It is no secret that with the recent outbreak of COVID19, Working remotely has become a major buzz word all around the world. Both Small and Large scale organizations have to adopt to this new normality in life. This paradigm shift have to be done in order to sustain the businesses in long term. So it is important to identify what are the tools available for you. You may be a designer, a developer, a project manager or even a freelancer. These tools will make your life easy during this difficult period of time.
To make it clear, we can categorize the tools needed under the below sections.
- Project Management
Effective Tools to Communicate while Working Remotely
A major portion of every business is Communication. It is of paramount importance to get it right in the most effective way. One of the major challenge you face while remote working is to replace the One-on-One sessions and group meetings with your employees. For example: Stand up meeting for Developers, Design discussions etc). The following tools will help you overcome those hazels.
Zoom provide you the means to effectively remote conference with your team. This can be installed within minutes as the process is fairly simple. The host can create a virtual meeting room (with or without password) and share the meeting code with the team. It has both a desktop and a mobile app and support video conferencing as well. The layout is very easy to understand. While the conference is going you can chat via privately/with everyone in the meeting room.
Small Businesses can benefit from Zoom as it comes as the basic plan is a free software with limitations. (Such as 100 Participants, 40 minutes group call). If you are in a budget this is a great deal.
The Pro version for $14.99/month is recommended for Small and Medium Size business. It comes with more handy features and capabilities for telecommuting. You can check all the features and pricing via this link.
Whereby is a tool which allows IT Professionals/Developer to easily manage their work remotely. One of the best advantage of Wherby is, it supports video conferencing in the browser itself. So, you don’t have to separately download an extension/software to get going with Wherby.
This is a great video call solution for Medium Sized teams to perform their telecommuting jobs easily. It is a one click solution, with a simple URL to follow with mobile support as well. The free version can cater up to 50 people.However the paid versions have greater functions and flexibility. You can refer the pricing from this link.
TeamViewer is available for all Windows, IOS, and Linux. It can be used to purposes other than Video Conferencing, such as Screen sharing, File Transfer, Clipboard transfer etc. Team leaders can monitor the work of their team members in a live manner being in their desktop while telecommuting. It is easy to setup and free to use. Put simply it is a great solution which brings up a different perspective which are not addressed deeply through the above mentioned tools.
Effective tools to Collaborate between employees in Telecommuting jobs
Microsoft teams is a Unified Platform to manage, chat, video conference and collaborate between teammates while working remotely. It is more of a professional service, so if you are a registered company, you will have to purchase it using standard license. It is a chat based tool where you can share ideas on documentation, one on one chat, team chat and more. There is a free version in Microsoft team which can support up to 300 people to collaborate together with unlimited chat. The paid version starts at $12.50 which is a great deal if you are working remotely.
Being the main competitor for Microsoft Teams, Slack is a Cloud based collaboration tool. It enable its user to chat, private message, assign tasks, create groups and collaborate more effectively while telecommuting. However one of the major advantage Slack has over Microsoft Team is, it is not bounded with the Software package Microsoft Offers (Office 365).
Slack has the capability to merge with other technologies such as Jira, which is used for ticketing, and manage tickets being in the tool itself. However you need a bit of technological knowledge as the work in Slack could easily achieved through knowing the relevant commands, than click events. The whole company can be deployed inside chat, and relevant teams can be created accordingly with necessary permissions. Slack is free to use with limitations, but if you are a medium sized enterprise, it is recommended to use the paid versions based on your requirements.
Best tools to Project Management while Working Remotely
Trello is such a simple and effective tool when it comes to managing tasks, stories, bugs and what not. The whole project management life-cycle is put into a simple app which is very easy to understand and deploy as well. Trello is recommended to be kept in your backpack even when you are not working remotely for the smooth flow of the business.
To put things into perspective, Trello is a virtual Bulletin board, where you can pin cards based on their completion level, time track, assign cards, comment and attach file as well. It uses the Kan-ban method of task management which is ideal for all types of businesses. It can be considered as a project management tools which is simple, effective and lightweight.
Unlike Trello, Asana tool mainly focuses on Workflow management rather than task management (which is the conventional project management style). Thus it can be categorized as a work management software which can be deployed inside a small team. However it possess all the functionalities of a project management tool.
Project creation, work assignment, commenting, time tracking and deadline specification can be done via Asana. Asana has a broader set of features when compared to other project management tools, which adopts a task-oriented approach. It is free to use for up to 15 people.
I have summarized some great tools to get going with working remotely above. These are the tools which are mostly used among small-medium and large scale companies around the world. With telecommuting jobs taking a great leap forward with the recent outbreak of COVID19, I am sure there will be much more greater tools to with more features that enable us to work remotely in a more effective way.
If you have experienced these tools, or if you find out more greater tools than this, feel free to comment your ideas as well.
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