simple time tracker and timesheet app available across all platforms imaginable. Team leaders can invite colleagues, set hourly rates, current activity and see who has worked on what. You can then pull all the necessary reporting needed.
  • Toggl
    A time tracking app that shows you how much time you’re really spending on tasks. The software was designed for remote workers from the very beginning with the idea of helping freelancers make sure they were billing accurately for projects and getting paid for the amount of time spent on projects. If you’re a remote freelancer, this alone makes Toggl a worthy investment and its reports will also help you quote more accurately on future projects.

 

VIRTUAL MEETINGS

 

Wanting to see people’s reactions to your latest idea and have the option to share your screen so that people know what you’re on about? Here’s some ways to still have ‘face-to-face’ meetings:

  • Zoom
    There certainly has been a Zoom boom with this app now creeping into homes around the globe to keep family and friends connected. Gone are the times where this app may have just been used for a webinar. For work purposes this is the perfect app to speak with up to 100 people (with the free version). You’re also able to share your screen, record the conversation and even change your background to avoid giving away your celebrity crush that may be on a poster behind you. The free plan allows you to speak for up to 40 minutes before it boots you out so for longer meetings explore the different paid plans.
  • Google Hangouts
    If you’re using Google as your email client, cloud drive and loyal to the G-ecosystem then this may be your preference for virtual meetings. You’ll only be able to connect with up to 25 people but be able to share photos, videos, maps, emojis, stickers, and animated GIFs!
  • Skype
    At 15 years old, Skype is one of the oldest video conferencing solutions around and one of the highest rated by users. You can video conference with up to 250 people, drag and drop files, share your screen and have real-time translation if you’re meeting with people globally. Skype may be your platform of choice, particularly if you’re using Microsoft Office 365.

 

WORKS IN PROGRESS

 

Are you limited by your company’s remote access? Are multiple people editing one document at once? Here are some options and workarounds to ensure everyone’s working on the latest version:

  • Google Drive
    The quick and easy way to work on those spreadsheets and word documents that are constantly changing. You’re able to see changes as they happen and view who else is using the document. It has essentially the same interface and functionality as Microsoft Office too. The only drawback is you will need a Google account. But it is free – a word we love to hear right now as we constantly cull and change subscriptions. If your internet drops out you can work offline and changes will automatically sync when they can, whilst autosaving as you go.
  • Dropbox
    A long-standing go-to app to upload, transfer and share files. To support your remote office projects, Dropbox lets you back up and store all types of files to the cloud. As well as access files synced with any computer or mobile device — from anywhere. You can leave notes for each other to speed up approval processes too. Sharing features make it easy to privately send files of any size. Files are shared via a link rather than as email attachments. You can also use the app to scan documents with your camera, and transform receipts, documents, whiteboards, and notes into PDFs. Dropbox comes in a free version and a Plus version with more automated features and more storage space.

 

HEALTH & WELLBEING

 

It can be very easy to stare at your screen for hours and either lose focus or not take a lunch break. To avoid burn out, keep your mind energised and your creativity flowing. Here are some apps to break up your day:

  • 7 Minute Workout
    Even when you’re working at home, there’s no need to be a chair potato – the 7-Minute Workout makes sure you get up off your chair to stay fit. It includes some of the best exercises for non-athletes and allows you to do a quick workout anytime, anywhere. Videos show you the proper technique to perform each exercise, and the app supports Google Fit tracking. The 7-minute workout consists of 12 exercises, done for 30 seconds a time, with 10-second breaks between each exercise. All you need is a chair and a wall.
  • Headspace
    Being at home all day can be stressful, even if you’re surrounded by family. However, you can use this time to build a meditation routine while reducing stress and anxiety levels. Some meditations only take 10 minutes a day! To get started, check out Headspace, currently offering basic courses for free right now.
  • Eye Care 20 20 20
    Widespread eye strain is a problem unique to the modern world amplified by staring at screens all day. Eye Care 20 20 20 is an app that uses the 20-20-20 rule recommended for preventing eye strain. (Every 20 minutes take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away.) A simple solution to help relax your eyes.

 

Continue the conversation and share what working from home apps you can’t live without.

For anything you have read here that sparks your interest, GDR can help you communicate, project manage and strategise better. Get in touch today so we can partner with you:

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