By Tonisha Tagoe
Working from home has become the new ‘normal’ for thousands across the world. Through remote means, the average worker can not only produce and submit their work, but also connect instantly and in real time with their colleagues using a range of free but awesome tools available on the web
Digitalisation and the recent lockdown have removed all doubt that certain workers can operate from the comfort of their own home. Managers and supervisors have been telling us for years that it is impossible to do our jobs remotely, but literally millions of people just proved them wrong thanks to these invaluable resources at our fingertips.
In this guide, I am going to be exploring my favourite tools for working remotely and why you need them in your life. And better yet, none of the resources covered will break the bank or threaten your budget, so rest assured that your important work can continue without any big, additional costs.
Let’s get started!
Zoom is a fantastic tool for remote conferencing, chatting/socialising, and even teaching! Zoom allows you to host conference calls with members from across the world, all live and in real time using voice and video. Workers can choose to record sessions, collaborate on projects, and share screens with a user-friendly interface.
Zoom is a simple necessity for millions of remote workers, allowing them to keep an open line of communication with their employers, totally cost free! There are premium versions for larger businesses who wish to host conferences of over one thousand people, but even then it’s only around £17 a month.
For teachers and those in the education sector, Zoom provides a unique opportunity to host virtual classrooms with students from all corners of the globe. Packed with interactive learning features and tools, Zoom has revolutionised the world of eLearning and anyone serious about providing top value for their students should pick up this amazing bit of kit right away.
Loom is a free video recording tool that helps you get your message across through instantly shareable videos. The software works by recording your camera, microphone, and desktop simultaneously, allowing you to provide updates, instructions and feedback without having to rely on a wall of text.
For busy entrepreneurs, Loom is an excellent resource to keep your stakeholders up to date on your progress and with any concerns you might be facing. Employees in the workplace are increasingly moving away from long, boring email chains that nobody really wants to read, choosing instead to embrace the easy life of sending a quick video over Loom.
Shipping with a host of analytical and monitoring tools, Loom allows you to keep track of important metrics, such as the number of unique views your video has received along with any comments and feedback. Lazy workers beware! Employers can also keep track of those who haven’t yet viewed a particular video. Unlike emails, you can’t just ignore Loom content. Sorry!
To maintain a constant stream of instant and informal communication with your clients, employers and colleagues, WhatsApp is simply the way to go. The free instant messaging platform allows you to send direct, private messages and also from groups for chatting with multiple users at once.
WhatsApp’s ships with some great features, such as: hosting voice and video calls, exchanging files, GIF keyboard, setting a custom status and more. It is remarkably user-friendly and great for ad hoc, i.e those last minute changes and updates that you need to quickly send to your contacts.
- Trello is a free web-based collaboration tool used to sort and organise your tasks into boards, or ‘cards.’ These panels allow users to submit content, update others on what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and the progress made.
Think of Trello as a pinboard containing all the information surrounding a project, complete with sticky notes for commentary, images and photos, file attachments and tick boxes. It’s great for all project types and I use it almost every single day to keep my team updated on tasks and provide feedback.
You do not need to be a coder to configure your business’ Trello board, as the software ships with a diverse range of templates that can be easily modified to suit your individual needs.
- Google Drive and Office Software
Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service used by millions to store important elements relating to one’s business and personal life. Drive integrates with Google’s office services, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides and cloud-native apps. Teams can create and share content seamlessly with 15 GB of free storage. Additional storage can be purchased within Google Drive or by upgrading to Google One.
I use Google Drive and its office services on a daily basis, particularly Docs and Sheets, both of which are compatible with Microsoft Office. For the average user, Google’s 15 GB of free storage is plenty, especially for someone whose job involves writing a lot of content.
‘Gmail’ almost goes without saying due to its integration with Google’s other services, and the ability to sign up to various third party websites using your personal Gmail account. This effortless integration saves a lot of time for the average user who would prefer to browse popular sites without having to juggle multiple accounts and passwords.
Every business comes with unique requirements, so shop around for the best software to suit your individual needs. The tools and resources mentioned in this guide are, in my professional opinion, the very best in their respective fields. As always, research and evaluate before making your choice, but rest assured that every tool that I have listed can be used to work from home perfectly, and with little to zero cost.
And as always, keep an eye out for more tutorials and guides from me and the team at The Enterprise Toolbox. Subscribe to our mailing list and follow us on social media to stay in the loop on important news, updates and features surrounding our services.
See you soon, entrepreneur!