7 Tech Tools Companies Should Make Sure Their Remote Workers Have
There is no doubt that remote workers are more productive than their office bound counterparts. Having said that, however, there are certain perks to working in an office together that remote workers may be missing out on. In fact, some companies clearly feel that businesses themselves sometimes lose something when workers work remotely. In 2017, IBM – one of the early pioneers of remote workers – famously recalled thousands of remote workers back into central offices. In spite of that, remote work is on the rise. The challenge seems to be to find a way to combine the best of both worlds. Here are 7 tech products that companies should give their remote workers.
Slack is a chat app that offers remote workers the ability to do more than just talk about business. It turns out that water cooler conversations can actually be some of the biggest boons to productivity rather than inhibiting them. Slack helps to not just keep teams on the same page, but also bring some of the social atmosphere of an office to remote workers.
Trello is supercharged project management app that is robust enough to be used by multiple teams working on multiple projects concurrently. In addition, Trello can also be used to help synch a remote worker’s private life and schedule with their work life. They can have boards sitting side by side that help them work on a current work project while reminding them of what tasks they still need to accomplish for their upcoming vacation.
Trying to schedule a meeting at a time that works best for everyone working in the same building is challenging. Scheduling a meeting when workers are located in multiple time zones, sometimes around the globe can present a whole new level of challenge. X.ai has taken the personal digital assistant and developed it for business. Amy and Andrew by x.ai can check everyone’s schedules and calendars as well as factor in multiple time zones to schedule meetings, conference calls and other team tasks for times that are most convenient for all involved.
Dropbox is one of the most robust file sharing programs on the market. Dropbox not only allows teams to share files with each other, but it also allows individual team members to access files from any device, no matter where they are. They can leave their laptop at home when traveling and access all the information they need on their iPad or tablet. In addition, if they need something they don’t have, they can simply message a colleague to upload whatever they need. Dropobox’s latest offering, called Paper, even allows teams to collaborate in real time.
Not only has Google Hangouts surpassed Skype in video and audio quality, but it is integrated with Slack so you can open up a hangout right in the app as well as in Gmail. Google Hangouts allows you to video conference with up to 10 different coworkers at the same time. Like almost all things Google, Hangouts offers easy-to-use interfaces and works well with all types of mobile devices.
While the numerous interruptions that an office environment offers can sometimes be annoying, they can also be beneficial for reminding you to take regular breaks. It turns out that in addition to water cooler conversations, another surprising boon to productivity is taking regular breaks. Take a break please can be set for regular intervals to dim your computer screen and prompt you to take a break.
Apps are not the only things your remote workers will need to do their jobs well. From video conferencing to messaging, remote workers are more likely to spend the most time on their cell phones and devices. While they may get roped into a long video chat when they are near an outlet, they may not. A charging battery case can double the charge of their cell phone to keep them powered up for even the most high-power video conference.
While not all apps work equally well for all workers, one of the keys to helping remote workers succeed is giving them a wide range of tools to help them do their best work. Sometimes, the tools they might find the most annoying – like chat apps – might actually turn out to be the source of their biggest inspiration or best work.