A couple of years ago, working from home was never an option for many employers. However, when you consider the fact that sometimes productivity levels of the employees working from home increases, it won’t be a bad idea to adopt working from home.
Since February, many businesses have had to shut down in different parts of the world. The reason, COVID-19 which is stealthily spreading like wildfire. This is bad news for businesses. It is even worse in Nigeria where most businesses are still trying to find their feet.
As a Nigerian SME, adopting the work from home technique can actually be a blessing. Already several businesses are doing this. Examples include Cars45, Carbon, and DSTV to mention a few. You must have gotten a mail from these individuals that they will be working from home until further notice if you are on their database.
You also can become more productive in this period by switching to this method. We have put together 10 tools that you need to know and take advantage of while working from home. To make it easier for you, we have split them into categories based on their functions.
Cloud Storage Services
Storage has always been a challenge which is why entrepreneurs need to adopt cloud storage services. They make it easy to store information and share them with team members and clients easily.
Sending large files over email is not really convenient. First of all, most mailing services have a limit to the sizes of attachments. With Dropbox, you can share as many large files as you want with members of your team or clients. The idea revolves around syncing, sharing, and collaborating on work documents. This is made possible by the API of the Dropbox storage system.
Storing files can be really worrying, especially if you are running short of storage space on your device. What do you think about having a centralized location where you can store all your office work and share with other team members? This is exactly what Google presents in its Google Drive cloud storage. The platform also helps in reporting weekly metrics. Since it can be synced across devices, your team members can view its contents from any location.
Project Management Tools
Using emails is not advisable for handling all of your business. If you have a team working remotely on a project, you can organize tasks and documents easily using a project management system.
Many remote teams all over the world have already adopted ProofHub in bringing their work to a central virtual location. Interaction among team members over this platform is seamless and it is easy to involve clients as well. Several features have been integrated with this platform including discussions, online proofing, remote management of projects, and chats. If you are seeking a way to be more efficient on projects while working from home, consider ProofHub.
There are several reasons why Basecamp has become really popular among freelancers, managers, and project teams. Some of these reasons include ease of use and access, clean design, and amazing functionality. With Basecamp you can manage your team and also communicate with your clients very easily.
There is a range of features on this platform that ensure ease in organizing conversations, sharing ideas, and maintaining clear communication channels. There are few limitations, however, but many consider them inconsequential. Some of these limitations include no subtasks, no time tracking, and no team hierarchy.
There is still no perfect app so you can make do with this to satisfy your project management needs while working from home. The peculiarity of your needs will determine if the tool is suitable for your business or not.
Team Collaboration Tools
For so many businesses today, their different teams have to work from remote locations. Even after the current situation, this is likely to become a norm. With this comes one major challenge, communication gaps. This is why you need a strong team collaboration tool to help curtail these communication issues.
Who doesn’t love Slack? It makes remote messaging pretty easy for business teams. On this digital platform, sharing ideas and comments in real-time is brisk and efficient. This ensures that members of your team can keep communicating regardless of their location. As an entrepreneur, it helps you manage your different teams and moderate discussions remotely.
There is a tendency for people to lose steam and become less productive when working remotely. With a productivity tool, you can fix this very easily among your team members and personally.
If you like to geek out on organizational tasks then you should consider using Todoist. It comes with several features such as tasks and subtasks, the creation of new projects, file uploads, and reminders. The productivity chart makes it easier to track productivity and project progress.
Time Management Tools
Working from home comes with several distractions, soon enough, you are carried away with that TV show and you lose track of time. Manage your time using any of these tools.
Use this tool to boost productivity by tracking each hour’s work. With this tool, you are able to invoice tracked time along with expenses. Simply export the report in CSV, PDF, or XLS formats.
This tool helps you track your team members and how they utilize time remotely. As such, they become accountable for every second of your working hours. It even comes with an alert feature to boost productivity.
Asides tracking yourself, you can also track what your employees are doing at a particular time. Some of the amazing features include employee scheduling, online timesheets, screen monitoring, and payroll software, to mention a few.
Note-taking is very important if you will record that inspired moment that will influence your productivity.
This tool solves the note-taking problem for team members working from home. It helps to organize notes while syncing them across all connected devices. Evernote is just like your pocket notebook or organizer, only with this, you can share ideas with your team.
Technology has placed all these tools in your pocket as you can install them on your smartphones too. Did you just say “work from home just became sweeter?” You are right if you did. Simply avail yourself of these amazing tools and you’ll keep your business running regardless of your location.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Samuel Moore is a freelance writer, consultant, and speaker who has experience in several fields including business development, branding, and finance. He aims to reach young entrepreneurs and SMEs with his ideas to help them grow and become established in the market.