With current events and the continued advancement of technology, staying at home and working remotely can be necessary and it can be easy if you equip yourself with the right tools. In this digital age, you have plenty of options to choose from that can help you stay engaged and connected to the world. Here are a few tips and tools that we use that will help you successfully stay connected.
Stay Connected Digitally With The Right Software
The first step to working from home is making sure everyone, your team and your clients, can stay connected digitally. Luckily, with loads of software available, it’s never been easier. There really are tools for everything. Here are some ways you can use these software to your advantage.
Video meetings are one of the most important parts of running a business from home because it allows you to meet directly with someone. You can see their face, hear their voice and it’s the closest thing to an in-person meeting you can get without actually being there in the flesh.
Zoom meetings let you see all your colleague’s smiling faces
For software, we recommend using Zoom. Zoom is a software that’s easy to use and easy to share with others. Starting a meeting is as easy as sharing a link. You can attach it to a calendar invitation, drop it in an email, or even text it to them. They can choose to quickly download the software or perform the meeting in-browser.
The quality of the connection and ease of use makes this a must-have for digitally connecting from home.
Zoom also provides some resources to help you get started.
PRO TIP: Integrate your zoom account with HubSpot Meetings and Google calendar to get an automatic zoom link into your calendar invites. Also, integrate it into Slack so you can start a zoom meeting directly from your chat channels.
Team Management Software
Keeping your team connected doesn’t always have to mean face-to-face meetings. Using project management software will help your team stay organized even when working miles apart. And, just as with video conferencing, the software has caught up and exceeded expectations in this realm of working remotely, also.
Here are two software examples that we use every day to help keep our team and projects organized:
Referred to as a Work OS, Monday truly is an all-in-one solution to organizing projects and tasks. Its interface allows you to assign tasks with files, due dates, status reports, time tracking, project tags, and more.
You can also add automation to your boards to help you keep them organized and neat without having to constantly worry about trimming old tasks.
Monday.com lets you customize your boards to fit any project type
And it’s not only for tasks and projects. Monday also provides tools to do your team’s time tracking, social calendars, content management, and so much more. The flexibility of the software is its true unique point. Each board is a blank slate that you can customize to fit the needs of your project.
Slack has become the most prominent workplace communication software out there. You’d be hard-pressed to find a company that isn’t already using it.
Essentially, Slack is an instant messenger for the professional world. You can add many channels, choose who has access to them, tag your co-workers, and chat instantly at any time.
You can also set statuses to help keep your team informed if you’re in a meeting, at lunch, or out for the day.
Pro Tip: Find out if the other software you use integrates with slack. You could manage all alerts, updates, and more right from within this platform.
Take Your Files Online
Making sure your whole team has access to the files they need to complete their work is essential when working remotely.
There is a lot of software that makes sharing and accessing files and documents easy for everyone:
The Google Suite:
Upload files, create documents, share them, comment, edit; there are many ways that Google, and it’s family of features, can help your team collaborate online.
In the Google family, you’ll also find:
- Drive: This is the hub for all your shared files. Each of your team members can be given access and therefore have the ability to find and share files.
- Slides: An online PowerPoint alternative, Slides gives you all the features of PowerPoint combined with the collaboration features you’ll find in all the parts of the Google Suite.
- Docs: This is your online word processor. In it, you can create documents, share them, edit them, comment, and make suggestions.
- Sheets: Just like Docs and Slides, Sheets is your alternative to Excel.
Dropbox presents another software that will help you share files with clients, customers, team members, and anyone else you decide to give access to.
PandaDoc tool helps you create and share important professional documents like contracts, press releases, and more. It also allows you to digitally send documents that need signatures by using an eSignature feature.
PandaDoc lets you manage professional documents digitally
Use Video to Stay Connected to Customers and Colleagues
Beyond holding a video conferencing meeting, video can be a powerful tool to keep your team connected and your customers engaged. Just because you work remotely or, for some reason, can’t meet in person doesn’t mean you don’t have the ability to make personal and meaningful connections with people.
Using software like Soapbox by Wistia, you can make quick and easy videos to send. You could send a quick tutorial to a customer or colleague, send a video to check in with clients, or even use it to prospect new customers.
It’s a great way to stay in touch, make a meaningful engagement with someone, and stay connected.
Tips for Being Productive at Home
There are a lot of things you can do at home to make sure your day is as productive as it would have been in the office, but it mostly depends on how you’re able to find your ideal workspace.
Here are a few tips to help you find your zone at home
Some people may need silence, some need music, and some need the background noise of Dunder Mifflin, but each of us is different and will find our zone in different ways. So, try new things out: move your desk, open the windows, put on a suit, do whatever you need to do to discover what makes up your perfect workspace.
Working remotely doesn’t mean detaching yourself from the world. With the software and tips we mentioned, you can continue to connect and engage with customers and colleagues alike.