The last two years have brought big changes into our lives. This includes business as well. Companies that offered the ability to work from home used to be rare. Also, most employees used to work remotely only for a few days of the week.
However, the pandemic has made many businesses that haven’t even considered allowing their staff to work from home do just that. Some thrived in this new environment, while others struggled. However, every company faced the necessity to implement new software tools to help their teams coordinate. Here are the best work from home tools that will help your employees remain on top of things.
1. Time Analytics
If you haven’t considered getting a timesheet software solution before, having a remote team has surely made you understand the importance of such platforms. It is crucial for all employees to track their time and tasks so you can allocate the expenses and billable rates to appropriate clients.
Paper timesheets are an extremely unpractical solution for a remote team. On the other hand, if you’ve tried using Excel templates, you know you have to manually allocate hours and coordinate the documents.
This is where Time Analytics comes in. The platform is very simple to use and won’t be a problem even for the less computer-savvy employees. What is even better is that it does all the allocating for you, but also turns your employees’ data into comprehensive reports you can use to make informed business decisions. Time utilization, overtime calculation, and many other important KPIs will be at your fingertips with this simple and intuitive tool.
Time Analytics also shows profit margins. This will enable you to identify your most valuable clients and those who cost you more money than you make from them. In other words, you will be able to optimize profitability with ease, as the platform will do all necessary calculations.
Worried about communication among your team members? Slack is here to make your problems go away. Slack is a team communication tool that enables teams to collaborate and fix issues instantaneously. The platform features individual and group chat functions, as well as audio and video call tools.
You can use Slack beside other tools as well, as it features numerous integrations. This program allows teams to synchronize in mere moments no matter where the employees are. It also offers a mobile and a web app, so your team will be able to be updated on projects and changes on the go.
This simple project management tool is a lifesaver for many managers. It functions based on different boards and cards that signify tasks. These cards can be located in different columns to indicate whether a task or a project is finished or a work in progress.
Simply put, Trello allows managers to see the progress of all projects at a single glance and understand whether they are short-staffed or need to find a solution for a particularly stubborn problem. Controlling the cards is easy, as employees only need to drag and drop them to signify that they have started or finished a task.
If you prefer using Gantt charts, Instagannt is a great option for you. Again, this project management tool helps you visualize the progress of different tasks and projects. This platform prides itself on its attractive design and is easy to use.
If your company works on a multitude of similar projects you can create and save templates for later use and make project management that much simpler.
Instagantt will notify you about nearing deadlines and offer information about priorities and risks. It also sends notifications to signify different milestones. Using this system allows you to streamline an entire project.
It is well known that getting lost in a lengthy email exchange and waiting for a reply are some of the most common time-wasting activities in business. Hence, many employers are looking for a way to prevent these exchanges. If you want to learn who is communicating well and in a timely way, EmailAnalytics is the tool for you.
As you know, communication drives business. However, it is difficult to keep the same level of communication when your colleagues are all working from home. That is why it’s crucial to keep email exchange efficient. This tool allows just that, as it analyzes both the frequency and response time of your team.
Zoom has become one of the staples of the last two years. Even if you’ve never used it, you must have heard of it. And for a good reason. Namely, Zoom offers high-quality video calls, which makes it integral to any conference call.
However, a simple call isn’t Zoom’s biggest advantage. The video recording feature allows users to create troubleshooting or educational videos for the entire company. This is a great addition to your arsenal of work from home tools, as many employees aren’t very good with computers, but can watch a video and repeat the steps they see in it.
Employers in the creative and design field know that traditional ways to manage projects can be insufficient for their workers. Milanote makes creating projects a fun and aesthetically pleasing experience for the artists in us.
Even though there are many liberties your team can take with this platform, it also offers hundreds of templates to help them figure out their preferred way of work. They can add notes and to-do lists too, to make sure they don’t forget a key component or a minor detail.
Privacy is Milanote’s great advantage, as employees can brainstorm in their private spaces. Then, once they are satisfied with the results or get stuck, they can share their space with coworkers. This level of customizability between private and public could be exactly what starts driving your team forward.
8. Google Workspace
We could never talk about the best software for working remotely without mentioning Google Workspace. Google has given its users an opportunity to create a virtual office, a knowledge base, and a collaboration space all in one.
The toolkit offers many features and is updated for all team members simultaneously. It combines the possibilities Google Drive, Google Docs and other tools offer, and is one of the most versatile tools on our list.
As video calls became an integral part of doing business, we have learned not everyone has space appropriate for a home office. While people make do with what they have, Krisp came up with a way to make conference calls more accessible.
Krisp is a communication app for remote work, and its primary function is to cancel background noise during calls. This way the entire team won’t have to be distracted by pets, children, traffic, and other noisemakers.
Even though the line between personal and professional life has been very blurred for a while now, your team will be grateful for being able to conduct calls with no interruptions.
This tool is extremely useful to companies that have a remote workforce scattered all over the world. Being in a different time zone than your manager is never a great situation. Especially so if you have an urgent issue. Hence, you may want to give your employee a call and try to troubleshoot the problem.
However, the employee will not be thrilled about being woken up in the middle of the night or called back to work after clocking out. That is why Timezone.io offers an easy way to check whether you can call specific team members.
This work from home software shows an overview of different time zones and helps managers know whether an employee is available or not. Additionally, it is a great way to schedule a meeting without finding anyone in their pajamas.
11. Chimp or Champ
Not being able to see your coworkers doesn’t mean you should stop caring about the team’s wellbeing. Chimp or Champ is an app for remote work that allows all employees to express how work is affecting them.
Feedback is crucial for maintaining and leading a happy and productive team. The app will let all employees express their feelings through a happiness meter you use once a week. When you get the results, you will understand whether you can keep up the tempo or need to check in with your employees.
If the level of happiness is low, you will need to intervene, as a burnt-out team is the last thing you want. Usually redistributing some of the workloads can help, but there may be other problems, personal and business alike, you will have to work around.
Handling customer support without a dedicated team is a challenge in and of itself. However, doing so while your team is scattered around can turn into a real nightmare. That is why many companies need helpdesk work from home tools. LiveAgent is our choice in this case.
The platform offers a ticketing system, a live-chat feature, a call center, etc. That is why it is considered one of the most professional customer support solutions out there. All you need to do is set up your preferences, and it will automatically distribute tickets to the departments that need to fix the issue.
Connecting to your team and cheering them on is as important as ever. With each employee working from home and not being able to see their manager daily, it is easy to forget to express praise. Simply put, you will want to congratulate an employee for doing an outstanding job to motivate them further. However, having your own obligations, and not being able to simply go to their office will probably make you forget this.
WooBoard is a work from home app created to give credit where it’s due. Never miss an opportunity to let your team know you appreciate them with a reward or public praise. As the app works similarly to a social media platform, all coworkers will be able to congratulate the top performers and become more united.
Keeping things organized is difficult enough in an office. However, trying to schedule a group call while not knowing everyone’s schedules can turn into a nightmare. 10to8 can help you avoid time clashes and get everyone on the same page.
This work from home app enables users to synchronize their obligations and arrange meetings with ease. However, internal communication is just one of the features this platform offers. Possibly, more importantly, you will be able to schedule meetings with your clients.
Additionally, 10to8 integrates with Zoom seamlessly, so you’ll never be late or look unprofessional.
Another collaboration work from home tool, Miro helps teams stay in the loop when it comes to projects. It allows its users to streamline all tasks necessary to complete a project. Then you can delegate those tasks and get an insight into the progress of each step.
You can use the program to brainstorm, keep all ideas in one place and communicate about the project as it goes on. This is important to teams that do numerous revisions and tests before finishing a project. It also benefits managers and QA testers, as they can access every part of the project at all times to revise them.
You may be thinking we are offering too many different solutions. Especially so if you are already using some software solutions to make work from home easier. And we hear and understand you. That is why we have chosen Zapier as the last entry to this list.
Zapier is a work from home software solution that focuses on task automation and app synchronization. It is a very handy tool, as it allows your staff to use connect multiple tools and use them simultaneously. If you want the benefits of different apps with the simplicity of using a single platform with all necessary information – Zapier is the solution for you.
Making sure each of your employees has a home office with all the equipment and tools they need is a big feat. There are many moving parts, especially in larger organizations. So, you will need to inc=vest some time and a lot of care to make sure everything is functioning well.
We have offered you a wide variety of different tools. This means you most probably won’t need each entry on this list. Think about the demands of your industry and the way your employees work while in-office. Then see which tools are the most fitting for your work style and company culture.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on different work from home tools, but you need to find the best ones for you. As there are many new applications on the market we wanted to allow you to see emerging high-quality platforms and old favorites that have been tested again and again.
We hope this article has given you a few new ideas on how to improve your workflow and interpersonal relationships in your team.
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