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Remote work – online tools and applications for remote work

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Video meeting applications

The basic communication tools for us when working remotely are, of course, telephone and e-mail. However, in the long run, these tools are insufficient for effective remote work. Sometimes there is a need to organize a two-party or multi-party meeting and the telephone is in such a situation an inconvenient solution. In this situation, I often use videoconferencing, which allows me not only to hear the interlocutors but also to see them. This is very important for effective communication. Today’s parameters of internet connections allow for free conversations without any loss of image or sound quality. Often after such videoconference, I have the impression that I am physically in one place with my interlocutors. The distance barrier disappears completely.

There are several tools available on the market that allow you to organize 1-on-1 video meetings or larger videoconferences. We most often use Google Hangouts (in the corporate version it is called Google Meet and is part of the GSuite corporate package).

Our clients also eagerly use tools for videoconferences such as Zoom or GoToMeeting.

Skype in the free version only allows calls between 10 people (this number drops to 3 after 60 days). So larger meetings are out of the question unless you purchase Skype for Business, then you can even host a conference for 250 people.

FaceTime is a tool available to users of Apple devices. Its advantage is good connection quality, even when using the Internet with a lower speed. The downside is that there must be two apple devices on both sides of the connection. This is not always possible.

People with different brands of phones will connect to Facebook Messenger – here, conversations can be conducted by up to 50 people at a time.

Project management tools

In 2013 (when the first version of this post was published), we used Basecamp for project management. We have already described our experiences on the blog in the entries of Dawid and Tomek. This tool worked remotely, but due to its low popularity among our clients, we gave it up some time ago.

Currently, we most often use Asana,  Slack, or Google Docs ( Google Docs ). The latter provides most of the functions thanks to which we can efficiently run projects and communicate with our clients.

Online documents

Apart from meetings and projects, the company’s life also revolves around documents. In the past, documents that were only downloadable and did not require editing were added to Dropbox or Basecamp, so that our customers could download them without having to send them via e-mail. Currently, all documents are placed in Google Drive, and we use Google Docs to create them. Thanks to this, even a sudden illness, quarantine, or spontaneous leave for holidays does not deprive us of access to files when the need arises.

Applications in times of coronavirus

In times of a nationwide quarantine related to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in addition to applications that make it easier to work from home, a few additional ones may be useful. I mean, for example, applications for ordering food online and access to Netflix, HBOGO platforms, or even free YouTube to provide entertainment to children who are with us at this time at home;)

And what tools do you use when working remotely?