Everyone suddenly needs to know about working remotely.
Yep, everyone is expected to know how to use the tools with minimal training when a lot of people are only just finding out these tools exist! So, I think it’s timely to put a post together with tools and tips for effective remote working to help those who are working out when to Slack, Zoom, or Hangout. Yep, I’m going to help you know your Hubspot from your Trello and your Monday from your Harvest. I guess there is no escaping the jargon regardless of whether you’re working from home or working remotely.
Full disclaimer: I’m still pretty new to this as well and I’m working it out as I go!
Haven’t you written about this before?
Sort of. A few weeks back (before COVID-19 had officially made it to NZ), I happened to write about working from home. You can check it out here.
BUT, this post is different. That post was general tips and tricks for someone thinking about working from home. This is guidance on what tools go where for someone who is unexpectedly and suddenly working remotely.
So, here a few basic tools (my favourites!) to help you get underway on your remote working adventure.
Slack is an instant messaging platform. It is insanely flexible and fun to use. You can sign up to multiple organisations, and then within an organisation, you can have as many (or as few) channels as you want. Common channels that I have seen are general, random/lols (absolutely 100% require this one!), finance, and marketing. More recently, many businesses have created COVID19 channels to make it easy to share more specific news and updates. The best part? The free plan is awesome!
Zoom, Meet, & Hangout
I’m not really sure how Skype managed to stuff up their complete domination of the video calling market that they used to have. But they did. Anyway, Zoom is my personal favourite video-calling tool – I find it is much more stable than Google Hangouts & Google Meet (which is Google’s business version of Hangouts) with better functionality. In my opinion, the only thing that Hangouts does better than Zoom is that it’s free functionality is a little more wide ranging i.e. group calls (>2 participants) on Zoom are limited to 40 minutes but there’s no such limits on Hangouts.
The difference between Hangouts & Meet:
Hangouts is free but limited to 10 people on a video chat and 100 on an audio chat – all you need is a gmail address to use it.
Google Meet is included with any paid G-Suite subscription and the functionality differs whether you’re on the basic, business, or enterprise pricing plan. Find out more here.
Hubspot & Trello
I have used both Hubspot and Trello for sales pipeline management. Both have excellent functionality on their free plans. If you are looking for something insanely simple, check out Trello. Hubspot is quite a bit more complicated but has A LOT of functionality. They are both good – I prefer Trello for its simplicity (probably an insight into my brain there 😂)
Harvest is my new favourite tool. I divide my time up between multiple clients and I was finding it difficult to properly track my time. Enter Harvest. Problem solved. It’s intuitive and is easy to use on my phone and laptop – I highly recommend it if you’re looking to track your time more easily and effectively. I’m actually using it to measure all of my paid and unpaid time to hold myself accountable. Smart.
Any other tips on working remotely?
Of course! Here goes:
- Video calling is the way to go. In the absence of true face-to-face interaction, video calling is absolutely the best option. Voice calls are left in the dust.
- Get up and move frequently. Studies have shown that people tend to become more idle and work more hours when working from home. Take regular breaks and keep track of the time!
- Further to that, try and work the hours that suit you! When you’re working remotely, your schedule changes. Make it work for you.
- Over-communicate with your team, friends and family. Create the water-cooler moments that your house probably won’t have. You likely won’t realise how much you miss the small talk until it’s gone. In reality, you’ll think you’re over-communicating but you won’t be. You’ll just be communicating 🤘
- Speaks for itself but make the most of having no commute!
Needing some support during these difficult times?
You can get free support in New Zealand from qualified counsellors by texting or calling 1737. We’re all in this together.
Prior to the lockdown, we took Billie home to meet our Palmerston North based whānau. We were fortunate to capture the very cute moment pictured below. Billie and her friend Newton (the mobility dog) became fast friends and enjoyed a cuddle on the couch! <3
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