If you want to successfully work from home, you need to make sure you have the all the same equipment, apps, and logins you have in the office – there are few things more frustrating than spending half the day trying get things up and running, and constantly phoning IT to make sure you have the right logins.
So once you’ve got the work laptop sorted and the VPN, here are some essential work from home apps to make your work from home life even easier…
Essential work from home apps
Managing workload – Asana
Asana is a free online tool that enables you to create projects and tasks and follow their progress from any one of your devices. Its user-friendly interface allows you to break jobs down into multiple sub-tasks, add team members, share files, and compare notes.
You might want to try: Trello
Storing documents – SpiderOak
Working remotely means you need to be able to access, share and store files, folders, spreadsheets, and presentations. And while it’s difficult to look any further than Google Drive, which has all the sharing capabilities and storage you need, if you need that extra level of security, then SpiderOak is where it’s at.
Although Google Drive does encrypt files, SpiderOak comes with a ‘zero knowledge’ policy, that means the encryption key is with you and not even your company can access or know what’s in your files. If offers a free trial, then plans start from $5 a month, or $59 a year for 100 GB, and go up to $12 a month, or $129 a year, for 1,000GB
You might want to try: SugarSync
Time management – Toggl
Effective time management is essential when working from home – not least because there are so many potential distractions. Toggl is a great way to track your workload and manage your time, and it allows you to switch between projects giving you a useful overview of the work that’s taking up most of your time
Managing your time well is just as important as tracking it, so try The Pomodoro Technique, which advocates 25 minutes work followed by a five-minute break, to see if that helps.
You might want to try: RescueTime
Battling loneliness – Noisli
Working from home can get unbearably lonely – to the point where it can have an effect on your mental health – but if sharing a co-working space or getting a pet is out of the question, an app like Noisli can provide some much-needed background noise to help you through your day.
You might want to try: Coffitivity
Staying in touch – ConferenceCall.co.uk
If you need a simple way to stay in touch with colleagues in the office, and make sure you never miss a meeting, then ConferenceCall.co.uk is the simplest conference call service around – there are no contracts or up front fees, you only pay for the calls you make, and it offers a free SMS reminder service to make sure everyone is kept abreast of when meetings and calls are due to start. It has international dial-in numbers for over 70 countries, and capacity for up to 100 participants per call. And to make calling even easier, a free wallet card is available – more on that here.
ConferenceCall.co.uk requires nothing more than a landline or mobile, if you need a video conferencing tool or the facility to share files and presentations, then join.me is a great option.
What apps make your life easier when working from home? Share your favourites with our business community…