James Kenealey covid-19
The world faces an unprecedented situation. The outbreak of COVID-19 and the resultant restrictions on movement has left the workplace in a state of uncertainty with regards to maintaining operational levels.
With the entire country in lockdown and heavy restrictions enforced on movement, a lot of people will be working from home for the foreseeable future. This means a complete rethink on the way that businesses engage employees and how teams stay connected and productive.
We're fortunate enough to live in the most technologically advanced world yet. As little as 10 years ago, collaborative workplace technology and home office systems were still unreliable and often costly but things have moved on drastically since then. There are now many platforms available to make working from home as seamless as working from the office. On top of that, a lot of these platforms offer free versions.
We run down some of the best technology for working from home that enables you to be your most productive from the comfort of your own living room:
Many office jobs rely on a suite of word processing and spreadsheet software for key business functions. Fortunately, online software like Google Docs is a free way to have access to a similar suite of programmes. In addition to this the software enables colleagues to edit the same documents simultaneously, allowed for a great collaborative experience wherever you are in the world.
One of the biggest issues with working from home is the inability to meet face-to-face. With coronavirus already putting a stop to gatherings around the world, the ‘meeting’ as a concept is one that’s going to take a hit, with many people still in the workplace opting to use the phone instead. The good news is that there’s lots of technology out there to make conference calls easy.
PowWowNow offers free phone conferencing for up to 16 international callers, with unlimited call time, and for a small subscription fee HD video and screen share can be enabled - so it’s never been easier to take the boardroom into the virtual domain.
For teams who want to both formally and informally get together for a fast and free video, Zoom offer an easy-to-use system to link your employees together. It also allows for seamless screen sharing and customisable green-screen backgrounds to inject a little fun into this challenging time.
Communication within teams is critical when people are working in separate locations. Never underestimate the power of a good WhatsApp group. It’s free, everyone with a smartphone can download it and as well as providing a place for work conversation within a group, it also provides a platform for socialising with work colleagues, something that’s critical for a healthy, collaborative team.
Good communication for managers and leaders across the whole business is crucial when a large number of people are working from home. Slack aims to replace emails in businesses by making a more streamlined communication network that can be tailored for your business. It also integrates with other apps and services that your team might use, such as Google Drive.
In unprecedented times like these, it’s perfectly reasonable that a company might have to make hires without being able to perform face-to-face interviews. Enter Odro! The technology allows you to meet perspective candidates face-to-face without the need to be sharing the same meeting room. You can also set questions for candidates so they can answer as part of a solo interview. The software also allows full management of the recruitment process, allowing you to shortlist potential candidates and replay interviews.
Visibility of workload and progress is essential during this time of uncertainty. Progress trackers for teams are a great way to allow everyone to keep up to date with each other and get a high level overview of work in progress. When it comes to the best technology for working from home, this is one employers should really embrace, as it allows managers and directors to get instant reporting on what their teams have been doing.
One thing is for certain, with more and more people staying away from the office for the foreseeable future, technology for working from home is going to be more and more important.
It’s always crucial to consider that when large teams of people are working from home, employers need to feel confident that their workforce is being productive despite not being physically in the office. By making use of the best technology for working from home and providing regular updates with your team, you can easily make the experience seamless and productive.