Coronavirus: The Best Tools for Working From Home

Coronavirus: The Best Tools for Working from Home 

An increasing number of people are finding themselves working from home and away from the office for an extended period for, for many, the first time in their lives.  Working from home all of a sudden for the first time is like attempting a marathon without any training. 

In line with the marathon analogy, there are certain tools that you need to have. In the same way that you need water and trainers for a marathon, there are must-have tools for WFH that transcend into the Sales World. 

A working and secure internet connection 

  • The first thing you’ll need when you work from home is a strong, reliable and speedy internet connection.  Without this, it’s like running a marathon on your hands – you could do it, but it’ll be pretty painful and counterproductive. Once you’ve confirmed you have a robust internet connection, make sure you’re working from a secure platform. Ensure you are connecting via a VPN (Virtual Private Network) and have anti-virus software installed on the device you’re using. 

A phone or way to make calls over the Internet 

  • OK so we’re not talking about a plugged-in phone with one of those spiral cables.  We simply mean a working mobile could be pretty handy right now.  If you don’t have a work phone then investigate the different methods to make calls and book meetings over the internet such as platforms like Skype, Slack, Teams, Zoom etc. 

Remote access to your company database 

  • Does your company currently use a cloud-based database? If not, they need to ensure you can remotely access the server safely.  If you’re looking for a platform to enable remote access to documents for a short period of time, we recommend looking into Google Drive or OneDrive.  Both are great cloud-based platforms for producing and editing spreadsheets, word documents etc. 

Now alongside the trainers and the water there are other tools that are vital if you want to run a quicker and more comfortable marathon.  This is the same for homeworking- there are things we can do and tools we can use to ensure we are working at our most productive and are continuing to drive results. 

All the gear for a productive remote meeting 

  • There is nothing worse than a phone call over laptop speakers and microphone where neither of you can hear the other.  This is your chance to invest in a decent pair of headphones, maybe even cordless so you can walk and talk (keeping your steps up while you isolate). 
  • If your laptop or computer at home doesn’t have a built-in webcam, today might be the day to hop onto Amazon and order one you can use ready for those awkward team meetings over webcam. 

Remove communication barriers and use an instant messaging platform 

  • One of the main issues that come with home-working is around communication and productivity.  It is thought that phone calls and emails result in a slower turn-around time for questions that, when asked face to face in an office, would quickly find a resolution.  
  • The answer to this challenge is to use an instant messaging whether you’re going to use Slack, Teams, Skype or Hangouts instant messaging tools can help you quickly and seamlessly communicate with your colleagues (and clients if needed). 

Find yourself some background noise 

  • Self-isolation, and as part of this working-from-home, can be a lonely experience.  If you’re used to having the radio on in the office or are used to lots of people on the phone around you then you may find that you’re less productive in a quiet environment. 
  • Make sure to turn on the radio, download Spotify or pop the news on in the background (although the latter might not have quite such a positive impact on your productivity). 

Familiarise yourself with a great project management system

  • Managing a project remotely can be tough and the nature of working in this industry means you’re often working across multiple projects with multiple users able to access and contribute remotely.  A seamless process for remote project management can be supported by using a tool like Trello which enables multiple projects, multiple users and the ability to add deadlines, comments and calendars. 

While these next few weeks may appear daunting and stressful, with the right tools in place you will be able to carry out your job in as normal a way possible.  Remember thousands of people work from home in a Non-Corona world every day and they excel.  We can do this, and with the right tools in place maybe we’ll even get a personal best. 

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