5 Free Tools To Help You Be More Productive When Working Remotely

The situation of the novel coronavirus in Singapore has prompted the authorities to raise the DORSCON code level to orange. Consequently, you and your staff might have to work remotely and might be still adjusting to the new norm of working from the comforts of your home. 

If this is the first time you and your staff are working from home, you may notice that you are facing an overall reduction in your work productivity and effectiveness.

Thankfully, there exist various tools to enhance the efficiency and productivity of remote workers like you and your employees. 

Thankfully, some of these tools are free. 

Here are five such useful (free) tools that you can consider using.

Read Also: 2019 Novel Coronavirus: 6 Steps To Implement Work-From-Home Programmes For Your Company

#1 Trello 

This prevalent tool might already be in use by many companies, including your own. 

That said, we cannot stress the benefits of Trello enough in terms of managing projects with teams scattered across different locations (or homes in this instance).

With boards, cards and columns as the mainstay, Trello represents each project you might have with a board and enables you and your team to fill columns up for tasks that are underway, those that have been done, and those that are impending. You and your team have the leeway to colour-tag, edit and move cards representing the tasks you have to do or have done from one column to another.

Have deadlines? Don’t worry.

You and your staff can also assign cards with deadlines to yourselves or any member of your team. This work management tool has been proven easy to use, given its popularity among companies including Kickstarter. 

#2 Toggl

If your business charges clients based on the number of billable hours or if clients are charging your business in the same way, check Toggl out. 

Toggl is a useful time-tracking tool that objectively tracks the number of hours spent on a work project – thus saving you and your clients from a lot of headaches and misunderstandings when coming to remuneration matters. 

The key thing to note about Toggl is that it can sync across various platforms and thus makes it easier for you to begin work by starting the timer on a laptop and stopping the timer on your mobile device. 

Worried if clients can smoke their way around and keep the timer running even if they are not engaging in work? Well, Toggl can also detect idle time to enable you and your clients to account for every second the timer is on. 

Toggl has been integrated into ubiquitous work tools such as Asana and Google Calendar to ensure you can assign and track time for all work projects across your team and with your clients. This tool operates on a freemium model with most of its key features free. 

That being said, if your business is bigger and requires more accountability, consider the paid version to include unlimited members on this time-tracking tool as well as to receive reports on the time spent for relevant work projects. 

#3 Zoom

If you have to make group video calls, consider the platform Zoom to aid you in carrying out fuss-free and seamless online meetings with three or more people – for free. 

Install this app or its extension on your laptop or mobile devices and get started on free video calls lasting a total of forty minutes each. 

If you are worried about video and sound quality, fret not once more. Zoom provides its users with high-definition video and high voice quality features. You can get access to a full screen and gallery view – making the video call akin to a live face-to-face meeting. 

Moreover, video conference participants can schedule future meetings right away from Google Calendar and share their screens simultaneously. 

To top it off,  Zoom enables you and your team to record your video calls in MP3 (audio), text or video (MP4) formats for record purposes if you need this feature for whatever reasons.

#4 Otter AI

If you are a stickler for verbatim notes during your work meetings, consider installing Otter AI. This tool enables you to generate detailed transcripts during your work meetings, teleconferences and even video interviews. 

You will be joining the likes of big companies like Rakuten and Dropbox in using this handy app. Save lots of time and effort by having the AI-powered app transcribe in detail the proceedings of your work conversations.  

Use the time saved to refer to these AI-generated notes to carry out actionable insights for your business – even when working remotely. 

#5 Franz

Heading a sizeable team and getting overwhelmed by the remote working and communicating? Hard-pressed for time managing multiple businesses and even private accounts on platforms?

Consider using Franz, a messaging app that syncs messaging and chat services into one single application.

This app is especially practical for you if you are communicating with people with various platforms such as but not limited to Slack, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Google Hangouts, WeChat, and Skype.  

You can add each service you might be using a couple of times. For example, if for some particular reason you are using three or more Facebook Messenger accounts to message others, you can use all three or more at the same time with Franz. 

You can download Franz for Mac, Windows & Linux.

Productivity Doesn’t Have To Suffer Because Of Remote Work

When you are running a business, time is money. This means efficiency is also money.

Even with time possibly being saved from commuting to the workplace, no one is going to compensate your business for extra hours you might be wasting due to dilly-dallying at home, or due to problems adjusting from office to home settings. 

Hopefully, these tools can help you (and your employees) boost your efficiency and productivity at work so that your team can mitigate business costs due to this virus outbreak and focus on efforts to increase revenue and profits in other ways.  

Read Also: Business Continuity: 3 Things Your Company Can Do During The Coronavirus Outbreak

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