It’s fair to say we’ve all been thrown in at the deep end when it comes to working from home. If you’re still having difficulty setting up, we have some handy tools we’ve been using to get us going. We’re not sponsored to talk about these tools and there are other options out there – these are just some tools we’ve found useful.
The most obvious obstacle when it comes to working from home is leaving the office phone behind. For incoming calls, you might be able to setup extensions at home, use a 'softphone' on your PC or simply redirect calls to a mobile.
There are other options, such as social media, website contact forms and good old emails. Ensure you’re hot on your social media and you know where your contact forms are submitted to, with someone allocated to monitor both these channels regularly.
You can also tools like Skype, WhatsApp or Slack to actually speak to people, should the need arise.
So that’s the phones dealt with, but what about more formal communications or when you want to present to people using your computer screen? Again Slack (we’re getting to it) or Zoom.
Zoom is just like having a meeting, you can see and hear the person, as well as see the presentation. You can also leave comments using the chat. You sign up (it can be free!) and ‘book’ in the meeting on a calendar. Details will then be provided, which you can send to attendees so they can join the conference, webinar or meeting. When the time comes, you simply ‘start the meeting’.
The benefits of Zoom are:
- Can hold meetings and webinars easily
- Records the ‘event’ so you’re able to revisit the meeting
- Just like a live event
Discover Zooms plans and prices here.
Your team may have decided to use their home computer, or they may need to take their work computer home. Either way, chances are both need to have remote access to files on your server.
There are a few services available to securely connect to the workplace. You usually need to download the software on both computers (home and work) and then connect the two computers. Then you can physically use your home computer to virtually control your work computer.
For members of our team that have taken a work computer home, they have a Virtual Private Networking (VPN) which lets them remotely connect to the filer server. This can also be done on home computers too but requires a bit more technical know-how first.
It can be a little lonely at home and we can’t just lean over for a quick chat with our colleagues and sometimes an email feels a little formal.
For this, we use Slack. We can’t go into all the benefits of slack here and now – it’s very feature packed. However, it lets you set up channels based on topics, such as having a ‘marketing’ and ‘sales’ channel where groups of people can be join – this can even include external people so you can collaborate with clients on a project. You can also have individual channels just to talk to one person.
The benefits to Slack are
- A quick way to communicate with the team and pass messages
- You can share channels with clients
- Screenshare and group video calls to replace physical meetings
Discover Slacks pricing packages here. You may think emails ‘will do’ but Slack is a great way to keep morale up and the team working together.
If you have any general questions about the tools mentioned or need some advice - get in touch via email, social media or via our forms and we will be happy to help.
Want to know more? Get in touch :)