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After my last blog post about Remote Work there was a lively discussion. Some people supported my thesis that Remote Work makes really productive. Others, on the other hand, were sure that it was little more than a fad whose expiration date was slowly but surely expiring.
I firmly believe that Remote Work works. And I want more and more people to be able to work like that. That’s why I’m introducing you to 7 tools today that make the transition easier and also convince your boss.
“When I work at home, I waste my time on unimportant things.”
This is probably one of the biggest worries: procrastination. But Toggl helps me tremendously. The virtual time clock doesn’t care whether you work in a team or alone. You can assign each activity to a project and simply press Start when it starts and Stop when you take a break. So you can always see how long you have actually spent on a task. And if you drift away mentally during a task, Toggl remembers that and asks you if you want to reset the time.
“Communication with colleagues is getting complicated and you have to write a lot more e-mails.”
I can understand this concern as well – and at the same time refute it. At Cleverclip we simply use Basecamp. And since then I have not written any more e-mails within the company. In Basecamp each project gets its own folder and all information, messages, short messages and also files as well as dates and deadlines are collected in it. This means that confusing communication is forgotten.
“If I’m not in the same room with my colleagues, we can’t brainstorm.”
We could argue about the effectiveness of brainstorming in general. Meetings are usually more about wasting time than about doing something productively. Nevertheless, we can’t do without working together on the whiteboard. Only that our whiteboard is called “Miro” and is not located in a stuffy meeting room, but on the Internet. Everything else works the same way. You can use Post-its, make sketches, write or pinned photos. You can even see where the others are in the virtual room. And you can talk to them directly using the Call feature. Disadvantage: If someone brings cookies to the meeting, they can’t share them …
“It’s complicated to delegate tasks because I can’t just ask who has free capacity right now.”
There is also a spark of truth in this saying. But already the spark glows weaker … and now it is extinguished. Thanks to Float I know at all times what tasks my colleagues are doing at the moment. What they have to do tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and how many hours a day they are scheduled to do so. Basically I have a much better overview than sitting in an office with them. Then I would have to ask each individual what he is doing and if he has time. Answer: uncertain.
“In the home office you work in isolation” – Yes and no.
Of course remote work requires a lot of independence and you don’t have someone directly next to you. But knowing the right tools, there is also a solution for the home office. Talking about “zoom“.
Zoom Meetings is a popular cloud-based video platform that is characterized by its user-friendly interface and high HD video and audio quality. Zoom also offers a range of collaboration tools such as integrated chats and screen sharing. On the one hand, important or more complex topics can be discussed more easily face-to-face. On the other hand, it allows you to arrange virtual meetings such as coffee breaks or after-work drinks. The perfect platform to keep in touch with colleagues and to hold successful meetings online.
“There are far too many misunderstandings in communication”. Through asynchronous and written communication, remote communication can actually become a challenge. It is important to express yourself as clearly as possible and not to write ambiguous messages. In certain cases, however, written communication is simply not enough. For this, we all rely on “Loom.” Videos and screencasts can be created easily and free of charge on the platform. For example, you can easily send a tutorial to a colleague sitting in a completely different time zone, which he can watch the next time he has the chance. This way the workflow is not interrupted unnecessarily and misunderstandings are avoided from the very beginning.
“It’s easy to lose track of things in the home office.” Whether home office or real office, the workplace should be tidy. In the office you would probably stack hundreds of overfilled folders on the shelf. For the home office, on the other hand, there is “Google Drive” – a platform that is actually already familiar to many people, but is not used to its full potential in many companies. Google Drive is ideal for collecting, organizing and sharing documents and files in the home office in real time within a team. This way you have all important documents sorted in one place and have direct access from anywhere in the world at any time. And all without any paperwork! So… less overview in your home office? Don’t think so!
“Data protection is not guaranteed”. Another myth of remote work opponents. In the meantime, technology in the IT sector has developed so far that there are really many ways to work protected. Cloud based applications, two-factor authentication and virtual private networks (VPN) allow information to be encrypted and not passed on to unauthorized persons. A useful app that we would like to emphasize in this context is 1Password. Here, all different passwords, software licenses and other confidential information can be stored in a virtual safe. When you start the program, you select a so-called “master password”, which you should not forget. With this access code, you will then have access to all stored data. 1Password is based on modern encryption algorithms like AES-256 and PBKDF2; the passwords are end-to-end encrypted and therefore never leave the local device.
As you can see, there is no problem for which there is not also a tool. What remote work tools do you use to work efficiently?
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