With over 40% of American employees now working from home, remote work is almost certain to be a part of the modern business future. “Companies would realize that many, if not many, of the jobs they previously believed needed on-site execution can be completed just about anywhere and just as well,” states Mark McGraw of The Institute for Corporate Productivity.
Naturally, this anticipated transition toward more WFH opportunities will not be without challenges. As Gartner’s Elisabeth Joyce says, business leaders “are evaluating more permanent remote working arrangements as a means of meeting employee demands and strengthening business operations.” ” Simultaneously, they must address the issue of “how to handle a more diverse, hybrid workforce.” Though remote work is not recent, Joyce asserts that “the extent to which it is used in the future will alter how people collaborate to accomplish tasks.”
Getting the job done under any circumstance requires getting access to the appropriate equipment at the appropriate time. The following are five critical resources that any remote employee must have in order to succeed in their specific WFH environment.
A vital tool for organizing, collaborating, and exchanging files in the WFH
The organization is a vital challenge for every new remote employee, which is why it’s critical to find a solution that facilitates organization, teamwork, and file-sharing while working from home. Keeping documents in a single ecosystem that enables continuous, real-time edits is possibly the best way to tackle disorganization and foster collaboration through the remote team’s projects.
While Dropbox was a leader in cloud-based storage and syncing, Google Drive is particularly generous with its free storage and facilitates desktop-to-desktop file syncing and overall file compatibility. Fortunately, the interface has significantly improved in recent revisions, resulting in a reasonably short learning curve and rapid improvements in effectiveness. Additionally, Microsoft provides OneDrive as part of the Office 365 suite, which enables remote access to your files and collaboration with colleagues in any of the Office applications.
A vital WFH collaboration tool for team or project-based communication.
Though you might no longer be able to walk over to a colleague’s desk and ask a question or solicit feedback, there are tools that allow you to bypass the regular deluge of emails. Instant messaging continues to be critical, even more so for groups communicating in real time or asynchronously due to time zone discrepancies.
Slack is a channel-based collaboration platform (think one channel per project, subject, or team) that provides workplace instant messaging services. If WFH employees become accustomed to the intuitive interface and organisational functionality, they will discover it to be a priceless tool that can be used in lieu of unsuccessful email chains.
Additionally, it assists remote employees in remaining coordinated, sharing files, customizing alerts, adding keywords to updates, and even retrieving complete channel histories for analysis or clarification when necessary. Additionally, Slack can be used to build workflows that correspond to the way you want your WFH employee to handle tasks. Apart from Slack, remote teams may also use Google Hangouts or Microsoft Teams, which all integrate seamlessly with their respective collaboration suites.
A vital WFH meeting method
Zoom has rapidly established itself as the preferred meeting platform as the pandemic has impacted every part of our remote lives. Yes, the company encountered some difficulties earlier in the year, but that is unsurprising considering the platform’s tenfold rises in traffic from December 2019 to March 2020. Setting up meetings with Zoom is simple; they can be password-protected and work easily with the majority of calendar apps. WFH employees may communicate via desktop applications, browsers, or mobile devices, which enables employees to work from virtually anywhere.
However, there are several other remote meeting hosting sites that provide comparable services. For instance, Skype, WebEx, and Google Hangouts. In this situation, it truly comes down to personal preference. However, the primary lesson is that the remote meeting method should be accessible across devices to avoid attendance declines and to increase employee engagement across the company.
A critical WFH project management tool
If your company may have used a project management tool prior to remote work being recommended or mandatory, it is critical to allow your remote workers to remain organized. Trello is a useful WFH platform that enables workers to imagine activities on familiar-looking digital screens, cards, and columns. Cards can be filled with data (including graphics and hyperlinks) and allocated to a member of the WFH team with a due date.
Although Trello facilitates collaboration, it is undoubtedly a tool geared toward the user. If you’re looking for a platform that enables collaboration across teams, Asana or ClickUp would be excellent choices for your team.
A required WFH tool for writing assistance
With written communication being a critical component of remote work, Grammarly is a critical real-time writing assistant that assists even the most seasoned writer in avoiding bad writing habits that can undermine clarification, professionalism, and effect. Grammarly is far from perfect and therefore does not replace final editing. However, it adds another pair of “eyes” to a text, which can be extremely beneficial while working remotely from proofreading colleagues.
Remote work is not solely a product of the global health crisis. On the contrary, research indicates that many business leaders want to make remote work a bigger part of their future plans. Gartner’s research discovered that “82 percent of business leaders plan to enable workers to operate remotely at least part of the time” in a recent survey of 127 human resources, legal and enforcement, finance, and real estate professionals. Additionally, nearly half (47 percent) of respondents indicate that they plan to enable workers to work remotely full-time in the future.” Providing the WFH workers with the appropriate resources is a vital and critical first step toward sustained progress.
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