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Best tools for working from home

For some people, working remotely is a piece of cake, they don’t need much interaction, their projects are relatively independant, they don’t need lunch with their coworkers and they are happy to change their location and just work from anywhere. That’s one group of remote workers. The other group is just quarantined. This is now a reality for a large number of people, and somehow, all the things that we did in person when working in an office type setting, we now have to do online. Ofcourse there were programmes made to do many a different task before this virus incident, but not many of us were familiar with them, or at least didn’t have the whole network covered, from plain communication, to video calls, meetings, conferences, file sharing, etc.

Let’s start with the basics. Instead of talking from one side of the office to the other to a certain coworker about what you have to do next or just go through the project in the office kitchen with a lovely cup of coffee, you now have to move your communication on-line. One might think e-mails, but those get too unclear, especially if there’s more than one person included in the conversation. This means, you need an application, designed for conversations with multiple people that will give you clear structure about and with whom you’re talking to.

One of the most popular tools these days is Slack, with free or payable options available. It provides execellent real time communication with groups or individuals, file sharing and video calls, it also enables integration with Google Calendar and Jira. It’s simple to use and enables you to create various channels, professional or just for fun with your team. The outlook of the programme is simple and nice, but if you’re not feeling it, there’s always other options, like Chanty, Flock or Microsoft Teams.

Because sometimes you also need to actually see people you work with, or meet your clients online or pitch your new idea to the big boss, you will also need a reliable and easy-to-work-with programme, that will enable you to have some one-on-one face time or a whole group of people in the virtual conference or class room. These past couple of months, Zoom has been huge. It’s easy to install and get it started, offers real-time chat and many other cute and useful tricks. One of them is the adjusting background, where you can just make yourself look like you’re working from a lovely tropical island. If you and Zoom can’t seem to get together, there’s always other options, like join.me, GoToMeeting, Skype, or maybe look for something of your very own.

Tasks are easier to manage and divide among your staff, if you have them right there in front of you. You can easily see who’s busy and who’s not, what might be interesting for some and a little less for others or maybe you just function better if you can talk to every single one about their task and go through it in person. Trust me, there were people who thought about this very same thing even before staying home 24/7. This sort of project management software is on the rise for the past decade, and a very nice example is Jira. It gives its user a clear and simple overview of their tasks, their team’s tasks, allows you to track your work and follow up when necessary. The outlook of the programme is nice and minimalistic, but as with all of those  above, can be replaced by Asana, Pivotal Tracker or maybe Wrike.

In this article, I just took you through the basics of working from home. Introduced above are just the basic tools you need to get your work started and keep the communication, meetings, conferences and projects going. It depends on what you do for a living, some might miss something design and development related, others some time management app, maybe some of you need a real and proper grammar teacher always sitting by your side, correcting you as you write, but with these ideas you can’t go wrong, and just work your way from here.

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