Let’s begin this with an interesting post I read on LinkedIn during the pandemic. The post titled “I’m not missing too much” talks about how a CEO traveled between cities almost every day and got back home on Friday to spend the weekend with family.
In a gist, the CEO does not wish to get back to the pre-covid routine where traveling and showing up physically at meetings is a mandate. Instead, he vouches for initial meetings to happen over video calling, which has become a new normal for most people worldwide.
The time spent with kids and getting on shorter but regular conversations has made him realize that life is not just about worrying for seminal talks with kids.
On that note, let’s hit the right cord and understand how to master the art of work from home with a set of powerful tools.
The overall impact of work from home
- As per a Gartner HR survey, 41% of employees are likely to work remotely for some time even post the Coronavirus pandemic.
- As per a study carried out with 229 HR professionals on April 2, 2020, reveals that approximately 50% of businesses have recorded about 81% or more employees that are already operating remotely.
- A Gartner survey carried out with 317 CFOs and Finance leaders on March 30, 2020, reveals that 74% of the leaders intend to permanently shift a minimum of 5% of the previously on-site workforce to permanent work from home pattern.
These numbers might be surprising, but they portray a clear picture of how the world of business is dealing with the pandemic situation.
As per experts, “We’re being forced into the world’s largest work-from-home experiment, and, so far, it hasn’t been easy for a lot of organizations to implement.”
Challenges faced in quarantine setup
Before 2020 work from home was a luxury. It was an opportunity given to a few or only during times when it was absolutely necessary. However, with stringent social distancing guidelines, working remotely is the only feasible alternative available with many employers.
Besides flexibility and freedom from long travel hours, work from home brings several challenges for the employer.
Communication is the most common issue faced by business, and a remote work setup adds to the complexity. Elements such as schedule flexibility, the difference in time zones, and external problems, such as connectivity, create issues with the workflow.
As per the State of Remote Work 2020, 20% of respondents mention that their biggest struggle in work from home pattern is communication and collaboration.
Overworked employees and struggles of managing time off
Almost everyone working from home is happy to eliminate traffic and the hectic travel routine. But even after saving commute time, it often becomes difficult for employees to log out from their systems at a set time owing to factors such as conference calls, chats, emails, team members in different time zones, and other notifications.
This is what gets employees overworked and adds to stress levels that can hamper productivity.
Hardware and software issues
While business operations take place from the office premises, it is easy for the employer to fulfill every requirement related to hardware and software on a timely basis. But that is not the case in a work from home scenario, which is one of the primary reasons responsible for inconsistencies and poor productivity.
Mentioned above are just a few yet real issues faced by employers who have adopted the concept of work from home for a large chunk of the workforce.
As aptly quoted by Rona Mlnarik, “If the challenge exists, so must the solution.”
Therefore, it is time to deal with it with a powerful toolkit.
Most recommended work from home tools that make life easy and support productivity
For project management
Managing multiple remote teams and several projects can be a daunting task, especially in the remote work environment. ProofHub comes to the rescue, as this tool is a comprehensive project management software.
ProofHub is designed to manage an unlimited number of projects at a time and can deal with remote teams (irrespective of the size and industry).
By leveraging ProofHub, businesses can,
- Manage project tasks
- Monitor work hours
- Generate reports
Additionally, it also combines various collaboration tools meant for remote teams such as file storage and sharing, built-in chat, markup tools, and more.
List of other project management tools to explore,
Driven by the concept and tagline, “Get more things done, together,” Chanty offers a streamlined communications platform for users.
Powered by AI, Chanty is a team chat app that can be used for instant communication with remote teammates. Unlike other professional messaging tools, Chanty allows users to create and assign tasks and also start discussions with just a single click. It also has a Teambook feature that can be used to organize files, conversations, and even pin messages.
Other apps in the genre to be explored,
- Microsoft Teams
For sharing files and documents
Google drive happens to be one of the finest and most popular tools used by several teams across the globe to store and share files. The highly updated and secure tool facilitates sharing documents, audio files, presentations, videos, and even photos with remote team members.
Besides, data stored on Google Drive is highly secure and gives the user the authority to choose people who they want to grant access to the files and documents they own.
Other tools in the genre,
- Microsoft One Drive
Transitioning to remote working can be challenging for both the employer and the employee. Therefore, it is essential to strike a balance by investing in the most suitable collaboration and communication tools needed to streamline business operations.
Other than the tools mentioned above, here is a broad picture of tools necessary for smooth remote business functions. Make your choices wisely.
- Mobile hotspots
- Team chatting apps
- Screen sharing software
- Video conferencing apps
- Online office suites
- Cloud storage
- Project management software
- Security tools
- Focus app
- Automation tools