Many companies are now considering the possibility, for the first time, of having to do some of their work remotely instead of coming into the office.
This isn’t going to be one of those emails stoking fear about the current events, but if you are considering the possibility of having to do remote work, I do have some tips for you.
Although my industry (web folks, computer people, etc.) sometimes gets mocked for working alone in a dark basement— come to find out the ability to run a business while avoiding all in-person human contact can actually come in handy!
There are some really great options available for teams to be able to collaborate, communicate, and stay organized without ever having to share the same physical location. All of the tools I’ll share with you today are ones I use daily in my business and have completely free options available (since this is probably a temporary situation you don’t want to sink extra money into).
In any business being able to communicate with prospects, clients, and co-workers is vital— but you don’t have to be in the same physical location to do it effectively.
Zoom (https://zoom.us/) is a video conferencing software that allows you to conduct meetings, online conferences, and webinars (like online presentations).
Connecting to and using Zoom is easy for even technologically challenged folks. The invitation link you’ll send out when you create a meeting will walk participants through the steps to get into the call and they even offer iOS and Android apps that work great over cellular signals.
While it’s built for video conferencing you don’t have to be on camera to use it—it could simply be a way to connect large groups of people onto an online conference all (with audio only).
Zoom offers both free and paid tiers, but the free version will allow up to 100 participants and up to 40-minute long calls (which can also be recorded!).
If being in conference calls is hard on your schedule, you might want to check out the asynchronous collaboration tool Slack (https://slack.com/).
Slack allows users to create and join workspaces and channels to organize conversations and restrict access to the appropriate people.
Think of it as a big “chat room” for your organization that you can segment off my topic or personnel easily.
You can share content, files, images, etc.— all of which is easily searchable within the platform.
While you may be able to handle asynchronous communication through email, Slack makes it a lot easier to organize and search through conversations without having to track through long messy email chains, CC’s and BCC’s until you’re blue in the face.
Back when I worked at my 9-5 we had a big wall covered in job tickets. Each job that came in the door got a paper ticket, was stuck in a plastic sleeve, clipped to the wall and organized according to priority.
Trello (https://trello.com/) is essentially the same thing, but in a digital format hosted online.
Trello is a great way for teams to organize tasks, lists, and to-do’s remotely from anywhere in the world.
Whether it’s organizing your to-do list, planning a project, or just keeping up with who’s responsible for what, Trello is a great organization tool for keeping everyone on the same page and not allowing important tasks to get lost in the shuffle.
Hopefully, these tips and tools come in handy for you, and if you’re forced to consider alternative working arrangements it’s not too disruptive.
If you have any questions about working remotely or the tools I shared with you today, don’t hesitate to reach out and we can have a chat.