In the past week or so, many companies have turned to remote working as a temporary solution to the coronavirus outbreak. Whilst we’re lucky that many of our jobs can be done from the comfort of our own homes, as a manager, you might be concerned about how your team is going to handle the change, especially if this is a completely new setup for them.
However, there are some essential pieces of technology you can recommend to your team to make the experience of working from home as effective as possible. All of the platforms I’ve recommended are free to use, so won’t use up all of your budget during these unpredictable times.
Staying connected with the members of your team is a good idea when a large amount of your team is working from home, to ensure you are still able to support your team and help them stay on task. Messaging through Slack is less formal than email – so makes it easy for team members to shout for help when they need it. It also allows you to continue collaborative work and team brainstorming sessions throughout the day, as you would in the office.
Skype is a great tool for hosting your regular meetings online. As well as having a webcam and instant chat feature, it also allows screen share during calls to make explaining processes and delegating tasks easier. There are a range of tools that you can use for hosting meetings online, however Skype is a great choice because it’s free, easily accessible and has all the features you need for online meetings in one place.
Trello is a great project management tool that makes breaking down both solo projects and collaborative tasks easy. It’s straightforward to add members to a project and is very user-friendly with a simple layout that takes no time at all to learn. It’s responsive design means it can easily be used on all devices including laptops, computers and mobile phones.
If your team is new to working from home, Splashtop is a great way to make the transition from office to home easier. Splashtop is a software that allows you to access your work desktop from any device. It’s very reliable and secure, so sort of does the work for you when it comes to making your in-house system accessible outside of the office.
Managing time effectively is one of the things people struggle most with when working from home. Toggl is an online timing system that allows you to break down your day by projects, tasks and clients to delegate your hours properly.
Google Docs are perfect for collaborative projects as you can easily share and collaborate on work. It also saves your changes automatically and is stored in Google Drive which has a large amount of free storage space that doesn’t take up memory on your laptop or computer.
Working with two monitors allows you to expand your workspace and can work online much easier, especially if you need to have a lot of tabs open at once. If your staff are used to working with two monitors on their desk, it might be a good idea to see whether you can allow them to take one home from the office.
Mouse and keyboard
Having a proper computer setup is essential for working from home, which means having a good quality mouse and keyboard. If you don’t have a need for them currently in the office, maybe allow your staff to take the keyboard and mouse from their desks home to ensure they’re properly equipped to work.
Noise cancelling headset with microphone
Noise cancelling headphones are a great idea for anyone working from home, as they can prevent distractions and help you stay in the zone whilst working. A headset with a microphone is also a good way to make sure that communications are clear during online meetings, as bad audio can be very distracting and can quickly throw a meeting off course.
Katie Myers is a content writer for audio visual suppliers AV Installations.