The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to work remotely, and it’s clear that remote work is here to stay. While working from home offers many benefits, it also presents unique challenges that can impact productivity and efficiency. Fortunately, there are many tools available that can help you work effectively and efficiently from anywhere. Here are 7 must-have tools for effective remote work:
Video conferencing software is essential for remote work, since it allows you to communicate face-to-face with colleagues and clients, host virtual meetings, and share screens and presentations. The best video conferencing tools are:
- Zoom is a cloud-based platform that provides video conferencing, webinars, and screen sharing features. It has become popular due to its ease of use, reliability, and high-quality video and audio. It also offers virtual backgrounds, breakout rooms, and the ability to record meetings.
- Google Meet is a video conferencing tool offered by Google as part of its suite of productivity tools, including Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar. It offers similar features to Zoom, including screen sharing, virtual backgrounds, and the ability to record meetings. It integrates seamlessly with other Google products and is free to use for anyone with a Google account.
- Microsoft Teams is a collaboration platform offered by Microsoft that includes video conferencing, chat, file sharing, and project management features. It is designed to be used by teams and organizations for remote work and collaboration. It offers similar features to Zoom and Google Meet, as well as integration with other Microsoft tools like Outlook and OneDrive.
- Project management software
Project management software can help you stay organized and on track when working remotely. These tools allow you to create and assign tasks, set deadlines, and monitor progress:
- Bordio is a useful tool for anyone looking to stay organized and manage their daily and weekly commitments more effectively, particularly for teams working on complex projects with multiple tasks and deadlines. Bordio has a free daily planner where you can schedule your tasks and set reminders.
- Jira is a popular project management tool for software development teams. It offers features such as issue tracking, sprint planning, and agile project management, making it a useful tool for software development projects.
- Monday.com is a cloud-based project management platform that is designed to help teams collaborate and manage their tasks and workflows more efficiently. It provides a customizable visual interface that allows users to create and organize projects, tasks, and teams in a highly visual and intuitive way.
- Cloud storage
Cloud storage solutions like Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive enable you to access your files from anywhere with an internet connection. These tools also enable you to collaborate on files with team members and share files with clients and vendors. Cloud storage solutions also provide a secure and reliable backup of your files.
- Google Drive is integrated with other Google apps, such as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, allowing users to create and collaborate on documents in real-time. Google Drive offers a range of features, such as folder sharing, access controls, and version history, making it a versatile tool for personal and business use.
- Dropbox offers free and paid plans, with features such as file syncing, sharing, and collaboration. Dropbox also integrates with a range of third-party apps and tools, allowing users to streamline their workflows and automate file management.
- Onedrive allows users to store and share files and folders in the cloud. It is integrated with other Microsoft apps, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, allowing users to create and collaborate on documents in real-time.
- Time tracking software
Time-tracking software can help you stay accountable and focused when working remotely. These tools enable you to track your time spent on tasks and projects, analyze your productivity, and identify areas where you can improve.
- Toggl is a simple time tracking tool that allows users to track their time on tasks and projects. It provides a timer that can be started and stopped as needed, with the ability to add notes and tags to each time entry.
- Harvest is a time tracking and invoicing tool that allows users to track time, expenses, and project budgets. It also offers features such as invoicing, team collaboration, and project management.
- RescueTime automatically tracks users’ time on websites, apps, and tasks, providing insights and reports on how time is being spent. RescueTime also offers a range of features to help users stay focused and avoid distractions, such as alerts for when they spend too much time on certain activities.
- Communication tools
Communication tools can help you stay connected with colleagues and clients, share ideas, and collaborate in real time. These tools also enable you to set up channels for specific projects or teams, making it easy to communicate about specific topics.
- Slack is a cloud-based messaging platform that allows users to send direct messages, create channels for group discussions, and share files and documents. Slack also offers a range of integrations with other apps and tools, allowing users to streamline their workflows and improve productivity.
- Google Chat, formerly known as Hangouts Chat, is a messaging and collaboration platform from Google that is designed for business users. It allows users to send direct messages, create rooms for group discussions, and share files and documents.
- Virtual private network (VPN)
A VPN is essential for secure remote work. VPN software protects your sensitive data and keeps your internet activity private. A VPN creates a secure, encrypted connection between your computer and the internet, preventing hackers from accessing your data.
- ExpressVPN is a leading VPN provider that offers secure and private internet access to users. It allows users to connect to servers located in different countries and encrypts all internet traffic to protect user data from interception and surveillance. ExpressVPN also hides users’ IP addresses, making it difficult for online entities to track their online activities.
- NordVPN uses military-grade encryption and advanced security protocols to protect users’ data and privacy. It also offers features such as a kill switch, which automatically disconnects users from the internet if their VPN connection is disrupted.
- CyberGhost allows users to access geo-restricted content, such as streaming services and websites that may be blocked in certain countries. The service offers fast and stable connections, with servers located in over 90 countries.
- Productivity tools
Productivity tools can help you stay focused and avoid distractions when working remotely. These tools enable you to block distracting websites and apps, create timers for focused work sessions, and even play the music that’s designed to boost productivity. The best productivity tools are:
- Focus@Will is a web-based service that provides personalized background music to help users stay focused and productive.
- Forest is designed to help users stay focused and productive by gamifying the process of avoiding distractions. The app uses a virtual tree-planting metaphor to encourage users to stay focused and avoid using their phones while they are working or studying.
- ColdTurkey is a desktop application that helps users block distracting websites and applications during work hours. You can set up a customizable list of websites or apps to block and choose when and for how long to block them.
In conclusion, these 7 must-have tools for effective remote work can help you stay connected, organized, and productive no matter where you work. By leveraging these tools, you can optimize your workflow and achieve your goals, all while working from the comfort of your own home.