As the nation (if not, to a lesser or greater degree, the world) remains home to help slow the spread of COVID-19, more Americans than ever before are actively working from home. While some businesses have been fully or partially home-based pre-pandemic, for some working and collaborating remotely is a brand new experience.
With the global situation weighing on our shoulders, working from home can feel like an added stress. However, conducting your business and managing your team remotely can be easier than you think!
Here are some of our favorite digital tools that may help your working from home experience be more productive:
Internal and customer communication
Staying in constant communication with your employees has never been easier! From chat to video calls, these tools offer a wide range of support solutions for you and your team.
Slack (free or premium plans available)
This communication tool has become essential to how many businesses’ employees converse with each other. With this software, you’re able to create different channels based on topics, send and receive direct messages with individual people, and make audio and video calls. This app is available on all major operating systems.
Microsoft Teams (free)
This tool is the hub for team collaboration in Office 365 that hosts all of your team conversations, files, meetings, and apps in a single workspace. Like Slack, this tool allows you to create group conversations, individual conversations, and make audio and video calls. This is the best internal chat option for any company that uses Office 365.
When it comes to interacting with your clients and customers during this time, you may want to take it one step further than a simple phone call! We recommend trying out video calls when appropriate
Google Meet (free)
Meet provides enterprise-grade video conferencing built on Google’s secure infrastructure. The tool is fully integrated with G Suite, so if you’re a Gmail user, you can schedule and join meetings right from a Calendar event or an email invite. Every meeting automatically includes its own dial-in information, so your guests can dial in quickly with just a few taps on their smartphone!
Whereby (free or premium plans available)
Whereby is a great tool that allows you to host video meetings directly in a web browser, without your guests having to download any software or create an account to join the call. This tool also generates a simple, custom link that you can email to your clients for easy access.
Team collaboration and organization
Google Docs (Free within G Suite)
With Google Docs, you and your employees can work on the same document simultaneously to allow for everyone to add their input, and ensure that everyone is on the same page about a business item. The types of files that can be created are in the form of documents, sheets, and slides, and are similar to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. You can also edit these docs on the web or through Google’s mobile apps.
Dropbox and Dropbox Paper (free or premium plans available)
Dropbox allows you to upload and transfer files to others easily and in an organized fashion. Dropbox paper is a free tool that allows you to create, share, and keep your team in sync. You can assign to-dos, add due dates, and mention specific people right in the doc you’re working on. You can also use one of their smart templates to create meeting agendas, transform a doc into a professional-looking presentation, and follow up on overdue items.
Asana (free or premium plans available)
Asana allows teams to plan, organize, and execute work in every area of your business, from HR to marketing to sales. You can track all items in a single workspace without having to shuffle between spreadsheets, emails, and other various tools.
Basecamp (free or a premium flat fee)
Basecamp breaks up your work into separate projects, and each project contains everything related to the work at hand. This includes people involved, every discussion, every document, file, task, important date, etc. The tool includes message boards, to-dos, docs and files, group chats, and automatic check-ins.
As a small business owner, you need to make the most of the resources available to you.! The world may feel uncontrollable right now, so it’s extra important to focus on what you can control because that’s how you (and your business) will come out of this situation on top.
Questions, comments, or ideas you’d like to share? Call, DM, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would like to hear from you!