Work from Home: 22 Tools to Optimize Your Home Office

Due to the expansion of Covid-19 worldwide, many companies have been forced to change their habits and adopt a 100% digital routine adapted to have employees work from home. Even if your employees are already comfortable with working from a home office, there are certainly still some challenges they may face. Understanding what these are, and how you can support them, will help increase productivity.

Here at Factorial, we are going through the same process of switching more to digital tools. We are increasingly using new technologies to optimize our routine. Therefore, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of 22 Apps and tools, that are the most relevant for those who are working remotely.

work from home

Communication Between Teams 

One of the most important tools for your teams is to have a dedicated chat for internal communication. These can streamline processes and avoid huge email chains. In addition, they are a professional solution for chats like Whatsapp and Telegram, which should only be used for personal communication.

  • Slack. A chat for large or small teams, which allows the creation of different groups of companies and multiple channels. Slack is used for quick, written conversations. Slack is a solution we use at Factorial when we need to communicate something simple and urgent.
  • Google Talk/Hangouts. This tool is very useful for those who already use Gmail because they can access it directly from their inbox. To use it, just select a contact you already have in Gmail, open the chat and start typing. Hangouts can also be used for video calls.
  • Discord. More focused on exchanging information for audio channels, Discord also has chat and video call options. In addition, there is also the option to share your screen. At Factorial we started using it recently, during the isolation caused by the Coronavirus crisis. This program helps us to communicate and to feel closer to our teammates.

Platforms for meetings during periods of remote work

  • Skype. The most popular video calling program. For this reason, most people who are used to telecommuting have a Skype account. This is connected to Microsoft accounts and is most effective for conversations with just two people
  • Zoom. The Zoom video platform specializes in calls with many people. It is the program we use at Factorial for remote meetings. In our case, we use it for meetings of up to 60 employees. Zoom is also used by other large companies that do remote work, such as Uber or Pandora. Its software is powerful and relevant for webinars as well. As a result, its stock continued to rise during the onset of the coronavirus crisis. With Zoom, you can also automatically schedule calls from your Google Calendar with the integrated plugin.
  • WebEx. A solution similar to Zoom, but less known for meetings and video calls. In addition to being a software to help with remote work, it also offers solutions for webinars, open meetings, training and remote support.

Software for remote support

When we work as a team and are not used to working from home, one of the concerns we have is the correct functioning of the devices we use on a daily basis. In larger companies, there is always an IT manager who helps employees in these cases. And even in small companies, there is always the option to ask for help from the colleague next door.

When this support figure is not physically present, it is necessary to use software to assist.

  • LogmeIn. A program that allows you to access and manage computers remotely in a secure manner. With LogmeIn it is also possible to automate routine IT tasks. It is also used to support teams from the same company that are in different offices. With this tool, it isn’t necessary to have dedicated IT professionals for your office if you only have a few employees.
  • TeamViewer. Remote support software for more robust companies and systems. In addition to remote desktop assistance, TeamViewer has an Augmented Reality solution and support for mobile devices.

remote work

Programs to manage projects while you work from home

One of the most complicated tasks during remote work is keeping up with the progress of a team’s projects. The monitoring of each employee’s projects may also suffer since it is necessary to create a new routine and it often takes time to become accustomed. For this reason, we are also sharing a series of project management software tools.

  • Google Keep. The easiest and simplest solution to handle lists and to-do tasks. Google Keep is a tool that allows you to see your pending tasks in the same window as your Gmail or Google doc.
  • Trello. One of the most used programs for task management and organization. With Trello, it is possible to organize task lists by different columns and project phases. It is also possible to add other members of your team to those tasks. Trello is also accessible for all mobile devices. In addition, you can add specific extensions for Trello, such as those that count the hours for each task.
  • Airtable. Complete and user-friendly software for task management. It’s like a Trello on steroids, with a much more practical interface and horizontal division. Through Airtable, different members of the same team can see what each one is doing and the priority of every project. At Factorial, all teams use Airtable, from Marketing to Developers.
  • Tandem. More than monitoring projects, with Tandem, teams can execute them at the same time. Through integrations with other platforms like Slack or Asana, it is possible to see who is working on which software. Tandem also has the possibility to share your screen.
  • Asana. With features similar to Trello (like the column panel) and a priority assignment similar to that used in Airtable, Asana is another very interesting project manager. This is very relevant for development and design teams that work with generally tight deadlines.
  • Toggl. More than checking the progress of each project, with Toggl it is possible to see the most important tasks of the company on a single page. With this tool, you will see all teams on the same timeline.  Tasks that depend on one or more teams are also visible. Large companies like Spotify, are using Toggl to help manage their projects.

Time management apps while working from home

  • Pomofocus. An application that helps you manage time using the Pomodoro technique. This method is based on the idea that frequent breaks are important to increase the efficiency and agility of a person who performs one or more tasks. In this tactic, the work is usually divided into a period of 25 minutes or less.
  • RescueTime. This tool works in the background of your computer or mobile device and shows how much time you spend on each website, page or task, without having to manually add the data.
  • Timely. The application monitors the time of everything you are working on. Through its artificial intelligence, Timely counts every second spent. Even in tasks like answering emails and which at the end of the day consume a large part of our workday.

Solutions for managing & storing documents 

  • Dropbox. The software that allows us to store documents in the cloud and manage files intelligently. The dropbox, besides saving your data safely, has an application to access your documents from wherever you are.
  • Google Drive. Google’s platform for creating and sharing different types of documents. With the Drive, you can create texts, spreadsheets, presentations, images and more. Google’s drive is very useful since several people can use it at the same time and open documents on any device. It is also possible to edit sharing groups and permissions for who can see each document.
  • One Drive. Microsoft’s solution for storing and sharing documents in the cloud. In addition to having the entire Office suite online, OneDrive has expired date links for more secure sharing.
  • iCloud. The cloud storage system developed by Apple. This system is extremely useful for those who work between several Apple devices. Much of your information, including photos taken by an iPhone, can be automatically saved and accessed using your Apple ID. This storage solution is more suitable for companies that offer design and marketing services.

managing holiday requests

Human Resources Software 

  • Factorial. With our software, you can see which employees work from home, who is on vacation and who is absent. It is also possible to activate and monitor when employees track time from outside the office, through our mobile application. And for managers, we offer a geolocation system that allows them to see from where employees clocking in and out.

Our human resources program also assists other parts of a company’s daily people management. We have features such as digital signature and the creation of events and notifications within the software. These, in addition to helping to digitize a company’s processes are crucial at times when remote work is mandatory for health reasons.

Therefore, during the period of the Coronavirus crisis, we offer a free trial of our software for an unlimited time!

Register for Free at Factorial & revolutionize the way you work remotely.

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