Before 2020 and the global pandemic, many employees and independent contractors worked from home at least part of the time. Now that much of the world is socially distancing, working from home has become even more popular and necessary. But working from home isn’t without its challenges.
Setting aside obvious distractions and interruptions you might encounter at home, like your family or the television, the real keys to working from home come down to communication and collaboration.
Whether you have to interact with your employer, your coworkers, or your teams, you need an effective way to continue to talk and work together.
Everyday Interactions Over the Internet
The most essential part of any home office is access to the internet because the internet is the hub of your business. It used to be that you could work from home and use the telephone for communication, drop papers by the office, and attend in-person meetings. But in our fast-paced world, business efficiency requires speed and immediate access to information.
Your everyday interactions with employers, employees, teams, and other staff will take place over the internet, inside apps, and through virtual meetings. You’ll work on and complete team projects using online tools that act as a conference room.
Communication and Collaboration
When you’re working for another business or your own, it is important to stay in constant communication. You want to simulate the feel of the office and be able to talk with your coworkers, employees, or your boss over the virtual cubicle. To do that, you need software that connects you to them in real-time. Two popular programs to accomplish this and more are Slack and Microsoft Teams, each bringing its own features to the table.
Before any business chooses a communication or collaborative platform, they need to compare them head to head. A Microsoft Teams vs. Slack comparison, for example, shows stark usage differences, so the choice depends on the needs of the business. Some businesses might prefer the instant communication capabilities of Slack, while others need the meeting capabilities of Microsoft Teams.
Organizational and Collaboration Tools
It’s one thing to keep your physical desk organized, but part of your work’s file cabinet is on the computer. How do you keep projects organized for easy access, and how will you share your work?
You need to be able to organize your ongoing and finished projects while collaborating on group projects with others. Not only that, but you need a way to track deadlines, so the business workflow stays uninterrupted.
Consider using project management tools like Trello and Asana to share tasks, manage deadlines, and submit projects for review. These tools will help you stay on track and are an easy way to manage teams working from different places in the world.
If you need to work on projects together, Google Docs is a helpful program to use because it allows you to share documents and work on them simultaneously in real-time. You can also use Google docs to comment inside documents for feedback or review, and share them with different permission settings, as appropriate.
Stay Focused and Be Successful
As long as you can function as if you were in an office building with your co-workers or employees, working at home is no different from being in an office building. With the advent of software tools, it’s easier than ever to work from anywhere.
Keep in mind that there are so many tools to choose from, that if your software or apps are not working for you, you can try something else until you find the perfect fit.
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