The reality of working at home is that you just don’t have everything set up as well as you do at work. Talking to people, getting documents to people or sharing work amongst a team can be hassle or even impossible if you don’t have the right technology to make it easy.
We’ve put together some recommendations for good apps to use to work more effectively from home.
We’ve been using Zoom for online meetings as it’s free and easy to use. We are still practicing internally, as it is a bit harder initially than just picking up the phone because you need to login online or download the app, and be set up with a microphone and speakers.
Once you get good at using the app and over the fact that your face is on screen, online meetings can be much more meaningful than phone calls and conference calls. If you can’t see the face of the person you are speaking too, you can’t see the reaction people have to what you are saying, or notice when people want to jump in and talk. For us, we need to know exactly the moment when our clients eyes glaze over and we can stop talking too much about tax!
Getting the work done
Although we have moved a lot of our work into the cloud, not all of the software we use is online. So we have remote desktops set up so that any of the team can log in from their home computers.
We use lots of apps to facilitate working remotely:
- Microsoft Remote Desktop – for all of our desktop software
- Office 365 – for emails & calendars
- Xero & Receipt Bank – for accounting
- Camscanner – for scanning documents on our phones.
We use Slack for our internal communication (even when we are in the office) because it’s a great way of sharing messages across the whole team. Slack can also be used to keep in touch with clients and you can add group channels and private channels depending on the need.
For home working, it really makes it easy to chat, and bounce around ideas and anyone can potentially join in when they are available. This gives you the ability to work uninterrupted and then catch up when you’ve scheduled the time for it. It even allows you to turn the notifications off when you are in meetings or busy with focused work, so you don’t get interrupted and distracted.
Slack also does audio and video calls and allows uploads of files for sharing. Another benefit is the auto reminders that can be set to remind yourself to do a task, review something or follow up with someone.
Now we can’t solve your childcare issues, or promise you’ll be distracted from the lure of the biscuit tin while you are working from home, but we know if you use a couple of these apps you will find it much easier. If you want any advice on which apps might work best for your business, please do get in touch and the team can help you find the right set-up for you and your business.