Remote working is one the hottest trends going in the world of business, with more and more employees seeking out companies that offer this as an option at the very least. But, in addition to this, it’s becoming far more commonplace to for companies to outsource and hire freelancers for specific projects or collaborate with employees across national and international offices.
While working from home is important to employees, business owners understandably still expect a high level of productivity during the working day. Thankfully, there are a whole host of working from home tools that make communication, productivity tracking, collaboration, and management far easier to handle for remote workers.
When considering how to work from home effectively, it’s essential that you prepare ahead of time by making use of the tools available to you. Check out our five must-have tools for remote working or head over to the Human Resources page to find more of our articles there.
Why is it important to have employees working from home?
Job satisfaction and workplace culture plays an enormous role in employee retention. The cost of onboarding (and the time it takes up) can be extremely difficult for HR departments to handle at the best of times, especially if an employee is needlessly lost because of a retro workplace culture.
Employees that are exploring how to work from home typically desire greater freedoms and may have personal commitments that require a modern, flexible working day. Sadly, there are still a lot of companies out there that seem unable to embrace this change for the betterment of all parties involved.
Giving a little can go a long way in increasing employee satisfaction and productivity as a direct result. However, there are factors you’ll need to take into account when drawing up your remote working policy for employees.
What are some of the problems that companies face?
For those not used to remote working, the sudden entry into such a relaxed working environment can cause a dip in productivity. This is why it’s vital to have all of the tools you need to communicate and streamline workflows at your disposal.
You can’t simply hope to have an efficient remote working process by relying on email and phones alone. Therefore, you need to work out which tools are absolutely essential for your team to perform their duties as well as those which can help to elevate employee productivity even further.
What are the best working from home tools?
Slack has taken the professional world by storm, with many businesses reaping the benefits of the instant messaging platform’s simple-to-use interface. With Slack, you can easily communicate with co-workers by organising conversations into groups, topics, and projects. Additionally, you can sync many other remote tools with Slack and easily send files; making this platform an all-in-one solution for remote working.
As a free-to-use team management tool (there is a paid version available too), Asana makes it straightforward for management to assign tasks to colleagues and then organise these tasks into specific projects. Team members can quickly ascertain the progress of group projects and also access to-do lists that relate to specific roles or employees. Asana also makes it simple to upload files and share links to Google Docs and Dropbox.
Collaboration between remote workers can present challenges for managers as there are time zone issues that need to be taken into account. Keeping track of different time zones is a task in itself, so EveryTimeZone makes it simple to stay ahead of this and keep your team’s workflow moving along without interruptions.
Dropbox has firmly cemented itself as the first choice for many businesses when it comes to online file storage. Quick, easy and free, Dropbox makes it super easy to grant access to co-workers by sending invitations to files and folders for quick collaboration work. As an added bonus, Dropbox is fully integrated with Microsoft office and many remote office tools, such as Slack.
Knowing you have motivated, hardworking people around you can really help to boost your own productivity as well as the rest of your team. With iDoneThis, teams collate individual and group accomplishments on a daily basis which is then shared with team members at the start of the following day. This helps keep people motivated and also keeps everyone up to date with what’s been going on and what needs to be done.
Are you still trying to figure out how to work from home efficiently? To learn more about what our experienced team recommends for the optimal remote working set up, please contact Saxons today.