Follow these tech tips to avoid the headaches that inevitably rise from working remote.
Over the last few years, there’s been a growing shift in companies looking to embrace a work-from-home policy to encourage productivity and alleviate stress among employees.
And in the past few weeks, mega companies — Twitter, Apple, Facebook, Google — have embraced this way of working to help maintain the health and safety of their employees.
If you or your company are looking to delve into the world of remote work, we’ve curated a few key software programs and processes to consider to help maintain your workflow.
Full disclosure: Always chat with your IT team before installing any software onto your work computer.
Security across your electronic devices is a must for anyone wanting to work remotely. Having a strong password, a secure network, and built-in firewalls and encryption can help protect against any threats. It is also important to be aware of phishing. Be wary of clicking links or downloading content that arrives in your inbox from unknown sources.
Protect your passwords
Password manager 1Password offers a way to store usernames and passwords in a secure vault, eliminating the need to remember every unique password across your devices, browsers, and operating systems. The platform also tracks worldwide data breaches, keeping you up-to-date on security risks.
The company recently announced they would extend their 30-day trial period to six months for their 1Password Business option.
Built-in firewalls and encryption
A firewall works as a filter for incoming and outgoing traffic to your network based on set security measures. Windows and Mac computers have built-in firewalls already, but may need to be manually enabled.
Encryption is also important to protect any data stored on your computer or network storage system. The encryption process works to scramble text to make it unreadable to those who are unauthorized to view it. Both Windows and Macs offer this as an in-built service.
Now you’ve secured your devices, it’s time to look at the best way to communicate with your team, from setting daily tasks to learning company-wide updates.
Slack is one of the most powerful chat tools in the field and is a great platform for inter-team discussions as well as company-wide announcements.
Set up private Slack channels with your direct team to talk through day-to-day priorities or create public channels based on projects to include inter-departmental discussions.
These channels foster transparent communication and also provide context for those living in different time zones.
Show, don’t tell
Getting feedback on a project, providing quick demos, or reproducing bug issues are just a few of the ways a screen recording tool like Loom can help remote workers. The software program lets you record videos via your webcam and/or screen and then share the video URL with colleagues. A comment function on the video landing page means fast feedback and solutions.
Having the ability to create documents that can then be shared, commented on, and edited in real time can be a lifesaver for remote workers. These real-time feedback loops mean changes and requests can be made faster than the traditional Microsoft Word route.
Google docs G Suite is a secure platform that provides users the chance to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations quickly and in a collaborative environment. All changes are automatically saved and the history function lets you check back on earlier iterations.
Connecting via video for meetings or presentations can help you read social cues otherwise missed in text or audio-based formats. Having face-to-face communication can be invaluable to building trust within your team.
One of toughest parts about working remotely for some is feeling disconnected or isolated from the company. Having team members working from home in the same city or from around the world often means less face-to-face time with colleagues.
Zoom.us and Google Hangouts both provide incredible platforms to host presentations, share screens, and hold conferences with multiple users from anywhere in the world, so long as you have a webcam on your laptop.
Hold a meeting on the road
Do you have an important or sensitive meeting with a colleague in the same city and don’t want to use a video conferencing tool? One of your best options to avoid crowded workspaces and maintain a professional standard is to book a private Blacklane chauffeur service in your city to streamline your meeting.
Book a ride by-the-hour in one of Blacklane’s premium and safe vehicles via the app or website and hold a meeting as you cruise through the city. Blacklane’s professionally trained chauffeurs are masters in the art of discretion and provide you with a private, safe space to conduct your important business.
Having a project management tool that makes all tasks transparent, interactive, and trackable is a must for those working both on-site or remotely.
Store collective knowledge in one space
Knowledge-sharing between individual team members and departments is crucial to the smooth running of a remote-friendly workplace. Confluence is a platform that gives employees and departments the ability to create explainer pages about their workflow and developments, and provide updates for other team members.
Track your progress
Platforms such as Trello or JIRA are great tools to track projects from inception through to the end product within your company. These project platforms let you to create tickets for upcoming projects where team members can store related materials and leave comments on issues, resolutions, and the progress of each ticket.
Create a board and use columns, tickets, tags, and labels to plan, track, and finalize planned projects for each department.