- April 28, 2020
- Posted by: Eva
- Category: Blog
Following the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) announcement that the Coronavirus is a pandemic disease, many countries started to take strict precautionary measures that ranged from travel bans and school closures to extended quarantines and curfews. Private organizations, in turn, adopted work-from-home policies to save the lives of their employees and confront the novel virus outbreak.
Nevertheless, working from home in the age of artificial intelligence and cloud computing does not turn out to be very inconvenient. Companies of different sizes and across various sectors have resorted to a suite of online tools to maintain an efficient communication system, smooth workflow, and healthy productivity rates while working from home, in an attempt to survive the current events and contain the expected negative imprints on the global economy.
From texting and video calls to task allocation and project management, EuroLingo lists a number of the best apps to work from home efficiently, with regard to a company’s need to perform as a whole and adapt to the new changes. Kindly note that this list is classified based upon the functions and features fulfilled by each platform, yet some tools are widely used to cover multiple tasks and various duties.
(1) Video conference
Offering a perfect alternative to large team meetings, Zoom is a free video conferencing platform that is easily accessible through all devices and operating systems. The software boasts user-friendly interface, advanced scheduling and screen-sharing features, as well as multiple messaging options.
Commonly used as the main communication tool across many workplaces around the world, Skype promotes distinctive and friendly business communication experience for free. The application’s capabilities include instant messaging, file sharing, in addition to effective voice and video calls. The globally renowned platform is cloud-based and good for both one-on-one and group meetings.
As part of its integrated Office 365 business package, Microsoft developed Teams to be a business communication and collaboration solution that merges group workplace chat boxes, video conferences, file storage, and application integrations. Microsoft’s software is integrated with the other Microsoft Office 365 tools, but only a few of its features are available for free.
(2) Messaging apps
Aside from multimedia calls, texting is one of the most frequent means of communication between team members in many entities. From the everyday office chitchat to the decisive business conversations, Slack offers a quick way to communicate with work colleagues. The messaging app is more like a Whatsapp for business. Slack also provides smart features and enables easy integration with a myriad of other online platforms for free.
Linked to Gmail and the other Google apps, Hangouts is Google’s cloud-based free chatting solution. The application enables advanced texting and file sharing functions and marks a good replacement to Whatsapp when it comes to business talks. Google’s free tool is now integrated with Google+ Messenger and Google Talk. Most recently, Google added Hangouts Meet app for video conferencing and it is one of the easiest and best apps to work from home adequately.
(3) Task Management
If you want to record, assign, track, and report multiple work tasks at real time, Trello is where you should go. As a subsidiary of giant software Atlassian, Trello is a free web-based Kanban-style task management platform that is available on all operating systems. The list-making application is distinguished by its unlimited free features, ranging widely from the creation of separate boards for separate projects and sub-lists as well as the ability to assign, attach files, comment, edit, and set due dates.
Another efficient and free to-do listing app is Mistertask. The cloud-based collaborative task-management software features user-friendly dashboard and activity tracking capabilities. Mistertask also allows setting task deadlines and sending notifications and reminders. On top of that, the versatile application features are customizable to match the needs of different industries.
Just like the previous models, Asana is a project management tool developed by tech landmark SaaS to help teams organize their work and collaborate effectively to get it done. The free version of Asana is capped at 15 team members and allows limited features, while the premium version adds more helpful features, including activity timeline, scheduling systems, and advanced reporting capabilities.
Developed as part of Microsoft’s product package, Planner is a planning application available for the premium subscribers of Microsoft Office 365 platform. The app makes project management easier and allows real-time tracking of the workflow through the project boards and to-do lists along with other interactive features.
(4) Document management
Google Docs and Drive
They need no introduction; Google Docs and Google Drive are the ultimate free web-based document management and text formatting solutions and they are commonly used by millions of users all across the globe. Besides their extremely easy accessibility, Google’s document creating and sharing tools offer a large data storage for free and facilitate teamwork through a massive number of functions and activities.
OneDrive and Sharepoint
Microsoft has its own set of document management and file hosting tools. OneDrive is an outstanding premium cloud-based file hosting platform, while Sharepoint is the best way to share and edit files through the full range of Microsoft Office programs. Since 2001, Microsoft’s web-based products have been trusted by many organizations as they are highly secure, configurable, and eligible for various uses.
The best way you can upload your large-size files in different formats and share them with your colleagues is Dropbox. The competent file hosting service offers its cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud, and many more features. It is one unique helpful tool when you work from home.
Developers all around the world came up with many other apps to mimic the workplace environment, ease time management, increase productivity, and limit distraction. Some of these apps are:
- Time tracking software Time Doctor
- Desktop sharing platform TeamViewer
- Workspace simulator Notion
- Distracting app blocker Freedom
- Digital spot for focus Noisil
- Work ambiance simulator Coffitivity
After all, copying the spirit of the real office using virtual technologies might be impossible, yet companies all over the world are making every possible effort to facilitate distant work and minimize the losses of the current global crisis. Every growth-seeking entity is now figuring out the best apps to work from home and try to follow the best remote work practices.
EuroLingo has had its employees working from home since early March; the results came out surprisingly great. Flexible, yet professional, work-from-home policies reflected in less distraction and higher productivity, while communication remained easy thanks to the cloud-based tools we use.
Stay home, stick to the WHO’s health tips, and do your job online. EuroLingo wishes you and your families stay safe and healthy; may the world survive these apocalyptic events and get back on track. Until this happens, stay safe!