More and more employees are working remotely these days. This can be beneficial for both workers and employers, as it provides workers with more flexible schedules and allows managers to supervise projects from any location. To make the most of this type of arrangement, take advantage of the latest technological solutions that facilitate both communication and productivity. Here’s a list of the top seven apps that can go a long way toward improving efficiency for remote workers.1) Google Hangouts
The nice thing about Google Hangouts is that anyone with a Google account can easily sign up. This makes it one of the most universal communication apps. It's a convenient way to hold remote meetings on any device, and it integrates with YouTube, so you can make videos of any online events. This is useful for training purposes or even for updating team members who missed a Hangout. Google continues to refine its Hangouts offering, recently announcing a few new key updates. One of the new features is Hangouts Chat, an app that integrates with G Suite as well as many third-party applications. Whatever other communications or chat apps you use, Google Hangouts is worth keeping, both for its flexibility and its universality.
Trello is a popular collaboration app with many useful features to accommodate all types of businesses and projects. Trello is known for its system of cards and boards, which makes it easy to identify and manage projects. With drop-and-drag editing, it's convenient to make changes to projects. It's compatible with Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive for uploading files. The app is also highly customizable. For example, you can create lists and track metrics that are important to you. Trello is also useful for assigning tasks and keeping tabs on everyone's progress. For example, if you get a last-minute job and need to assign it to someone remotely, it's easy to configure the new project and notify the responsible person/s. For teams that collaborate on many projects, Trello can be an indispensable tool.
Slack is a communications app that took the world by storm in 2015 and is only getting more popular. Aside from its hipness, Slack provides some very practical functions for remote workers. With Slack, you manage all of your communications from one place. At the same time, you can open channels if you need to talk to particular team members about a certain issue, and it's easy to switch back and forth between public conversations and private ones. There's also a convenient search function that lets you locate any prior conversation. To find what you're looking for, simply filter by time, channel, or group. You can even search by keyword and Slack will quickly provide you with a list of each keyword instance, along with an option to ‘jump’ back to the location of the word/s in question. Slack integrates easily with many other popular business apps, including Dropbox and Trello, and its pricing is quite reasonable. There’s a free version you can use for an unlimited amount of time, and a paid versions goes for around $7-$12 per month.
4) Facebook Workplace
Facebook recently introduced Workplace, an app that's separate from your usual Facebook accounts. That being said, since almost everyone is on Facebook, it's convenient to have a diverse app that's connected to the giant social network. Workplace includes the Work Chat app, which features instant messaging as well as voice and video calling. There are those who speculate that Facebook originally developed Workplace to eliminate corporate email (in other words, the grand scheme is to keep people's communications within Facebook at all times). While Workplace is unlikely to replace email as we know it anytime soon, it's still a useful app. The service also offers unlimited file, photo, and video storage, and if you’re interested, you should sign up ASAP: Facebook is offering a free trial until September 2017.
If you're looking for an app that's both a task manager and a productivity tool, Todoist is an excellent choice. One of the best things about this app is that it integrates across 15 platforms, including Outlook, Mac, Android, Google Calendar, and more. This makes it a powerful tool for connecting people who are using a variety of devices and operating systems. You can create projects, assign tasks, and set reminders. Todoist is also quite secure, using bank-level encryption. While the free version has many useful features, upgrading to the business version provides features such as location-based notifications, productivity tracking, adding tasks via email, and adding 25 or more people to a project (you can add up to 5 people with the free version).
Every organization that works with remote employees (or outsourcers) needs an efficient place to share files. Dropbox is one of the best solution for this, providing 2 GB of free storage for text, photos, or videos. Businesses that need more space can upgrade to the Pro or Business account. Dropbox is simple to use and has all kinds of useful features. It automatically backs up your files, so you don't have to worry about losing anything. It saves space on your devices by storing everything in the cloud. Best of all, it's easy to upload files from any device. You can even restore files that have been accidentally deleted, since Dropbox saves everything for 30 days.
One of the challenges of working remotely is creating schedules that everyone can keep up with. Doodle is an app that simplifies scheduling. It’s often complicated to come up with convenient meeting times and places (whether meetings are live or online) that suit everyone. Doodle lets you send out polls to find out which times are best for everyone. While there's a free version, businesses will probably want to upgrade to Doodle’s Private or Business plans, which add features such as SSL encryption, See Who's Missing, and (with the Business plan) custom design and custom subdomains. Doodle is one of the best ways to synchronize meetings when the people you're dealing with are all over the city, country, continent, and/or globe.
As the world gets more connected and companies work with more remote employees, it's crucial to find the right tools to help make these arrangements more efficient. Every business, of course, has to consider its unique needs when choosing the right tools. You may find some apps more suitable than others. However, the seven apps covered above are all helpful for keeping people and projects synced no matter where the collaborators may find themselves.Connect First is a cloud based contact center solutions provider, committed to creating innovative, intuitive solutions to modern call center challenges. Learn more about our customer-centric products and award-winning service.