Remote work had already started before the pandemic hit the world. However, it soon became the new norm and an essential component of many people’s work life, and for all the right reasons – this has a lot to do with an increase in freelance work.
Almost half of the millennial generation works on part-time job search sites and have a side hustle. With the pandemic sweeping the world in its fold, it has changed the perspective of many companies and individuals on remote work.
Many companies found themselves scrambled up in the challenges of remote work. Employees had to solve the data security and collaboration issues to keep pace with the changing times and meet work deadlines.
However, amidst the preparation and inefficiencies, the world saw a rise in productivity during the pandemic. Employees worked for more hours and with much more efficiency than they had before., which ultimately improved productivity for businesses.
Remote work has greatly benefited employees and reduced their work stress. As studies suggest, productivity increased with employees willingly working for longer hours and with utmost dedication. Moreover, certain software and tools came in handy and streamlined the work from home process. If you’re looking for digital tools to simplify your remote work experience, you have come to the right place!
Here are a few software tools that every remote worker must know about to help them work comfortably, seamlessly, and creatively.
Any team member working remotely can access their home desktop even while traveling. Use the slide deck while working from home to access each visual asset at your disposal.
Available on Windows, OS X, iOS, Linux, and Android with an easy setup, TeamViewer facilitates file and clipboard transfers and wake-on-LAN. It’s a good option for anyone working from home with a need to access a basic desktop. Port forwarding isn’t necessary, and minimal adjustments to the firewall configurations are required to make it work.
In addition, it even features a two-step authentication. A single-user annual subscription comes down to $50.90/month.
Another great option is SplashTop. It supports transfers with low latency and the same facility as working on your computer while sitting miles away. The price of the solo version is $5/month. It provides facilities like screen share, making it very helpful for situations where fellow team members may need to view your system.
For example, an IT pro can easily guide employees about any technical requirements needed on their desktop without from miles away.
Both great options, RDC and ARD, happen to be the dominating default apps for remote working Microsoft and Apple respectively.
ARD has a comprehensive system for remote management such as software updates that’ll cost you $80 a month. Whereas RDC provides slightly limited remote access. However, RDC is free of cost.
Recently, Microsoft has attempted to take over a portion of Slack’s market share through its clone – Teams. The endeavor includes the business version of Skype called Skype for Business. Both platforms are available in a bundle for Microsoft 365, with a starting price of $5/month for each user in the annual subscription plan.
Slack is the leading software in the remote workspace for a reason. Companies that don’t have any internal chat app definitely opt for Slack as their number one choice. It allows organizations to create an internal business environment on the internet with remote jobs online. Whether you are down the hall in the office or sitting in the comfort of your home, the Slack application will ease your workload.
It creates channels with employees and categorizes them into different departments to help create the structure organizations need. Personal messages help protect privacy, and tagging employees to pull them into a conversation is easier. In real life, people might find it difficult to get their hands on someone on another floor, but not with Slack.
In remote jobs boards, when working on a project proposal, you can always mute the notifications. It saves your time and energy with easy work management. It helps avoid CCs, BCCs, and other clunky emails. Slack drives toward collaboration with its integration with other social media communication platforms, like Twitter, etc.
Zoom is the one application that has seen heights of success since the pandemic. Organizations have collaboratively worked with employees on zoom. It is one of the most popular video calling platforms for finding work from home jobs, communicating with colleagues, and having business meetings. The application allows several people to join in the video conferences online without compromising the quality.
Schools, companies, governments, and even court hearings have been held on zoom during the pandemic. Employees who work in another country or who live in a different state find it easy to communicate through zoom as it is a reliable video calling platform. Moreover, the application has a built-in chat that allows employees to write messages without disturbing the meeting.
Most companies interviewed part-time workers or held meetings with current workers through this video conferencing app. The application allows the host of the meeting to record it so that it can be used later on.
Zoom can be easily integrated into other applications for a better and more collaborative experience.
As a company, Basecamp is a refreshing anomaly in a tech world predicated on major funding rounds, and big market plays. The web-based project management platform evolved out of an in-house communications suite designed by a web design company named 37Signals. The spinoff company has taken very little funding, but it remains the best-known project management solution out there.
Basecamp's core functions include task management, messaging, collaboration, file sharing, scheduling, reporting, and a universal search function that makes everything easily and quickly retrievable.
Basecamp costs $99 per month.
Monday has been advertising aggressively in hopes of positioning itself as a viable Basecamp alternative and even Trello. Kanban-based and visually stunning, the cloud-based project management platforms are aimed at small and mid-sized teams and use labels to identify who is working on what.
The biggest drawback to the platform is its price. The basic version of the service runs $24 per month, but you only get 5GB of file storage. The standard version with more functionality is $30 per month and offers more automation and integrations.
Asana's biggest strength is workflow management. Although its task management is also good, the new addition of its timeline feature now classifies it as a Project Management tool, rather than just a task management tool as before. It also worked quite decently as a collaboration tool.
In essence, Asana enables different teams to keep track of projects and assign individual tasks on the platform. The strength of a platform or app is determined by how flexible it is. Managers can configure and orient Asana to the project's specific needs to be optimized as a task assignment tool.
For instance, it’s quite useful for laying out the project map or the current activity log of a company. However, the flexibility has a learning curve, which means that someone has to set up the system according to the project specifications.
If you have a habit of planning things out on a calendar to dedicate time to work on projects, then Timely is perfect for you. It is one of the most effective time tracking apps on the market. But what is different about timely is that it enables you to schedule your tasks and tracks the time spent on them in real-time. On the other hand, other time trackers just track your work time.
Timely works on a calendar layout and interface, also allowing hourly employees to track their earnings.
Toggl is the best option for anyone looking for a time tracker that enables them to mark how their time was spent. It provides great detail down to the minute. It's the optimal tool to measure personal productivity. However, it may not be suitable for managers to use to assess their employees' time allocation skills during projects. It generates useful reports for you to assess your daily or weekly time allocation and task management routine.
Everhour is ideal for tracking the availability of team members. It's a Web-based service that can synchronize with various other commonly used productivity apps. This synchronization also allows some basic functions for task scheduling. The time tracker is based on a timer function which enables a team to track the time spent on various projects and tasks.
It also lets professionals like contractors keep track of their billable hours.
Atera takes an RMM process (remote monitoring and management) and tweaks it for the MSPs (management service providers). It combines the concept of remote management and functions of customer service such as satisfaction surveys and ticketing. This way, it allows you to keep a check on your network and maintain customer relationships.
The platform offers the standard RMM facilities such as real-time alerts, network discovery, and mobile applications. In addition, it provides service level agreement and contract management, support for billing and invoicing (by integrating Xero, FreshBooks, and quick books).
The platform is especially handy for anyone trying to expand their MSP business and control costs while maintaining a professional image.
ConnectWise automate enables monitoring and maintenance for an entire network via a single browser screen. The main interface enables oversight of all devices, groups them into logical categories, and performs necessary operations on them. It also allows you to skim through each group with clear icons and highly comprehensive filters. This way, you can see both the individual and the overall machine status.
One of the platform's key benefits is its feature to patch in third-party applications similar to operating system assets. This feature often requires no attention or effort from the user. But what truly sets ConnectWise automate apart is its automation and scripting support.
It allows a comprehensive built of a set of custom scripts. This, in turn, enables you to manage, configure and patch every aspect of a network quickly and easily.
How about you? What which tools have you found to be most useful in your remote work routine? Do you have your tried and tested digital tools that helped you streamline your remote work experience?
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