With nearly half of the U.S. workforce working remotely during the pandemic, the demand for efficient, Internet-enabled communication tools has never been more imperative. In addition, economists are predicting that even after a COVID-19 vaccine has been approved and distributed, working remotely will likely continue as the new norm.
Downloaded over 400 million times since April 2020, Zoom remains the most popular teleconferencing app in the world. Zoom offers hundreds of options to facilitate small and large group meetings, such as multiple screen views, the ability to record meetings and ease of use on desktop computers, tablets and smartphones.Additional benefits of Zoom include:
Similar to Zoom, Slack is another globally popular telecommuting tool providing a workspace for companies that can be separated into channels and group chats. Within Slack channels, users can send images, messages, videos and documents. Slack easily synchronizes with apps commonly utilized by organizations (Google Drive, Google Calendar, etc) and works with Android and Apple mobile devices.
Administrators who download the free or paid version of Slack are in control of meetings. Governmental and large organizations prefer the paid version because it offers increased account security, group calling, encrypted messaging and prevention of data loss/hacking.Benefits of Slack include:
Examples of "software as a service" (SaaS) include Dropbox, Salesforce, Zoom and Microsoft Office. SaaS tools tend to be cost-effective due to lower upfront expenses. Since no hardware purchases are necessary with SaaS, users don't have to worry about paying for hardware maintenance or upgrades.Benefits of SaaS include:
Multiple people can use whiteboards to write on and share in a virtual meeting. A whiteboard is essentially an old-school chalkboard adapted to meet the needs of remote workers engaged in brainstorming ideas, solving problems and developing projects in a group setting. Popular whiteboard apps include Stormboard, Miro, Limnu and Conceptboard.Benefits of using a Whiteboard include:
If you ask any remote worker what their main problem is of working from home, they'll inevitably tell you it is distractions. Constantly ringing cell phones, unexpected visitors, outside noise and easy access to the refrigerator are common distractions that can be dealt with by simply eliminating them. Keeping snacks in your office, wearing headphones and putting a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door can effectively reduce interruptions.
In addition, ensuring your office furniture promotes physical comfort can also improve the productivity of remote workers. A high-backed, cushioned office chair, appropriately sized desk and up-to-date collaborative tools facilitate remote working by helping telecommuters complete tasks on time.