As we begin to adapt to remote working practices, our reliance on the use of the internet becomes increasingly obvious. Becoming and staying connected with family, friends and colleagues sees us utilising programmes that attempt to emulate our usual working and social practices, ensuring that we stay connected in a meaningful way.
Even the most committed technophobe is being forced to explore methods of communicating online to stay connected with family and friends and the outside world. There may be some setbacks and issues occurring as we learn to use new programmes and optimise functionality to achieve the best outcome, most of which will be overcome through repeated use in time.
This blog considers the most popular (and perhaps the most useful programmes) that are enjoying strong uptake by businesses whilst also being of use on a personal level.
Let’s look at:-
Crossing the divide
Apps such as Zoom https://zoom.usare useful for holding meetings but are also being used by individuals and groups to meet socially online and to keep in contact with family during this period of lockdown. We have been using this ourselves! It allows you to manage video and audio calls as well as conference calling, screen sharing and scheduling.
Microsoft Teams (part of Office 365) https://products.office.com/en-gb/microsoft-teams/group-chat-softwareis a popular sharing programme. Chats, files, meetings and apps sit together in a single shared workspace and they are accessible via any mobile device.
Google Hangouts https://hangouts.google.comenables you to meet as a group. It’s free and allows you toinclude chat as well as video, share screens and work collaboratively. To access this you’ll need a Google account (Gmail).
Messaging and calls
Skype https://www.skype.com/en/is great for messaging and calls and is very similar to Google Hangouts. Again it’s a free application and allows you to make voice calls and video conferencing, as well as share screens.
Slack https://slack.com/intl/en-gb/is a useful tool if there are several people involved in a project, nurturing positive co-working and collaboration. It has been designed to create a group chat environment where individuals can dip in and out of conversations, picking up topics relevant to the individual via notifications. Slack is a paid for programme.
Project based applications
Trello https://trello.com/is ideal for project based working. Specific tasks can be assigned via project boards with actions against individuals. Members can share comments on tasks and upload files, images, film and more. Trello is a paid for programme.
There are numerous file sharing applications available such as Office 365, but Google Drive https://www.google.com/drive/works particularly well and also offers 30GB of free cloud space. Google Drive allows users to store and share files, allowing everyone who is remote working with an internet connection to gain access and share. Again, a Gmail account is needed.
It is worth exploring the potential of the above programmes and apps during these challenging times, determining which is right for you and your team. Once the decision has been made, you can begin to discover more about their specific functionality and really optimise the features. Users will realise the benefits and undoubtedly, it is technology that can be utilised in the workplace to allow flexibility, long after the lockdown period has ended and life returns to normal.