If your business is now managing a full-time remote workforce for the first time, here are a few tech tools that will help your quarantined team stay connected.
By: Nicole Fallon.
From instant messaging software to productivity trackers, there are several helpful tech tools available for employees now transitioning into remote work.
The outbreak and rapid spread of COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, has prompted many companies to implement emergency work-from-home protocols to avoid exposure in the workplace. Even some of the world's biggest tech companies, like Google, Amazon and Facebook, are urging their teams to avoid commuting and traveling for work.
If your company has never had a full-time remote workforce, this can be a challenging transition. However, thanks to modern technology, it's very possible for many employees to be as productive at home as they would be in the office, if not more so.
Here are a few essential tech tools you'll need to get through the virus outbreak. While you may already be using many of these tools, they may take on a new function and significance during this extended period of remote work.
Communication within the team can be the biggest challenge when your workforce is remote. Chat software like Slack and Microsoft Teams allow seamless communication between individual team members, departments and the entire company. Different chat "channels" allow people to discuss work, brainstorm ideas and stay connected to each other throughout the workday. Many companies already use these instant messaging tools, but you'll want to encourage your staff to pay extra attention to their messages right now, as this will likely become the primary method of communicating during your quarantine.
Video meetings where the attendees can see each other's expressions and react to one another in real time can replicate the benefits of face-to-face meetings you would have had in the office. Video conferencing software typically includes screen-sharing capabilities, recording and live chat, which can add an extra layer of communication and understanding to your meetings. Popular choices include Google Hangouts and Zoom.
Keeping your team on track and maintaining everyone's regular workflows while you're all working remotely will require a top-notch project management tool. If you're not already using software like Trello, Basecamp, Asana, Airtable or Monday.com, now is the time to set it up. It's easy to assign and break down tasks, and status updates and project progress are available at a glance.