Remote working is now commonplace in most businesses in an attempt to keep staff and customers safe during this challenging time. However, many companies plan to remain working remotely throughout 2021. As a result, businesses need to ensure that their staff have access to the best tools in order to work efficiently, securely and confidently from their home, or wherever they may be. Your staff being able to work efficiently from home will not only help your business, but will also provide a calm working environment and reassurance for your employees, which is particularly important now more than ever.
Toronto based IT Support company Data First Solutions has listed several IT tools your business should consider using in order to increase the efficiency, productivity and job satisfaction of your remote employees.
Launched in 2017, Microsoft Teams is a messaging platform with the aim to improve teamwork and collaboration within the workplace. The tool has many handy features including file sharing options, task organization and real time collaboration on documents, it also has chat and voice features, allowing employees to keep in touch with team members in real time. Teams is cloud based and supported by Windows, Mac, iOS (Apple), and Android, so it can be accessed from anywhere providing you have an internet connection.
Put simply, Microsoft Teams provides a solution that brings together many daily activities and processes in one place.
Another very popular tool used by companies working remotely is Slack, recently purchased by SalesForce. The tool is actually considered a “messaging app” and has both free and paid options. The purpose of Slack is to provide a secure platform for communication, with integrated advanced features. Slack is most commonly used for internal communications, however many companies are now expanding platform access to their clients., similar to Teams, using Slack as an easy and efficient way to keep everything in one place, and reduce the need for back and forth emails that could be resolved much faster through a live chat.
TSheets is a time tracking tool that allows employees to track the time they have spent on specific jobs or tasks within their role. Managers have the ability to approve the employee time before it goes to clients or payroll, and reminders can easily be set up to prompt employees to clock in/clock out. Tsheets allows you to customize the way your employees track their time, and who is responsible for approving time. If you’re feeling slightly out of the loop with time allocation and tracking, fear not, as TSheets provides regular reporting to ensure you know when and what your employees are working on at all times.
Launched back in 2003, Active Campaign provides a customer experience automation platform like no other, even unseating the former king MailChimp. The high levels of automation helps millions of businesses in countries all around the world to successfully connect and engage with their customers and create optimized user experiences, taking away the need for many behind the scenes marketing, sales and support processes. The best part of it is, it’s affordable! For many small businesses, automation software is an unjustified expense. Active Campaigns pricing options makes it an affordable option for even the smallest of businesses. Plus, you can try it out for free for 14 days before you commit to their monthly subscription!
Long gone are the days of explaining something via screen share on an unreliable WIFI connection. Loom allows you to record your screen, voice and video at your own convenience, making it perfect for quickly explaining something without having to book in a call. Training your remote employees couldn’t be easier! The tool offers three pricing options, but for most businesses, their free option will be sufficient initially while you try out the tool.
In summary, there are many tech tools out there that can be used to enhance collaboration and communications. In these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever to maintain conversations with your employees and engagement with your customers. The tools and practices here should be viewed as long term transformational changes and continue to be leveraged well into the future as companies seek to optimize operations and modernize.