News & Views

Working From Home: 7 Apps To Improve Productivity

by Powernet - Apr 20, 2020

While the world goes into lock down, workplaces everywhere have been forced to embrace 'the modern workplace' and support entire work forces to work from home.

Balancing company morale with managing teams remotely introduces a whole new set of challenges that many companies haven’t faced before.

 

We were lucky to already have the technology in place for our staff to work from anywhere and also had planned to increase our flexible work location policies anyway. Our plans have just been pulled forward by some months!

 

Now, more than ever, we are reliant on technology to keep us working and to connect us socially. We have listed a few of our favourite apps to encourage teamwork and interaction between staff members while we don’t have a central location:

 

Professional Chat Platform - Teams

 

Teams has been at the core of our company communication for some time now. During this time of remote working we have really relied on it for sharing news, memes, company updates and holding video conferences. This really is the core of our communication at Powernet.

 

Cloud Phone System - RingCentral

 

RingCentral is a cloud-based phone system, our staff don’t have desk phones. They have an app installed on their mobiles and/or their computers and make and receive phone calls via this app. As long as they have an internet connection, they are connected to our phone system.  

 

The main thing we love about RingCentral is the video call capabilities! We have a weekly ‘Friday Drinks’ call with people dialling in from 40+ locations around Australia, we can see each of their faces on the screen. 

 

Quiz App – Kahoot

 

During our weekly Friday Drinks call we run a quiz using an app called Kahoot. It is free and easy to use. You can create your own quizzes or grab some inspiration from existing ones. We play this through RingCentral with the questions displaying on a shared screen to everyone and the players using the app on their phone to submit answers. It’s great!

 

Save Time on Repetitive Tasks - Zapier

 

This is a really cool, free tool that allows you to connect different apps in order to make your life more efficient! The free version, of course, has limitations and there is a paid version that unlocks all the features however, the free version does give access to a lot.

 

For example, you could connect Teams and an email mailbox so that every time you receive an email alert of a certain type an announcement is posted to a Teams channel. This could be ‘New client just signed up, well done Sales Person’.

 

We love anything that improves efficiency, transparency and communication!

 

Collaborating on documents - Office 365

 

I think there are enough articles out there about Office 365 however, this feature is so useful when working remotely I couldn’t leave it out.

 

Let’s say you are working on a Word document with 5 other team members. If you have it stored in OneDrive you can all have it open at the same time and you can update it live! You can see the names of everyone in that document, and see each other typing. It’s very cool, if not a little creepy (ghost writing at its finest!). You can do this using the browser version of Word or the Desktop version. 

 

Working Out - 7 Minute Workout: Fitness App

 

We know that this isn't strictly a work related app however, as per its name, this app has 7 minute workouts that you can do during your breaks! As we approach winter, going for a walk isn't always possible so, lets move our coffee tables, bring out the lycra and get moving in our lounge rooms! You could even take this one step further and coordinate a team workout meeting.

 

Creating Headspace - The Mindfullness App

 

With this app you can specify how much time you have and it will play a guided meditation for the duration. Perhaps you have 5 minutes before your next video call and need to refocus. Pop your head phones in and set the meditation to 5 minutes and feel the zen take over! 

 

What are your favourite apps? We would love to hear what is working for you and your team during this time! 

 

If you are interested in any part of this article or would like advice on how to improve efficiencies within your team, please give us a call and ask for our sales team. During this time, we are offering free consultations via phone or video call, we would love to help you!

TAGS: Working from home, remote workforce, apps for working from home, work from anywhere, IT support