Although it may not be ideal, Consultancy and IT offerings are easily transferable to home-working environments. We’re fortunate at UtilityClick that we’ve always been set up to work away from the office. Be it travelling to client meetings or from each of our home locations. Everything we do is online. As long as we have WiFi, we’re all set.
Because of this, we want to share with you our experiences of working from home and how we manage to operate extremely efficiently despite not seeing each other every day. One of the most important parts of setting up your business home-working environment is ensuring that you are using collaborative apps to allow teams to still work efficiently together.
In this article we look at our top 5 home working apps that help us in operating a remote working environment: (these are just the apps that we use, there are of course other options available for each category)
Slack is, in essence, WhatsApp for business. It allows you to communicate through instant messaging with all of your team.
The reason Slack has become so successful is the way in which you can create team channels. We have, for example, a Development channel, where Rod and the Dev team can chat utter nonsense to each other!
We are able to spare our Support team from these conversations by only providing access to the dev team. Not only does Slack provide an instant messaging service, but they provide call and screen-share functionality. Plus there is plenty of integration with other apps too so that it can act as a central hub for all important incoming information.
Wunderlist (Task Management):
Firstly the caveat, Microsoft acquired Wunderlist a while back, so it will soon be changing to Microsoft To-Do. Despite this, it is a great app and will undoubtedly maintain it’s charm when it transitions across.
Wunderlist is not only a great tool for you to keep on top of all of your outstanding tasks, but it gives your teams visibility of what you are working on. When you work from home, proactive communication is essential and Wunderlist gives the team visibility of what is being worked on and what is outstanding.
You can create team lists too to help with project management tasks. Most importantly though, it is incredibly satisfying to tick a task as complete!
OneDrive (Document Storage):
Over the last 10 years, cloud software has become mainstream and, in many ways, is more trusted and more secure than site hosted applications. When working from home you need a secure online repository where documents can be uploaded to a drive accessible by your entire team.
OneDrive effectively replaces your Local Drive with a Cloud Drive. Syncing of new and updated documents is swift and ensures that business can run as usual with important documents continuing to be stored in a central location.
JoinMe (Video Conferencing):
As mentioned above, Slack provides call and video functionality for internal purposes. But, in this unprecedented time of isolation, meetings will need to be replaced with conference calls and webinars. JoinMe does a great job in video hosting these webinars. Don’t be put off by experiences you may have had four or five years ago with webinar hosting applications.
Due to advancements in broadband speeds and continued improvements to software, joining a JoinMe session is a breeze. Furthermore, you can dial into a central Conference Call system without having to subscribe to a separate application that exclusively manages this.
Confluence (Article Storage):
I’ve deliberately tried to avoid mentioning Software specific apps (we have loads of them and they’re not really relevant for TPI’s). Confluence is part of the Atlassian family and is a brilliant knowledge base tool.
Need to provide access to Staff Handbooks or induction processes? They can be stored in Confluence, replacing locally hosted Intranet resources. It means your team always has all business and process information at their fingertips, succinctly stored in a central repository.
We at UtilityClick are a software company. Our whole business has been built around remote working and we are lucky to be well-positioned for the transition to working from home for UK businesses. However, these apps are truly great tools not just for Software Companies but for all businesses operating in the service sector.
We know that TPI’s out there have their own contingency plans in place and we have seen on Social Media how well everybody is managing the transition. However, if you do want more of an insight into how we operate and use the above-mentioned apps within our business processes then please feel free to give us a shout and we can give you a more detailed overview.