Millions of employees prefer working from home over a traditional office environment, because they enjoy a more flexible schedule and casual work environment. Unfortunately, being a remote worker doesn’t come without its challenges. For example, many remote workers have trouble staying focused and motivated working on their own. Furthermore, they often miss interacting with others, which makes them feel isolated. All of these things can hurt their productivity and quality of work. Luckily, there are some software tools that will make working from home more productive.
Just because you are now working from home, it doesn’t mean that you no longer need to interact with colleagues. As a virtual employee, much of your success will depend on seeking help from your coworkers (and boss) when you need to find solutions to a problem. Skype makes it easy to stay in touch with colleagues through video calls, as well as virtual meetings, for free. The app allows up to 50 users to participate in a video call together. Even better, all Skype messages are encrypted. Also, being able to see and talk to your coworkers will make you feel less isolated.
2. Google Drive
Collaborating on projects with your colleagues will likely still be important even though you are working from home. Google Drive makes it easy to save projects (in the cloud) and share them with your coworkers. For example, let’s say you work in the sales department and your team needs to create a sales forecast. Instead of emailing a spreadsheet around for every team member to enter their data, you can just create one spreadsheet and make it accessible to everyone in Google Drive. That way the entire sales team can see new data being added in real time. Google Drive is free to use and it comes with every Gmail account.
Oftentimes you won’t have to talk to coworkers through a video chat. For example, if you just have a quick question, or a colleague has a quick question, you just need a convenient way to chat with them. Slack allows you to create communication channels just for those purposes. You can create a Slack channel between you and your team members, as well as between you and others from different teams. Slack has a free version that works well for most virtual employees.
One of the negative aspects of working from home is that you can’t sit side-by-side with a colleague to work together on a computer. That’s where TeamViewer can help remote workers. Let’s say a coworker is completely stumped what to do next on a project. You’ve tried to answer their questions through a video call or chatting. However, you haven’t been able to figure it out either. TeamViewer is a remote desktop tool that will let them share their computer screen with you. TeamViewer is free for personal use and has strong digital security features to protect you from hackers.
Finally, even though you are a remote worker, you will likely still need to make appointments for things like virtual meetings and project deadlines. You can use 10to8 Appointment Scheduling to make sure that you never miss an appointment. You will receive email and text reminders about upcoming appointments. You can learn more about the program’s features and fees online.
In short, as a remote worker, you can easily stay in touch with your colleagues through Skype and Slack. Google Drive makes it easy to save and share documents in one central location that all of your virtual team members can access. TeamViewer is one of the best collaboration tools when it comes to remotely sharing computer screens between coworkers. Lastly, you never have to accidentally forget about an important meeting or deadline with 10to8 Appointment Scheduling.