The spread of COVID-19 has marked the beginning of a large scale work from home experiment. We are all slowly collecting in front of our screens, wearing our blazer tops and pyjama bottoms, hoping to retain some semblance of our previous work routine. Although not all hope is lost and technology our one true saviour always engineering new solutions to improve our lives. Here are a few tools to help introduce you to navigate the post-apocalyptic world in which we all currently dwell.
Slack’s vibrant interface and efficient instant communication platform have put Slack on the frontrunner of work from home tools. Slack allows you to collaborate with both remote-workers or large scale enterprises whether you’re in the sanctuary of your bedroom or lounging in the balcony. The basic premise of slack entails creating and organizing specific team departments, setting reminders, sending real-time chat messages to your co-workers and even providing space for break-time entertainment in private chat rooms with your team. Hit deadlines, organize your notes and even chat with yourself, Slack is a multi-functional and robust platform that also integrates with Google Docs and Dropbox allowing you to master the art of working from home with ease.
Much like the name suggests ‘Asana’ is easy to learn, easy to use and allows for smooth workflow management and task organization. Simply put, Asana is user-friendly and a highly flexible project management tool with the introduction of it’s new ‘Timeline’ feature. Asana is an articulate platform that enables you to create a plan/project, assign tasks and sub-tasks to other team members, track and monitor a projects real-time status and even streamline work requests. Asana ties all your work together and in the end, it lets you view the bigger picture ensuring a promising work experience.
Trello is another web project management application that is highly efficient and very simple to navigate that you could use not just for work purposes but also for personal endeavours. Trello is a visual treat boasting a clear and fresh design interface that lets the user interact with ease. Trello works like a digital bulletin board allowing team members to design, organize and highlight selected tasks. The dashboards let the user create lists and flashcards which can be pinned to the boards or even assigned to a specific team member. Trello integrates with many other platforms including Slack and is available as a free application on Android and IOS.
Zoom is a simple video chat application that can invite over 100 participants to connect at once creating a large internet-video party. Zoom works on the desktop and mobile, however, the mobile version is more condensed whereas the web version allows multiple video chats at once. Zoom has currently lifted their original 40-minute cap on meetings, making their pro version free for all. This has led to increased popularity during this pandemic not just for workplaces but also educational institutes and for loved ones to connect.
What can’t Google do? Is a question you could only google to find out. Google Suite more commonly known as G-suite is one of the most widely used online productivity suites out there. G-suite is an excellent tool for small-medium businesses, freelancers and other budding entrepreneurs who are looking for affordable solutions and easy file sharing. This cloud-based suite has a myriad of different versions to explore, for example, there is a version available for teachers and students as well for Non-Profit organizations. The suite is also equipped with security features that ensure your work is not privy to an outsider.
G-suite albeit very convenient is not as robust or compatible with the Microsoft Suite and requires constant internet access.
A major rival to Slack, Microsoft Teams is a good choice for those working predominantly with the Microsoft office 365 suite. This allows for flexible document formatting as well as a smooth flow of PowerPoint presentations & Excel sheets. Equipped with all other functionalities of any other web office platform, Microsoft allows for super-organized workflow management. However, it’s lack of integration with other applications doesn’t elevate its status to the best choice out there.
The lack of supervision can often lead to unproductive results, this is something we all are a little too familiar with, sometimes a small break can help you wind down from some of the big tasks you are working on. Take A Five is an interesting self-destructing tab which monitors your break time and keeps you from wandering.
These tools are helpful but can never replace the actual work-environment and you do need to interact with another blank-faced human now and then. Yet there is not much we all can do right now except follow given instructions, maintain physical distance and binge watch Netflix (when you’re not working obviously).
By Ruqaiyah Jafferfee