Coronavirus: The best platforms for connecting staff when working remotely

One of the biggest dilemmas that many businesses face when allowing staff to work from home is staying connected. The great news is that there are hundreds of free apps and tools out there to make collaborating whilst working from home easier. If working from home is new for you and your team, here are some of our favourite products to get you started. Why not give them a try?

1. Slack

Slack is a free app available for both Windows and Mac devices. It’s an alternative to email, allowing you to chat with colleagues one-to-one or as a group, which comes in handy when working on specific projects or when you need a quick response. Slack allows you to send images, files and links, and keep all your work-related conversations in one place.

You can also integrate Slack with other productivity apps such as to manage projects and workflow. This is great if you want to avoid inbox overflow, which is all the more likely to happen as most of us transition into working from home. For more advice on productive home working, check out this article.
2. Zoom

Zoom is a video conferencing platform which works with Mac, Windows, iPhone and Android devices. It allows you to schedule video and voice calls, dial in from a landline or from your mobile phone. All you have to do is create the call and send a link over to the attendees! Zoom’s basic free plan allows you to host a video call with up to 100 participants, making it ideal for business meetings. An essential app for working from home.

3. Trello

This list-making, web-based app allows you to create visual project boards and to-do lists. It’s great for those working from home because it allows team members to collaborate on projects by seeing what tasks need to be done, who’s working on what and what tasks are still outstanding. Additionally, Trello’s great for managing workload as it allows you to see who’s strapped for time and who has the capacity to devote more time to projects. It’s also another free app!

4. Google Suite

We couldn’t write this post without including the Google Suite, the ultimate tool for collaborative remote working. The Google Suite replaces your Microsoft package and allows team members to view and edit the same documents as you in real time. Google Docs is an alternative to Word, allowing you to create word documents online. You can see what changes people have made, make comments on specific areas of text, and allow everyone to contribute. Google Sheets replaces Excel and has the same sharing capabilities, Google Slides is your new Powerpoint and is great for sharing presentations. Google Hangouts is ideal for remote calls and meetings. A collaborative working must-have.

5. Clockify

Clockify acts as a web-based timesheet tool for businesses and teams to track who is spending the most time on what. You can organise time spent by project, completion time or due date. The app also lets you track hours by type, such as time spent on administration, overall attendance and billable client hours. It’s also completely free and allows unlimited users.

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