With so many businesses who had never even considered remote working as an option having to introduce it with extreme haste, it is not surprising that there are some “hiccoughs” out there.
I thought it may be helpful to pull together some information on tools which may be helpful to busy managers who do not have the time to do the research.
There are loads of tools out there, but I have selected the ones that I myself have used, or which have been recommended to me by colleagues/associates.
This is not an endorsement of any of the packages. It is intended for information purposes only.
Also, in many instances Sales Tax may be added on to the price that you see on the site at the end of the transaction. This will add approximately 10% on to the price.
Anyway, here we go. Hope you find it useful.
File Sharing and Storage
Sharing files among a remote team can be difficult, particularly if the files are large and cannot be emailed. Here are some solutions which may help:
Dropbox Business is one way of sharing files. . It offers secure storage and you can create team folders.
Pricing: Pricing starts at €10 per month for Standard Level. Free trials are available.
You will find details of packages here.
Google Drive enables teams to share, store, and access files from a phone or a desktop
Google has made GSuite Essentials free up to the end of September 2020, This includes Video and voice conferencing, storage, file sharing, 30GB cloud storage. It usually costs approximately €10 per month
OneDrive is Microsoft’s storage service for hosting files in the cloud. It is available for free to all the owners of a Microsoft account. OneDrive offers you a simple way to store, sync, and share files.
By the way, Windows 10 uses OneDrive also to synchronize system settings, visual customizations, themes, app settings, Microsoft Edge’s tabs, browsing history, and saved passwords.
There are many choices these days for video and audio conferencing, Here are a few examples:
Video conferencing with Zoom includes the ability to share documents, screen share, record meetings, create searchable transcripts. It also includes a white board.
Pricing: The free version of Zoom facilitates meetings of up to 40 minutes for 100 participants. There are three other options – Pro, Business and Enterprise, Here’s a link to the Zoom page of features and pricing. Be aware that – as with many of these platforms – sales tax is added on at the end.
GoToMeeting offers features which are similar to Zoom. There are a number of different versions to meet the needs of different organisations.
Pricing: GoToMeeting Free enables 40 minute meetings of up to three people Details of Professional, Business and Enterprise Plans are here. The Enterprise Plan can host up to 3,000 participants.
Team Communication and Collaboration
This popular platform enables teams to share documents including Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint and update them in real time. It also enables group chats and video conferences for teams up to 10,000 people. There are limitations on the number of people who can participate using specific features simultaneously. You can check out the details here.
Pricing: There’s a free version with unlimited chat, and real-time collaboration. Details of other options are here.
This Google product enables users to share, access, and collaborate on documents and files. You can use Google Hangouts to chat, with video and voice conferencing for meetings, It is also possible to share calendars with team members. .
Small Group Video Calls
The Skype video chatting app facilitates video conferencing with up to 50 participants using a phone, tablet, or computer. The Screen Sharing feature enables you to present PowerPoint slides and video recordings to participants.
WhatsApp offers a free video call feature. It allows up to four participants for free.
Slack is a popular workplace chat platform which basically replaces interoffice emails. Discussions are organized by topic in dedicated channels or themes. You can also communicate with colleagues through voice or video calls and share everything from images, audio, video and PDFs. It’s a bit confusing at first but a very useful communications/sharing tool when you get used to it.
Pricing: The entry level is free. Details of their Standard, Plus and Enterprise Grids are available here.
Trello offers a visual system for organizing projects, tasks and deliverables. Users create lists of to-do items with cards. Team members can for example comment, upload files, create checklists and add due dates. Team members then move cards from one stack to another as the project progresses.
Pricing: Entry level is free. Chick here for further information on pricing.
This is another popular project management platform that allows managers and teams to map project objectives and timelines and to run queries to check how work is progressing.
Pricing: Entry level is free. Details of other packages are here.
There are a number of packages available to help managers to track the hours worked and the work-related activities of remote teams. For example:
This free time tracker and timesheet app lets you and your team track work hours across projects. Unlimited users. It’s free forever, they say!
Employers can track the productivity of remote workers with software that monitors total time worked by every person on a team. It also provides breakdowns of how much time is spent on specific projects, clients, or tasks.
Pricing: The Basic package starts at $7 (about €6.50) per user per month. A 14-day free trial is available.
I hope that you will find this information useful. They are only samples … but they are tried and tested tools which may make your work at home experience easier and more productive.
Thank you. Riona