Given the rapid change to working practices due to the Coronavirus, many members of the Jamat will have found themselves working from home (WFH). This can be a jarring experience and difficult to sustain over the medium to longer term.
AKEPB has prepared this comprehensive best practice guide to help make the transition to remote working, or WFH, as seamless as possible. This is one of a series of best practice guides for WFH and includes:
- Working From Home Guide - Remote Working Tools & Software
- Working From Home Guide - Remote Working Practices
- Working From Home Guide - Ergonomics
- Working From Home Guide - Mental Health
Effective remote work is greatly assisted by finding the right tools to stay productive and connected. This guide will help you and your team stay synchronized and working in harmony, wherever you happen to be. The below list of remote working tools is a recommendation and is not exhaustive.
Click on the section headings below to jump to the section that you want to read about first.
File Storage and Sharing | Messaging and Video Conferencing Platforms | Project and Document Collaboration | Team and Group Management | Other
Shared file storage options allow you to collaborate and share documents with others more easily. They typically replace sharing files as email attachments and help you keep all your key documents in one place. This makes them accessible to other people and devices while retaining security. This also allowed you to keep track of document versions.
Often, they include the ability to restore accidentally deleted documents. While they offer a paid service, they usually also offer a free tier for new users.
Here is a list of common cloud-based file storage and file sharing providers:
- Dropbox.com is a very popular cloud based file sharing and collaboration service
- One Drive from Microsoft also works on Mac & integrates closely with MS Office 365
- iCloud.com from Apple, includes mail, documents, photos and videos
- Google Drive offers storage and real time document collaboration tools
- Box.com supports syncing and viewing files on and from any device
Messaging and Video Conferencing Platforms
Messaging and video calling apps are designed to enable rapid and seamless communication, often between groups. Primarily they are designed to replace email and traditional telephone conferencing. There are a lot of options available and the landscape is rapidly evolving. Some apps focus more on text chat and others focus more on video. It can be confusing to select the right platform.
Here is our list of some of the most popular tools for collaborative communications:
- Zoom offers high quality video conferencing via a desktop client and a mobile app
- Webex is a longtime corporate staple and now offers a generous free package
- Whatsapp is a popular mobile chat app but it can also be accessed via the web
- Slack is a threaded chat room for your whole company, designed to replace email
- Google Meet is Google’s dedicated video conferencing web app
- Google Hangouts is Google’s all-in-one text, voice, and video chat platform
- Microsoft Teams is Microsoft’s chat, video and document collaboration tool
- Skype.com offers video calling and text chat
- GoToMeeting offers online meeting, desktop sharing, and video conferencing
- Jitsi Meet is an easy, open source cross platform video conferencing application
Project and Document Collaboration
Working remotely can leave a gap when it comes to working on shared documents and projects. Software can help and often exceed the in-person experience by allowing real-time collaboration even on the same document.
Here is our list of some key task and document collaboration tools:
- Trello is a simple, powerful collaborative project management task list
- Google Drive offers a real-time collaborative document and spreadsheet
- Mural is a collaborative team whiteboard for lists, flowcharts and diagrams
- Screenleap offers instant screen sharing of any app without a download
Getting a feel for group engagement or sentiment is very difficult when working remotely and on video conferencing platforms. Even scheduling can be difficult when a group is so spread out. Collaboration software can help here and can even handle greater complexity and speed than an in-person approach, making your life and work easier.
Here is our list of some of the most used group management software:
- Doodle is a polling tool used for scheduling meeting times and asking questions
- Calendly is another scheduling tool that integrates with your calendar’s free slots
- Mentimeter real time visual audience polling for webinars and lectures
- Slido real time audience question polling and upvoting for webinars and lectures
- Loom lets you to make screen recordings for remote training and walkthroughs
- Camtasia is a highly regarded screen recorder and video editor
- LastPass lets you store and share web passwords across your teams
- TeamViewer lets you remotely control another PC as if you were sitting in front of it
- External webcams can be very useful for better quality and positioning
- Dedicated headset for improved conference call audio and microphone
- Laptop stand for a more ergonomic positioning while working at your desk
- iZettle allows businesses to remotely collect and track payments via mobile devices
- Mesh WiFi for the whole home. Also Fritz! Router & Repeater & Ubiquiti
- A good VPN or Virtual Private Network will provide safe access to sensitive files
- A solid, reliable ISP or Internet Service Provider to ensure you stay connected