It seems like the Coronavirus is dominating the news as of late. Along with major conferences being canceled, there is news about companies asking workers to go remote to prevent the virus from spreading. For large companies like Apple and Google, they likely have a lot of the tools in place for their employees to go remote since they have offices around the world.
For smaller organizations, employees may lack the expertise to know which tools will help their employees stay productive and stay in communication with each other. I’ve been doing some research around these tools over the past few weeks as a safety measure, so here are some apps for remote working.
Zoom is something I’ve been researching as of late as my school is making backup plans for distance learning if the situation arises. With Zoom, you can hold a large meeting for internal communication, easily display your screen, and then save the recordings offline. If you meet with customers, you can set up one on one meetings with ease. In my testing, I was quite impressed with the annotation tools that it offers.
If your organization doesn’t have a tool like Google Drive or OneDrive deployed for file sharing, you might check out Box or Dropbox. These tools will allow you to upload documents and securely share them internally or externally. A file sharing service is an essential app for remote working.
I’ve been using Spike as my primary email client for the past few weeks. I’ll have a full review coming up soon, but it’s helped turn my email into a messaging machine. It strips away all the fluff of email, and it makes it feel like an iMessage interface. It also includes voice and video chat, so if you don’t want to deploy something like Zoom, Spike can handle it all.
A very popular app for remote working is Basecamp. The folks behind it all work remotely, so it’s built for remote teams. They are also behind the Remote book
The Industrial Revolution’s “under one roof” model of conducting work is steadily declining as technology creates virtual workspaces that allow employees to provide their vital contribution without physically clustering together. Today, the new paradigm is “move work to the workers, rather than workers to the workplace.”
Remote work increases the talent pool, reduces turnover, lessens the real estate footprint, and improves the ability to conduct business across multiple time zones, to name just a few advantages. As Fried and Hansson explain the challenges and unexpected benefits of this phenomenon, they show why—with a few controversial exceptions such as Yahoo–more businesses will want to promote this model of getting things done.
Slack / Microsoft Teams
Tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams have become very popular in recent years. They help eliminate emails and funnel everything into either group channels or direct messages. They support a wide variety of integrations as well. You can create channels for projects, groups of people, and more. They include mobile apps for staying in the loop while on the go as well.
Moving from in-office to a remote environment can be a challenge. Using a tool like Klokki, you can do time tracking with a native application. Tracking your time on the Mac is a great way to keep your employer informed of how you are spending your time while you are working from home. If you need a team based solution, check out Harvest.
If you need to use SFTP to connect to corporate servers, Transmit is going to be an essential for app for remote working.. I’ve been a customer for years. Transmit works with services like Backblaze B2, Box, Google Drive, DreamObjects, Dropbox, Microsoft Azure, and Rackspace Cloud Files. Of course, it works with FTP, SFTP, and S3 as well.
If your team doesn’t have a centralized password manager, now is the time to do so. If your team is going remote, a 1Password for Teams account is a great solution. You can create shared vaults, store corporate passwords, create secure notes, and more. You can manage your team from a single interface as well.
Wrap up on apps for remote working
If your office is preparing to start working remotely, I hope this list of apps will help you make the transition. It’s important to stay in communication and on top of projects, but in a way that works for all employees and employers. Thankfully, most of the tools that are subscription-based can be used on a month to month basis, so you aren’t committed for a long period. Is your office going to start working remotely? If so, do you have any other apps or services you recommend?